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Animals and Water Quality

Cattle Waste Management Systems
     A study recently done on “Off-Stream Water Sources for Grazing Cattle" showed that when grazing cattle were given an alternate water source, like atrough, rather than the available stream, there was a 90% reduction in the time which cattle spent drinking from the stream. The diagram above shows how an alternate water source and cattle fence can keep cattle or any grazing animal out of a water source, therefore easily improving the water quality of that water source.
     According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Dairy animals are typically managed on pastures in partial confinement. While animals are on pasture, their waste should not be a resource concern if stocking rates are not excessive, grazing is evenly distributed, manure from other sources is not applied, and grazing is not allowed during rainy periods when the soils are saturated.

    To prevent waste from accumulating in feeding, watering, and shade areas, the feeding facilities can be moved, the number of watering facilities can be increased, and the livestock can be rotated between pastures. To reduce deposition of waste in streambeds, access to the stream may be restricted to stable stream crossings and access points.

For More Information:

 

US Department of Agriculture -Agricultural Waste Management Systems

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