Released May 1, 2013
FARGO, N.D. - Producers need to protect their manure storage facilities as well as their home and livestock during a flood, North Dakota State University Extension Service specialists say.
“Accumulated leakage eventually can end up in the nearby surface water and/or an aquifer,” warns Mary Berg, a livestock environmental management specialist at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center.
Surface water contamination from manure spills may pose a signiﬁcant threat to aquatic ecosystems, and excessive nutrients may cause eutrophication in freshwater ecosystems.
Eutrophication is an increase in aquatic plant growth due to an increase in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. As this increased aquatic plant mass dies, microorganisms use the organic matter as a food source. The microorganisms also use the dissolved oxygen in the water, which can cause fish to suffocate. Research shows that 1 extra pound of phosphorus in a lake can produce hundreds of pounds of weeds and algae.
Kevin Erb, conservation professional development and training coordinator with University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, recommends the following ways to alleviate potential pollution problems if or when floodwaters overtake manure storage facilities:
“It is important to be aware of the possible short- and long-term consequences to the environment due to mismanagement of manure stockpiles and containment ponds,” says Emily Kline, another livestock environmental management specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center. “Being proactive is the best management strategy.”
For more information, contact Berg or Kline at (701) 652-2951 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Also, check out their website at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/lem, find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ndsulem or follow them on Twitter at @ndsulem.
There publications also may be helpful:
North Dakota State University, http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2013/april-29-2013/keep-livesto...