September 2, 2014

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Winter feeding areas for livestock

Lindie Huffman, Agriculture and Natural Resources

As we move closer to cold weather, it is a good time to think about strategies for winter feeding of livestock, since it is a necessary part of nearly all operations. Choosing the right place for winter feeding can improve production and reduce threats to nearby water resources. A poorly chosen site for winter feeding can have negative impacts on soil and water quality.

A significant amount of pollution can occur if winter feeding is conducted around streams, water bodies or other environmentally sensitive areas such as flood plains and creek bottoms. Storm-water runoff from these areas can carry mud and manure into nearby water bodies, creating water quality problems. If these contaminants can be traced to a specific operation, the owner could be subject to fines from regulatory agencies.