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Water Quality

Protecting the Water on Your Small Farm

Groundwater such as wells and surface water such as rivers and lakes are important sources of water for drinking and recreation in the United States. In recent years, reports of bacteria, nitrogen, chemicals, and other…

Got Barnyard Runoff?

Uncontrolled runoff from barnyards and open lots can contain nutrients and manure. If allowed to enter nearby surface water like streams and ponds, it can cause significant harm. This fact sheet discusses ways to prevent…

The ABCs of Pasture Grazing

Summary Well-managed pastures are Always the Best Crop for the environment, for the grazing animal, and for you. A well- managed pasture is a dense, healthy crop of grass and legumes that can provide a…

Manure on Your Farm: Asset or Liability?

Summary If farm animals spend any part of the year in barns, stalls, pens, loafing areas, or feeding areas, you will need to deal with manure from those areas. What do you think about that…

A Horse Owner’s Guide to Good Stewardship

Summary This fact sheet provides a brief overview of some good soil and water stewardship practices for horse owners. It focuses on basic pasture and paddock management and on manure management. Two manure treatment options,…

What is Required in a Nutrient Management Plan?

Introduction As a part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Final Rule, CAFO owners may be required to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Part…

What if My Operation is an AFO But Not a CAFO?

Introduction Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are housed, fed, and cared for in barns or other confined space. Nationwide, it is estimated there are over 450,00 AFOs. The vast majority of…

Livestock Management and Water Quality

Introduction Grazing livestock produce a waste product – manure and urine – containing water, urea (ammonia), organic matter, nitrate, and bacteria.  Some of the components of manure inevitably end up in surface water. There are…