Better Manure Management

 

Cows will congregate under shade barns away from rivers.
Cows will congregate under shade barns away from rivers.

Some industrial dairy operations have thousands of cows that each generate 140 pounds of manure per day. These massive amounts of manure should be disposed of responsibly. Manure – including wash wa-ter from barn floors – should be dried and recycled as fertilizer or disposed of in land-fills. Otherwise, manure moves through ground and surface water to contaminate springs and downstream waters. The water management districts and the state DEP should require cattle operations to fence cows out of streams and rivers and require the construction of shade structures, such as pole barns. Cows eat in the open pastures and then congregate in the shady areas near water as they digest grass. Large amounts of manure accumu-late in these areas. The construction of shade roofs provides the cows with shade away from the water and concentrates manure in a place where it can be removed with a tractor. Controlling manure at the source protects our health and saves taxpayers money in the long term by avoiding multibillion dollar pollution treatment projects.