Manure: Problems and Possibilities
Voices from Knox County:
One way to deal with manure is to turn it into an asset. Some dairy farmers
have found that they can divide pastures into smaller
grazing areas. Moving
the cattle from one area to another allows the cows to disperse manure throughout
the pasture. The farmer does not have to deal with this messy problem and
gets free fertilizer in return.
Some farmers keep their livestock in a barn and collect the manure over
time. When they are ready to fertilize their fields, they use this natural
"I put it [manure] on my garden. In fact, that's the reason I started
having cows in the first place; to keep my garden organic."
The amount of waste produced by livestock presents an interesting dilemma
for farmers in the county. What to do with all of this manure? Here are
some ways that local farmers have dealt with this situation:
Problems arise when manure gets into
This happens after
heavy rains on freshly-fertilized fields, or when manure accumulates near
a water source. These problems can be averted by storing manure in secure
pits, applying manure to fields in dry weather, and keeping livestock at a distance from
sources of moving water.
photo credit: Stephanie Martin
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