1. no premium; until just this year, organic dairy producers were
bound by the same marketing board system - and received the same
price - as everyone else.
2. average milking herd size here is about 60, I believe.
Organic dairy herds are similar in size to conventional. No pressure
to increase herd size here, so long as the marketing board - supply
management system prevails. How much longer?
3. health problems are dealt with by maintaining high standards of
cleanliness and sanitation, reducing stress by allowing outdoor
access in wintertime, as well as pasture in summer, and probiotics
etc. when needed. If an animal is seriously ill, they will treat
with antibiotics, but the cow is then out - culled I believe.
4. manure must come from organic sources; quite a number of
antibiotics and other by-products pass through the animal and remain
in the manure, so the "type" of manure does make a difference.
Composting is sound practice to minimize losses of labile N when
field applied - although the N may well be lost to gaseous avenues
Dr. E. Ann Clark
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX: 519 763-8933