Manureshed Helps Farmers While Combating Nutrient Pollution

  • A herd of cattle in a field

Manureshed Helps Farmers While Combating Nutrient Pollution

Historically, farms produced both crops and livestock and recycled animal manure as fertilizers to boost their crop yields. Farms gradually became more specialized, resulting in excessive manure in animal production regions and nutrient loss to the environment. Hoping to reclaim traditional crop-livestock integration among and within farms, ARS researchers with the Range Management Research Unit in Las Cruces, NM, are promoting “manuresheds” to combat nutrient pollution while taking advantage of manure’s productive uses.

Similar to how a watershed works, a manureshed is a system of interconnected pathways linking manure sources to manure sinks. The scientists identified and connected counties with too much manure from livestock farms (dairy, poultry, hogs, beef cattle on feed) to counties with cropping farms that needed the extra nutrients from manure. By redistributing the manure and avoiding the overaccumulation of nutrients, farmers can effectively boost yields and prevent threats to our air and water quality.

 

Related Information

Article: From Problem to Solution: Recycling Manure To Help Crops

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