Bedding strategies that promote udder health and milk quality by fostering a beneficial microbiome on organic dairy farms (9/1/18-present). website  I am co-PI with  John Barlow (UVM Animal and Veterinary Sciences) on this project funded by the USDA-NIFA Organic Research Education Initiative.  The goals of this research project are to identify economically sustainable bedding management strategies that reduce mastitis risk and promote udder health and milk quality on organic dairy farms, and to develop best management practice recommendations addressing udder health microbiological risks and benefits of common winter housing strategies, with a focus on "bedded-pack" loose-housing systems.

· UVM Researchers seek input from organic dairy farmers (12/10/18)

· Andrews, T., Neher, D.A., Weicht, T.R., and Barlow, J.W. 2019. Mammary microbiome of lactating organic dairy cows varies by time, tissue site, and infection status. PloS ONE 14(11): e0225001. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0225001


Organic amendments to suppress disease in organic vegetable and dairy systems (10/1/19- present). This is funded by the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station Competitive Hatch Program.

· Neher, D.A. 2019. Compost and plant disease suppression. BioCycle 60(8): 22-25.

· Neher, D.A., Cutler, A.J., Weicht, T.R., Sharma, M., and Millner, P.D. 2019. Composts of poultry litter or dairy manure differentially affect survival of enteric bacteria in fields with spinach. Journal of Applied Microbiology 126:1910-1922. DOI 10.1111/jam.14268

· Neher, D. A., Fang, L., and Weicht, T. R. 2017. Ecoenzymes as indicators of compost to suppress Rhizoctonia solani. Compost Science and Utilization 25(4): 251-261. DOI 10.1080/1065657X.2017.1300548.

· Neher, D.A., Weicht, T.R., and Dunseith, P. 2015. Compost for management of weed seeds, pathogen, and early blight on brassicas in organic farmer fields. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 39: 3-18.

· Neher, D. A., Weicht, T. R., Bates, S. T., Leff, J. W., and Fierer, N. 2013. Changes in bacterial and fungal communities across compost recipes, preparation methods, and composting times. PLoS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0079512.


Anaerobic soil disinfestation to control soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani in Vermont field conditions. NE-SARE Partnership Program  (8/1/19-present)


Worm-composted dairy manure to control fungal pathogens in vegetable crops. Farmers Advocating for Organic (4/15/20-present)


Recycling Organics and Resources (ROAR), website. This is a partnership between Eric Roy (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources) and Meredith Niles (UVM Nutrition and Food Science) to develop transdisciplinary grant proposals on this topic

· Recovery of phosphorus from digested dairy manure. Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge (1/1/19-present). Co-PI with Eric Roy (Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources) on this project.

· Coker, C. 2016. University of Vermont faculty members convened a group to identify research needs related to mandatory food scraps diversion policies in New England. BioCycle 57(8): 66-67.

· Conrad, Z.,  Niles, M., Neher, D. A., Roy, E. D., Tichenor, N. E., and Jahns, L. 2018. Relationship between diet quality, food waste, and environmental sustainability. PloS ONE 13(4): e0195405.

· Neher, D.A., Weicht, T.R. 2018. A plate competition assay as a quick preliminary assessment of disease suppression. Journal of Visualized Experiments e58767,, doi:10.3791/58767.

· Neher, D.A. 2019. Compost and plant disease suppression. BioCycle 60(8): 22-25

· O’Brien, B.J., Neher, D.A., and Roy, E.D. 2019. Nutrient and pathogen suppression properties of anaerobic digestates from dairy manure and food waste feedstocks. Waste and Biomass Valorization DOI 10.1007/s12649-019-00906-4



Last updated 8/7/20