Environmental Quality

  • Cows, Streams & E. Coli: What Everyone Needs to Know - Contamination of water by bacteria is one of the leading causes of impairment in U.S. surface waters. While many bacteria occur naturally in the environment and are an important component of many ecosystem processes, some are of concern because they may cause diseases. 
  • Controlling Silage Leachate: Environmental Stewardship - Silage leachate—seepage from silage piles, bags, bunkers or silos—often occurs on beef and dairy farms and is one of the farm outputs requiring proper management. 
  • Low-stress Cattle Handling: The Basics  - The advantages of low-stress cattle handling include increased profit for dairy and beef producers. Low-stress cattle handling is easier and safer for people, induces less cattle stress and injury, and produces a better product with a better public image.
  • Grazing Management for Riparian Areas - Riparian areas which surround streams are important sources of forage for grazing livestock. These areas are also important for recreation and wildlife habitat and perform a variety of ecosystem services, such as filtering nutrients and pathogens from surface runoff to protect streams and lakes. Inappropriate grazing management can result in damage to these areas, decrease productivity and harm the environment. 
  • Watering Systems for Grazing  - There are two basic approaches to watering systems on grazing land: either take the water to the animals, or provide limited access for the animals to go to the water. 
  • Managing Beef Winter Feeding Sites to Protect the Environment - As beef cow producers bring their herds in from summer pastures to smaller lots for the winter, they should consider two potential situations that they are creating. The first is an opportunity to gather a winter’s worth of manure in a small location, value this fertilizer and then utilize it in the spring. The second is the need to accomplish the first before snow melt and spring rains wash the nutrients away.
  • Improving Pasture and Hay Ground with Manure Slurry-enriched Seeding - Pasture land is often nutrient-deficient because crop nutrients are removed in harvested hay early in the growing season when the forage supply exceeds grazing demand. Thinning stands are often a problem on a grazing farm, particularly after a dry summer when overgrazing occurs. 
  • Hay Feeder Design Can Spare Nutrients and Lower Feed Costs  -  Excessive round-bale feed waste increases feed costs, pest habitats, pathogen loads and concentration of feed nutrients around the feeding site.
  • Survey Shows Improvement in Manure Management Practices - A survey of Michigan livestock producers indicates continued improvement in the adoption of recommended manure management practices have occurred over the past ten years. The survey of randomly selected dairy, swine, beef and poultry producers took place in the spring of 2005. 
  • Environmental Quality for Agriculture - Provides industry information on air quality, biosecurity, diet modification, mortality management and water conservation.
  • Odor management plans-  can help farmers determine the major farm odor sources. identify current and potential odor control practices, establish a plan for monitoring farm odor and develop a strategy for enhancing a farm’s community image.
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