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Apr 17

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Healthy Streams for Healthy Herds

When farmers improve the health of streams on their land, it also improves the health of their herds. Listen up:

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Healthy water helps keep farm-dwellers healthy, too. (D. Kerr/Flickr)

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.

Get schooled:

The fine print:

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/agricultural-runoff/healthy-streams-healthy-herds/