Incentives for Sustainable Practices

This webinar focuses on on adoption of place-based conservation practices to improve water quality. This presentation was originally broadcast on October 22, 2021.

If you have difficulties please see our webinar troubleshooting page. If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request. The embedded videos can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Towards Regional Conservation Practice Guidance to Reduce Phosphorus Loss Risk in the Lake Erie Watershed

Merrin Macrae, University of Waterloo (18 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Overcoming Barriers to Efficient Poultry Litter Distribution and Use on the Delmarva

Amy Shober, University of Delaware (20 minutes)
Presentation Slides

H2Ohio Practice Implementation

Clark Hutson, Ohio Department of Agriculture (16 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Questions From the Audience

All presenters (7 minutes)

More Information

Continuing Education Units


Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz (not available yet). Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

Recommendations for Manure Injection and Incorporation Technologies for Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model


Proceedings Home W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose

A Best Management Practice (BMP) Expert Panel was convened under guidance of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP) Water Quality Goal Implementation Team to assess and quantify Nitrogen and Phosphorus load reductions for use in the Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model when manure is injected or incorporated into agricultural lands within the watershed. (Further description of Expert Panels and processes can be found in the 2017 Waste to Worth Proceedings and Presentation by Jeremy Hanson and Mark Dubin).

What Did We Do?

The Expert Panel first created definitions of injection and incorporation practices, which allowed technologies utilized in research to be categorized within each definition. Categorization considered the manner in which manure was placed beneath the soil surface as well as the level of surface disturbance. Manure injection was defined as a specialized category of placement in which organic nutrient sources (including manures, biosolids, and composted materials) are mechanically applied into the root zone with surface soil closure at the time of application with soil surface disturbance of 30% or less. Manure incorporation was defined as the mixing of dry, semi-dry, or liquid organic nutrient sources (including manures, biosolids, and compost) into the soil profile within a specified time period from application by a range of field operations (≤24hr for full ammonia loss reduction credit and 3 days for P reduction credit(s)). Incorporation was divided into categories of high disturbance (<30% residue retention) and low disturbance (>30% residue retention). Both liquid and solid manures were considered.

The panel conducted an extensive literature review of research that allowed comparison of nutrient loss after manure injection and incorporation with a baseline of surface manure application without incorporation. These comparisons were assembled in a large categorical table in percentage form, that reflected loss reduction efficiency. Many manuscripts offered a percentage comparison of application treatments to the surface application baseline. For research reports that did not provide a percentage comparison, the panel interpreted results into a percentage comparison when possible.

Consideration to soil variability and location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was considered on a very broad basis and in a manner consistent with work of other panels and modeling team recommendations. Loss reduction efficiencies were provided for soils or locations listed as either Coastal or Upland regions. Nitrogen efficiencies did not vary between the regions, but Phosphorus efficiencies did.

What Have We Learned?

Nitrogen and Phosphorus loss reduction efficiency reported or derived from literature varied within categories. For some categories, the volume of literature was small. Research providing these efficiencies is often conducted on small plots with simulated rainfall. Literary reduction results were often provided as a range and not as a single value. Professional scrutiny and judgment was applied to each value provided from literature and to all values within injection and incorporation categories to determine loss reduction efficiencies to be used in the broad categories of the model. The final loss reduction efficiencies of the Expert Panel’s final report are provided in Tables 1 (Upland Region) and 2 (Coastal Region).

Table 1. Loss reduction efficiency values for Upland regions of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

 

Category

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Time to Incorporation

Ammonia Emission Reduction

Reduction in N Loading1

Time to Incorporation

Reduction in P Loading2

Injection

0

85%

12%

0

36%

Low Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

50%

34%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

24%

High Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

75%

50%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

0%3

1 Reduction in N loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  25% of total N losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved N and sediment-associated organic matter N).

2 Reduction in P loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  80% of total P losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved  and sediment-bound P) in upland regions of the watershed.

3 Reduction in dissolved P losses typically offset by greater sediment-bound P losses due to greater soil erosion with tillage incorporation in upland landscapes.

 

Table 2. Loss reduction efficiency values for Coastal Plain region of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

 

Category

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Time to Incorporation

Ammonia Emission Reduction

Reduction in N Loading1

Time to Incorporation

Reduction in P Loading2

Injection

0

85%

12%

12%

0

22%

Low Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

50%

34%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

14%

High Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

75%

50%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

14%

1 Reduction in N loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  25% of total N losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved N and sediment-associated organic matter N).

2 Reduction in P loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  48% of total P losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved and sediment-bound P) in Coastal Plain.

Future Plans

The report of the Manure Injection and Incorporation Panel were accepted by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Agricultural Workgroup in December 2016. The values will be utilized in Phase 6 of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model. Future panels may revisit the efficiencies as future model improvements are made.

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation) 

Robert Meinen, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State University

Corresponding author email address  

rjm134@psu.edu

Other Authors 

Curt Dell (Panel Chair), Soil Scientist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service

Art Allen, Associate Professor and Associate Research Director, University of Maryland – Eastern Shore

Dan Dostie, Pennsylvania State Resources Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Mark Dubin, Agricultural Technical Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, University of Maryland

Lindsey Gordon, Water Quality Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium

Rory Maguire, Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

Don Meals, Environmental Consultant, Tetra Tech

Chris Brosch, Delaware Department of Agriculture

Jeff Sweeney, Integrated Analysis Coordinator, US EPA

For More Information

Two related presentations given at the same session at Waste to Worth 2017

Acknowledgements

Funding for this panel was provided by the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and Virginia Tech University through an EPA Grant.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Developing Science-Based Estimates of Best Management Practice Effectiveness for the Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model

Proceedings Home W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) is a regional partnership that leads and directs Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection. The CBP uses a suite of modeling and planning tools to estimate nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment loads contributed to the Bay from its watershed, and guide restoration efforts. Non-point source (NPS) pollutant sources (e.g., agricultural and urban runoff) are largely related to diverse land uses stretching across six states and the District of Columbia. On-the-ground pollutant reductions are achieved by implementing both management and structural best management practices (BMPs) on those diverse land uses. Short and long-term reductions in NPS pollutant loads that result from BMP implementation are estimated using the CBP modeling suite of tools. The CBP recognizes (i.e., represents pollutant reduction credits for) over 150 BMPs across 66 land uses total for all sectors in its Phase 6 suite of modeling tools. The estimated pollutant reduction performance (i.e., effectiveness) of each BMP is parameterized in the CBP modeling suite. Within the CBP, BMP effectiveness is determined by groups of qualified scientific and technical experts (BMP Expert Panels) that review the relevant literature and make an independent determination regarding BMP performance which are reviewed and approved by the CBP partnership before being integrated in to the modeling tools by the CBP modeling team.

BMP Expert Panels are primarily convened under the auspices of the CBP’s Water Quality Goal Implementation Team and tasked to specific sector workgroups for oversight and management. Panels are tasked with addressing a specific BMP, or a suite of related BMPs. Panel members, in coordination with the CBP partnership, are selected based on their scientific expertise, practical experience with the BMP, and expertise in fate and transport of nutrients and sediment. Panels review the relevant literature and through a deliberative process and form recommendations on BMP pollutant production performance, and how the BMP(s) should be accounted for/incorporated into the CBP modeling tools and data reporting systems. Convening BMP Expert Panels is an ongoing focus and priority of the CBP partnership, given the integral role BMP implementation plays in achieving the pollution reduction goals required by the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).

What Did We Do?

Expert panels follow the process and adhere to expectations outlined in the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership’s Protocol for the Development, Review, and Approval of Loading and Effectiveness Estimates for Nutrient and Sediment Controls in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model (aka the “BMP Protocol”). The expert panel process functions as an independent peer review, similar to that of the National Academy of Sciences.

Each panel reviews and discusses all current published literature and available unpublished literature and data related to the BMP(s), and formulates recommendations using the guidance provided in the BMP Protocol to help weigh the applicability of each data source.  Consensus panel recommendations are recorded in a final report, which is presented to relevant CBP partnership groups, including the CBP partnership’s Agriculture Workgroup for feedback and approval.

Panel recommendations are built into the modeling tools following CBP partnership approval of the panel’s report.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Map

Basic Diagram of the Chesapeake Bay Program Expert Panel BMP Review Process

What Have We Learned?

The availability of published, peer-reviewed data varies greatly based on the scope of the panel. Some panels have dozens of articles to analyze while others may have a limited number of published studies to supplement gray literature, unpublished data and their best professional judgment. Even panels with a large amount of relevant literature at their disposal identify important gaps and future research needs. Given the wide range of stakeholders in the CBP partnership, regular updates and communication with interested parties as the panel formulates its recommendations is extremely important to improve understanding and acceptance of final panel recommendations.

Future Plans

The Chesapeake Bay Program evaluates BMP effectiveness estimates as new research or new conservation and production practices become available. Thus, expert panels sometimes revisit BMPs that were previously reviewed, but new and innovative BMPs are also considered. The availability of resources and new research limit the frequency of these reviews in conjunction with the priorities of the CBP partnership. Given the CBP partnership’s interest in adaptive management and continually improving its scientific estimates of BMP effectiveness, there will continue to be BMP expert panels for the foreseeable future.

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation)

Jeremy Hanson, Project Coordinator – Expert Panel BMP Assessment, Virginia Tech

Corresponding author email address

jchanson@vt.edu

Other Authors

Mark Dubin, Agricultural Technical Coordinator, University of Maryland Extension

Brian Benham, Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

Each expert panel has at least several other authors and contributors, which is not practical for listing here. Each individual report identifies the panel members and other contributors for that specific panel.

Additional Information

The BMP Review Protocol is available online at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/publications/title/bmp_review_protocol

All final expert panel reports are posted on the Chesapeake Bay Program website under “publications”: http://www.chesapeakebay.net/groups/group/bmp_expert_panels

Acknowledgements

These BMP expert panels would not be possible without the generosity of expert panel members who volunteer their valuable time and perspectives. Staff support, coordination and funding for these panels is provided by the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, specifically through Cooperative Agreements with Virginia Tech and University of Maryland, with additional contract support from Tetra Tech as needed. The work of these expert panels is strengthened through the participation, review and comments of the CBP partnership.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Environmental Management on Equine Farms or the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Why Look at Environmental Practices of Horse Farms?

Equine farms are often small acreages that may not have ready access to technologies and information appropriate to their farms. Westendorf et al. (2010a) found that many equine farmers use extension services less than other sources of information, but they may use feed stores or neighbors for information (Table 1); Marriott et al. (2012) also found a limited understanding of available conservation resources among equine farmers. Best Management Practice (BMP) adoption on equine farms is the focus of this paper.

Related: Managing Manure on Horse Farms

Table 1. Manure management information sources on equine farms (Total Respondents – 442)

Another Horse Farmer Trade Magazines Cooperative Extension Other Feed Dealer Internet Other Retailer
221 183 229 116 97 89 26

Westendorf et al. (2010a,b)

What did we do?

Equine farms generally dry stack their waste; in a NJ survey (Westendorf, et al. 2010b) over 70% of farms indicate storing manure on farm, many of these sites may lack BMP’s appropriate for a storage (Table 2, 3). Eighty-three percent in this survey had manure storages located greater than 61m from water or wetlands, and 86% had storages located greater than 61m from neighbors; this might indicate their storage does not pose a significant water quality or nuisance risk. Fiorellino et al. (2010) found that even with low levels of BMP adoption, most equine farms had a reduced water quality risk. Over 50% of NJ farmers indicate that they compost manure, but it is my observation that few actually do; the definition of compost may vary from mature compost to rotting decomposition. Seventy-five percent of farms bed with wood shavings, 25% with straw and the remainder with a combination of wood chips, wood pellets, and paper.

Table 2.  Percentage of New Jersey equine survey farms implementing various management practices (%)

Spread manure on farm
Manure storage area
Compost horse manure
Off-farm manure disposal
Maintain and use dry lot areas
Credit manure as a fertilizer
Regular soil tests
Drag pastures regularly
Clean stalls daily
Manure storage <50 ft. from water
Manure storage >200 ft. from water
Manure storage <50gt. from neighbor
Manure storage >200 ft. from neighbor
54
74
47
58
47
39
32
75
70
1.1
83.2
1.1
86.4

Westendorf, et al. (2010b)

 

Table 3. Percentage of equine survey farms spreading or storing manure (%)

No. of horses Spread Manure (n = 442) Manure Storage (n = 434)
1 to 2 55.2 65.3
3 to 5 59.2 62.9
6 to 10 55.3 80.7
11 to 20 50.0 87.9
21 to 40 37.8 94.4
> 40 37.5 93.3

Westendorf, et al. (2010b)

Nearly 60% of horse farms dispose of some manure off the farm; for use as fertilizer, to a centralized composter, on-farm compost for sale, or to be given away are the prime means of disposal; unfortunately some is removed by dumpster. Fifty-four percent spread some manure on-farm, of these only 39% account for any fertilizer value. If we trust the survey, then probably only 20-25% of the farms have an understanding of the fertilizer value of manure; this survey did find a positive correlation between manure spreading and soil testing (P<.05), suggesting some understanding of soil fertility basics.

Fifty-three percent of farms had a sacrifice or exercise lot that provides horses an area for eating, drinking, shelter, and relaxing if needed. A sacrifice area can help to protect pasture and grazing areas. Many farms only have a turnout lot for both exercise and grazing; this can result in greater mud accumulation and other possible water quality concerns.

A feed management survey (Westendorf, et al. 2013) was sent to 500 NJ equine farmers (see Table 4). Forty-five percent received feeding and nutrition information from a feed store, 20% from a veterinarian, only 3% from a professional consultant and 2% from extension. Most farmers had no concept of feeding to reduce excretion of nutrients such as phosphorus. Monitoring intake, cleaning feed bunks and contaminated lots regularly, and disposing all waste feed in the manure storage are good recommendations for all producers. Please see the Williams et al. (2015) abstract in the poster session for more information about an on-farm feeding project.

Table 4. Description of how feeding decisions are made (%)

Balance diets on your own Veterinarian advice No plan at all Feed store advice Consulting nutritionist Extension advice
45 20.5 15 14.5 3 2

Westendorf, et al. 2013

What have we learned?

In summary: 1. Many horse farms dispose some or all manure off-site; 2. Between 50 and 75% spread manure on crop or grazing land; 3. Most have at least a designated location for manure storage; 4. Larger farms are more likely to store manure. 5. Many farms have a low non-point source (NPS) pollution risk, but little understanding of BMP’s; and 6. Pasture management BMP’s are seldom applied.

Future Plans

Outreach should focus on the implementation of low-cost management practices that equine farmers are likely to adopt.

Author

Michael L. Westendorf, Extension Specialist in Animal Science, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey westendorf@aesop.rutgers.edu

Reference

Fiorellino, N. M., J. M. McGrath, B. Momen, S. K. Kariuki, M. J. Calkins and A. O. Burk. 2014. Use of Best Management Practices and Pasture and Soil Quality on Maryland Horse Farms. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 34:257-264.

Marriot, J. M., A. Shober, P. Monaghan and C. Wiese. 2012. Equine Owner Knowledge and Implementations of Conservation Practices. J. of Extension. 50: Issue 5. https://archives.joe.org/joe/2012october/pdf/JOE_v50_5rb4.pdf

Westendorf, M. L., T. Joshua, S. J. Komar, C. Williams, and R. Govindasamy. 2010a. Effectiveness of Cooperative Extension Manure Management Programs. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 30:322-325.

Westendorf, M. L., T. Joshua, S. J. Komar, C. Williams, and R. Govindasamy. 2010b. Manure Management Practices on New Jersey Equine Farms. Prof. Anim. Sci. 26:123-129.

Westendorf, M. L., V. Puduri, C. Williams, T. Joshua, and R. Govindasamy. 2013. Dietary and Manure Management Practices on Equine Farms in Two New Jersey Watersheds. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 33:601-606.b

Acknowledgements

This work supported by the New Jersey State Equine Initiative, the Rutgers Equine Science Center, and the New Jersey State Department of Agriculture.

Special thanks to Troy Joshua, USDA-NASS, New Jersey for help in setting up some of the surveys.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Case Study of Contaminated Compost: Collaborations Between Vermont Extension and the Agency of Agriculture to Mitigate Damage Due to Persistent Herbicide Residues

Why Study Herbicide Contamination of Compost?

Picloram, clopyralid, aminopyralid and aminocyclopyrochlor are broadleaf herbicides commonly used in pastures due to effectiveness in controlling undesirable plants and the very low toxicity for animals and fish. In fact, some of these herbicides do not require animal removal post application. The grazing animals can ingest treated leaves with no ill health effects, but may pass the herbicides through to the manure. Also see: Composting Livestock or Poultry Manure

When a complaint driven problem of damaged tomatoes and other garden crops in Vermont was traced back to a single compost provider in Chittenden County in Vermont, a series of actions and reactions commenced. Complaints were fielded and investigated by personnel from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VT-AG) and the University of Vermont Extension (UVM-EXT). The compost provider sent samples of various components of the compost to a single laboratory and received positive results for persistent herbicides in sources of equine bedding/manure components. Subsequent interviews by the facility manager in both print and television media seemed to cast blame on Vermont equine operations for ruining Vermont gardens. Coincidentally, the composter had recently changed compost-processing methods. Initial samples sent to a separate laboratory did not support the composter’s laboratory results. Samples of feed, manure, shavings, and many other components which were shipped to several laboratories by VT-AG, resulted in extremely inconsistent and/or contradictory data between laboratories running the exact same samples.

Related: Small Farm Environmental Stewardship or Managing Manure on Horse Farms

What did we do? 

Several processes were underway by several agencies in a coordinated and collaborative effort to resolve and mitigate the herbicide issues:

• Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets was receiving and investigating complaints.

• University of Vermont Extension plant biology personnel were identifying, documenting, and sampling affected plants, as well as counseling gardeners.

• University of Vermont equine extension worked with horse owners and media to mitigate unsubstantiated claims of “horses poisoning garden plants”.

• A more thorough investigation by VT-AG involved collection of raw samples (feed, hay, shavings, manure) from 15 horse farms who utilized the compost facility to dispose of manure and bedding.

• The VT Secretary of Agriculture and the VT-AG Agri-chemical Management Section Chief were brought together with equine and compost experts attending the NE-1041 Equine Environmental Extension Research group annual meeting hosted by UVM equine extension.

• VT-AG worked with herbicide manufacturers to use high quality testing equipment and procedures to gather consistent data from samples.

What have we learned? 

More extensive details of this particular case have been published in the Journal of NACAA (http://www.nacaa.com/journal/index.php?jid=201).

• The levels of persistent herbicides were low enough that they were below the acceptable limits for water, yet they still harmed sensitive garden plants.

• Nationally and locally manufactured grains tested positive for persistent herbicides; most likely due to the individual components being treated within legal limits during field production.

• Many of the laboratories were unable to provide accurate or consistent results when testing for the persistent herbicides.

• Discussions between the NE-1041 group and VT-AG resulted in a fruitful exchange of information, as well as development and delivery of pertinent information for the general public and County Agricultural Agents.

Future Plans 

Several proactive activities have already been initiated and/or completed. A peer reviewed case study on all aspects of the contaminated compost has been published in the Journal of NACAA; and two episodes of Vermont’s Agricultural television show (Across the Fence) were created to educate and update the general public on the situation. A Vermont compost working group has been assembled and set goals to create potential educational materials including a horse owner pamphlet (in final editing phase), a farmer/livestock pamphlet, and press releases for the public education on challenges with persistent herbicides. The VT-AG website has a Compost FAQs page addressing the most common questions associated with compost and herbicides.

Authors

Betsy Greene, Professor/Extension Equine Specialist, University of Vermont Betsy.Greene@uvm.edu

Carey Giguere, Agrichemical Management,Vermont Agency of Agriculture

Rebecca. Bott, Extension, South Dakota State University

Krishona. Martinson, Extension, University of Minnesota

Ann Swinker, Extension, Penn State University

Additional information

• Greene, E.A., R.C. Bott, C. Giguere, K.L. Martinson, and A.W. Swinker. 2013. “Vermont Horses vs. Twisted Tomatoes: A Compost Case Study. J of NACAA. 6:1 (http://www.nacaa.com/journal/index.php?jid=201)

• Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Compost FAQ’s: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/node/696

• Davis, J. Dept. of Horticultural Science, NC State University. 2010. Herbicides in Manure: How Does It Get there and why Should I Care?, Proceedings 8th Annual Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference, Timonium, MD. pp 155-160.

• Across the Fence Television Show: An Update on Green Mountain Compost Contamination and Testing-Greene/ Gigliuere (9/14/12)

• Across the Fence Television Show: Information from NE 1041 Meetings and National Equine Specialists-Greene (9/17/12)

• Article from Minnesota Extension explaining the problem in hay and how to avoid it. The article is devoted to “ditch hay”, but the information is relevant to all hay. https://extension.umn.edu/horse-nutrition/managing-herbicides-ditch-forages

• Washington State University Web site on clopyralid carryover includes pictures of affected vegetables, research results, and the bioassay protocol http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/soilmgmt/Clopyralid.htm

• Dow Agrosciences United Kingdom website with information on aminopyralid: http://www.manurematters.co.uk/

• CDMS Agro-chemical database with access to all the herbicide labels: http://www.cdms.net/LabelsMsds/LMDefault.aspx?t

Acknowledgements

The State University Extension Equine Specialists that make up the NE-1441: Environmental Impacts of Equine Operations, Multi-State Program. USDA.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

An NE-1441 Project: Proposed Methodologies for Administering a Multi-State Environmental Best Management Practices Survey of Equine Properties


*Purpose 

Several states have reported that equine are the fastest growing segment of the livestock industry. Nationwide, equine has increased by 77% since 1997; and it is reported there are approximately 9.5 million horses in the United States (AHC, 2005). Proper management of equine operations requires the adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to balance nutrient production and prevent erosion. Government agencies are concerned about non-point sources of water pollution and have focused on agriculture, including equine operations, as a major contributor to water quality issues. Many states’ laws have regulated equine farms, requiring farm managers to incorporate BMPs. The objectives of this proposed national (multi-state) survey are to quantify and assess the use of the equine industry’s BMPs in pasture management, erosion control and to examine potential environmental impacts. Few state studies have investigated horse BMPs in the U.S, and more research is needed to assess the effect of horse farm management on U.S. water quality. Knowledge of the current scope and nature of equine industry management practices are important when developing regulations, laws, and educational programs to enhance the stewardship and govern land management on equine operations.

What did we do? 

The methodology to assess horse property manager/owner practices consists of gathering a minimum of 150-2,000 names and email addresses of horse owners/farm managers from the 15 states involved in the NE-1441 project. Some of the N. E. states have fewer equine operations. An email containing survey information and a link to the 40 question online survey will be sent to horse farm managers in 2016. Three follow-up reminders will be sent to non-responding addresses. It is hoped to have a 40% response rate. Data will analyzed using SPSS 16.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL) for descriptive statistics, determining response frequencies and percentages.

The Questionnaire Instrument will include the following areas:

Part I General: Involved in the horse industry? Are you the owner or manager of a horse operation? If No, then you are finished taking the survey. Business or Hobby?

Part II Demographics: Location, State, County, Survey participants gender, age, Size of farm total acreage, Confinement areas, Pasture areas, primary and 2nd use of operation, Highest average number of horses on property? On average, how many hours per day do your horses spend grazing pastures by seasons?

Part III Horse Pasture Management Rotational Grazing, unlimited access,Pasture Management Plan, Agricultural Erosion and Sedimentation Plan weed control and type, mowing, resting pastures,Sacrifice lots, pasture topography, surface water, Sheds and barns,divert runoff, roof gutters.

Part IV: Horse Pasture Applications and/or Evaluation: Line, Fertilizer, Herbicide use, Seeding practices, Lime, Soil testing.

Part V: Horse Manure Management: Nutrient Management Plan, primary manure management, collection, storage, uses, removal.

Part VI: Conclusion: What are your limitations in altering the management of your horse operation? What information resources do you use for your equine farm operations?

What have we learned? 

The questions for an equine related APHIS/USDA animal agriculture survey need to be more specific to the activities and needs of the horse industry. Whereas most animal agriculture operations do not deal directly with the general public as a necessary component of their business plan, the horse industry depends on active and engaged clientele. If we are able to gather national data through a single effort survey, the resulting information could be compared and sorted in a consistent and statistically reliable manner, allowing educational materials and opportunities to be tailored to area or regional needs.

Future Plans 

A survey will be conducted by the NE-1441 (a northeast regional Hatch research group focusing on environmental impacts of equine operations) participating states to determine the use of the following best management practices: managed storage area, composted manure storage, stream crossings, buffers and vegetative filter strips, heavy use pads and sacrifice areas, soil testing, and fertility management on fields receiving manure. Develop means of determining the impact of equine outreach programs, more specifically determination of BMP adoption rate.This will allow us to chart progress among producers who use extension services and/or implement BMPs with the assistance of extension or other service providers such as NRCS, state departments of agriculture, and etc. We will work with social scientists to determine adoption rates, what the reasons for resistance to adoption are, and how to develop programs to overcome this resistance.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation 

Betsy Greene, Professor/Equine Extension Specialist, University of Vermont

Corresponding author email 

betsy.greene@uvm.edu

Other authors

Ann Swinker, Extension, Pennsylvania State University Amy Burk, Extension, University of Maryland Rebecca Bott, Extension, South Dakota State University Carey Williams, Extension, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey

Additional information 

Westendorf, M. L., T. Joshua, S. J. Komar, C. Williams, and R. Govindasamy. 2010. Manure Management Practices on New Jersey Equine Farms. Prof. Anim. Sci. 26:123-129.

Swinker, A., S. Worobey, H. McKernan, R. Meinen, D. Kniffen, D. Foulk, M. Hall, J. Weld, F. Schneider, A. Burk, M. Brubaker, 2013, Profile of the Equine Industry’s Environmental, Best Management Practices and Variations in Pennsylvania, J. of NACAA. 6:1, 2158-9429.

Fiorellino, N.M., K.M. Wilson, and A.O. Burk. 2013. Characterizing the use of environmentally friendly pasture management practices by horse farm operators in Maryland. J. Soil Water Conserv. 68:34-40.

Acknowledgements

The State University Extension Equine Specialists that make up the NE-1441: Environmental Impacts of Equine Operations, Multi-State Program. USDA.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.