When farmers improve the health of streams on their land, it also improves the health of their herds. Listen up:
Farm-lovers gather round, this one’s for you.
Manure and fertilizer runoff from farms is a significant source of water pollution. But did you know that runoff can harm the health of the herd, too?
“Water that’s flowing in the stream can be a way for disease and parasites to move from one farm to another,” explains Watershed restoration pro Lamonte Garber of the Stroud Water Research Center.
Fortunately, there are a few ways farmers can help keep animals healthy and reduce water pollution at the same time. Garber recommends:
- Planting cover crops to prevent erosion
- Improving manure storage
- Using trees to keep herds and water sources separate
The real payoff for the farmer, he adds, comes when their kids can walk down to a healthy stream and pull out a trout.
And that may be the most tangible evidence of all to show that the improvements are working.
- Check it out, as Stroud Water Research Center explains why protecting stream and river ecosystems is so important
- See what scientists discovered about the effects of farm runoff on water, via NPR
- Learn more about nonpoint source pollution, like agricultural and urban runoff, from the EPA
The fine print:
- This segment was produced in partnership with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future