CASE STUDY: Manure Management Practices on New Jersey Equine Farms
The Professional Animal Scientist , 26 , 2010
Westendorf, M.L., Joshua, T., Komar, S.J., Williams, C., Govindasamy, R.
The number of equine farms is increasing in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. These farms may influence environmental and water quality because of manure collection, storage. spreading. and disposal practices. A manure management survey was mailed to 2,000 New Jersey equine farms during the winter of 2006 to 2007. Of the 2,000 surveys sent, 472 were returned: 18.5% were from training or performance farms, and the remainder (81.57c) were from breeding. boardira], or pleasure farms. Fifty-four percent of all farms spread manure arm their farms. Of those who spread manure, only 27% had more than 8.09 ha (20 acres) available for spreading. Seventy-four percent had a designated area for manure storage. Eighty-three percent said their manure storage was greater than 61 m (200 ft) from water or wetlands, and 86% said storage was greater than. 61 rn (200 ft) from neighbors. Data were modeled to determine the relationship between manure storage or manure spreading and other management practices. The storage model showed that farms with 6 to 10 horses were more likely to have storage facilities than farms not included in the 'model. This model had a predictive accuracy of 88.9% and an of 0.95 (P < 0.01). The manure spreading model showed that those who spread manure were also likely to credit manure for its fertilizer value. The spreading model had an overall predictive accuracy of 95.5% and an R2 of 0.795 (P < 0.01). These results indicate that although most equine farms did not pose a direct risk to water quality or to a neighbor, most do not currently use best management practices in manaqrnq, spreadiriq, or storing 'manure.