Managing Manure (Fred Kirschenmann, Farm Policy Expert)
How do farm practices and policies affect water quality? Hear Fred Kirschenmann's perspective.
Generally, when hogs are concentrated in these large confinement operations or even non-confined operations, the means of storing the manure is in, or has been in the past at least, manure lagoons. The barns are constructed in a way with slats, and then water is used to flush the manure down into the lagoons, and the lagoons can seep into groundwater and they can spill over, which has happened from time to time. Some of that technology has been changing recently. Some farmers have gone to steel tanks -- large steel tanks to store the manure. That's certainly preferable, but anytime you concentrate a large number of animals or people in one place, then you concentrate the waste and then you've got the problem of trying to manage that in a way that it doesn't end up in the water.