Manure Manager

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Ten simple ways to keep manure out of water


April 2, 2012
By Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District

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April 2, 2012, Redmond, OR – It’s springtime and the land is greening up. We’ll certainly receive more rain before summertime, and some of that rain will run off the land to surface streams. When water travels over the surface of the land, it picks up bits of soil, decaying plant material … and manure. Manure has nutrients that can trigger aquatic plant growth, and bacteria that can affect the health of people and animals.

The easiest way to prevent pollution from manure is to keep it out of surface water. Our friends at the Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District have 10 simple ways to keep manure out of water. Their ten steps make sense for all kinds of large animal operations:

  1. Limit or prevent animal access to streams and ponds.
  2. Provide off-stream watering from streams and ponds.
  3. Have healthy riparian vegetation along streams.
  4. Collect manure from sacrifice areas.
  5. Cover manure piles to avoid contaminating rain and surface runoff.
  6. Store manure under cover through the wet season.
  7. Compost stored manure and use it to improve your pastures.
  8. Prevent clean runoff from flowing through areas that have livestock and manure.
  9. Have gutters and downspouts on buildings near livestock.
  10. Manage your grazing to keep livestock off pastures in winter and always have healthy grass.