Best Management Practices to Handle Dairy Wastes
Alabama Cooperative Extension System , 1999

Tyson, T.W., Moss, B.R.

Dairy farmers recognize the importance of water quality; they accept the responsibility of managing their dairy wastes to protect, preserve, and even improve the quality of both surface and ground waters. No single dairy waste management practice can meet the needs of every dairy nor is a single waste management practice appropriate or practical on all dairies in Alabama. Wise dairy operators realize that the best answer to their situation will be a combination of waste management practices. Such dairy operators can seek input from several sources. Extension dairy production and waste management specialists and waste management and water quality specialists from NRCS and other agricultural agencies can help operators establish the best waste management system for their dairy. This publication briefly describes various animal waste management practices. When properly applied to specific dairy situations, these activities become “best management practices” that help dairy operators: • Prevent direct discharge of manure or wastewater into surface waters or onto adjacent neighbors’ property. • Prevent any nuisance conditions that interfere with normal use and enjoyment of neighbors’ property. • Enhance the operational efficiency of the dairy unit. • Collect and use dairy manure and wastewater for beneficial purposes such as fertilizer, compost, or bedding. Dairy operators in Alabama can use one or more of the following dairy waste management techniques to reach the goals stated above.