Animals may spend time on structures such as feed pads, wintering pads or in milk sheds. These structures define the time animals spend there, the food eaten and how effluent is collected.
Each structure must define the system that is used to manage the effluent collected on that structure. A dairy enterprise must define a single system for the effluent collected in the milking shed. Other structures may use that system or define their own system. The system sets up how the effluent is stored and where/when it is applied on farm.
The following diagram depicts what parts of the model the structures and effluent information entered in OverseerFM impacts. For a full interactive view of the scientific model in its entirety please click here
Structures house animals for periods of time during the year. Overseer supports four structure types (milking shed, feed pad, wintering pad and standoff pad). The animals that are on the structure are defined as a percentage of the overall enterprise numbers for each month.
The different structure types affect how/what effluent is collected, the atmospheric losses and for wintering pads the nutrient transfers from/to lanes and the milking shed.
Animals are fed while on structures using supplementary feed. The amount eaten lowers the ME gained from pasture and hence lowers pasture growth estimated by the model.
Structures are key to defining where animals are and how nutrients are transferred around the farm. The different structure types define how effluent is collected and influence some of the atmospheric losses.
Effluent is collected from structures and the system for storing and applying the effluent is defined. The dairy effluent system is used to process effluent from the milking shed. Other structures may define their own effluent management or utilise the dairy system.
The structure defines how/what effluent is collected and so affects what effluent needs to be managed by the system (liquid, solids and/or pond solids).
Losses to the atmosphere are estimated based on the collection and storage, while applications apply nutrients to blocks and hence effect nutrients taken up by plants and in the soil.
How effluent is stored affects nutrient losses to the atmosphere. Effluent applications are a key source of nutrients moving around the farm.