Manure Manager

Features Applications Beef
Grant program aids CA dairy


April 6, 2010
By Manure Manager

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April 5, 2010 – A grant
program that assisted California Central Valley dairy producers in implementing
water quality improvement projects was a success, say organizers, with 23
dairies participating in a wide range of best management practices that address
water quality concerns.


April 5, 2010 – A grant
program that assisted California Central Valley dairy producers in implementing
water quality improvement projects was a success, say organizers, with 23
dairies participating in a wide range of best management practices that address
water quality concerns.

Western United Resource
Development (WURD)
in 2007 was awarded a $999,997 grant by California’s State
Water Resources Control Board
to implement a Water Quality Improvement Project
for Central Valley dairies. The program provided cost-share funding for on-farm
projects that improved infrastructure and management of dairy facilities to
achieve or more effectively maintain compliance with water quality regulations.

Funded projects included
tail water return systems; field distribution systems that allowed irrigation
water that is mixed with liquid manure to be applied to cropland at proper
rates and timing; backflow prevention systems that prevent nutrients or
pathogens in manure from impacting a water source; solid manure separators that
allow for optimal handling of each fraction of the manure; concrete pads to
store feed products or manure and convey the leachate or runoff to a liquid
storage area; and water efficiency projects focused, for example, on water use
in the milk parlor.

Western United
Dairymen’s (WUD)
environmental specialist Paul Sousa oversaw the project and
said its success could provide a model for similar future water quality
efforts.

“The enormous need that
was demonstrated by this project proves that dairies are eager to comply with
water quality regulations and protect the environment, “said Sousa. “But they
need some assistance to overcome the cost barriers associated with these type
of projects.”

The collaborative nature
of the project was noted with a Technical Advisory Committee consisting of
representatives from: Sustainable Conservation, California Department of Food & Agriculture, State Water Resources
Control Board
, University of California – Davis, USDA NRCS, California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, Alliance of Western Milk Producers,
and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

This project was funded
by Prop. 50. WURD is continually searching for other funding sources for
environmental projects. WUD recently applied for and was awarded funding under
the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) and Agricultural
Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)
from NRCS. The NRCS is currently accepting
applications for funding under CCPI . Development of dairy waste management
plans can be funded under CCPI costsharing. Funding also will be available soon
under the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP).


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