Barnyards, Exercise Lots, and Water Quality
What are the water quality issues associated with barnyards and exercise lots?
Barnyards and exercise lots are often located in places that are less suited to crop production than the surrounding land. Sites like this are usually on slopes and near streams, with a high potential for runoff, soil erosion, and leaching. Congregating animals on these sites can ex-acerbate these conditions, increasing the likelihood of stream water quality impairments.
What is the purpose of a sacrifice lot?
Sacrifice lots are an area that animals can be moved to when pastures, barnyards, or exercise lots are excessively wet or when grass stands need to be regenerated. Sacrifice lots can also be constructed to contain nutrients, preventing them from running off into surface water.
What are some best management practices for barnyards, exercise lots, and sacrifice lots?
- Establish rotational grazing lots with water troughs and stream bank fencing
- Build a curbed concrete lot with a stacking pad for manure.
- Install a system to trap contact water from the concrete pad and route it through a filtration system
- Use roof gutters and down spouts to divert rainwater away from the area
- Provide stable alleyways from the barn to the exercise lot and stable stream crossings to reduce the potential for erosion.