Manure is scraped daily from the cement holding, feeding and free stall areas and placed in a picket-dam, which allows the waste water to drain into the lagoon while holding back the solids.
Solids are spread once or twice a week with a side-opening spreader calibrated to control the amount per acre.
"Unlike the old chain-driven spreaders that put out excessive amounts of manure in big clumps, this one spreads it as a fine mist that can be adjusted," says Tom. "If it turns a freshly grazed paddock black, that's too much. You want to be able to tell you have been there, but that's all."
Priority goes to newly planted fields and freshly grazed fields to stimulate growth. Cows are kept off from 5 to 25 days depending on when the paddock is ready to graze.
The waste water in the lagoon is blended with well water for fertilization and irrigation through underground pipes and irrigation system.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.