Solution: Manure Storage and Runoff Control
Manure Storage and Runoff Control:
Structural practices that can help protect water quality and make manure
management more convenient for the farmer.
How it Works
Along with a nutrient management plan, many farmers use manure storage
structures and barnyard runoff controls to improve manure management and protect
water quality. Storage allows manure to be safely stockpiled until conditions
are environmentally safe for spreading. Runoff controls such as diversions, rain
gutters, settling basins and filter strips keep clean water from flowing over
manure-covered areas and clean up runoff water before it reaches a waterway.
- A diversion around an animal lot and gutters on buildings are
inexpensive and effective ways to minimize the amount of water falling on
and washing across manure covered areas. A diversion is often the first step
in solving a runoff problem.
- Incorporating a concrete wall with an outlet box at the lower end of the
lotcontrols the rate of runoff to filter areas, and allows trapped manure to
be easily scraped and removed. A grass filter strip cleans up water that
leaves the lot.
- Four types of storage are common in Wisconsin: walled enclosures,
earthen ponds, aboveground
tanks and under-floor
storage. Before deciding on
manure storage, carefully
consider your operation, siting
or design limitations, bedding,
transfer to storage, local and
state regulations and costs.
- Consider that the costs of storage, even with cost-sharing, are seldom
offset by the fertilizer savings. Costs range from $100 per cow for earthen
ponds to $1,000 per cow for above ground tanks.
- Runoff controls require regular maintenance. Gutters need to be cleaned,
filter strips cut and reseeded as needed, and the yard and outlet box
regularly scraped and cleaned.
- Manure storage structures need to be checked regularly for leaks or
structural damage. Leaking structures can pose a significant threat to
surface water and groundwater.
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