Dairy Recycling Fights Drought « BackPrintEmail Friend
Anglin Dairy's lagoon, collecting water as part of their farm's manure nutrient management plan
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Drought or no drought, it’s a fact that dairy farm families are committed to caring for and protecting the land that we live and work on. Water conservation and manure management are part of the everyday best management practices on our dairy farm.
Since 1985, our farm, Anglin Dairy, has utilized a manure handling system designed by engineers and soil and water experts to guide manure handling from storage to transportation to land application. As part of our farm’s manure nutrient management plan, water used in the milk parlor or drained from the feed barn is collected into a large lagoon located at the end of the feed barn. Recycled water from the lagoon is perfect for applying to a crop field or pasture anytime but especially during a drought.
With no rain in sight anytime soon, it was decided to irrigate the field of Bermuda grass closest to the lagoon. Irrigating the field with lagoon water is a great example of recycling and striving to be sustainable on the dairy farm. Preparing to irrigate requires moving the pump to the lagoon bank, laying the irrigation pipe from the pump to the field and setting up the hose reel and spray gun. It takes patience and farm team effort to get everything positioned and functioning!
Although we have no control over weather or drought conditions, thankfully, we do have sound science and research to guide our decisions to protect our natural resources and restore our pastures and crops that are damaged or destroyed from the drought.
I now consider myself a dairy farmer. At first, I was married to the dairy farmer. After 25 years of marriage, raising two sons on the farm, learning to do all sorts of jobs around the farm and being involved in the everyday operation – I have arrived!
Most dairy farmers live and work on their farms. It’s important to them to protect the land, water and air for their animals, families, and surrounding community, as well as for future generations. In addition, environmental practices on all dairy farms are tightly regulated by both federal and state agencies.
Striving to protect the natural resources (such as soil, water, and air) needed for current and future food production is not a new endeavor, although the present-day pressures on all of Earth’s resources have generated widespread interest in this important effort. The core aspects of sustainability have always been an integral part of dairy farmers’ personal values and daily on-farm practices.