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SCD asks: Got manure?

By JANE PRIMERANO
AFP Correspondent

WHITE TOWNSHIP (Sept. 15, 2016) — Are horses livestock? This isn’t a philosophical question.
The Warren County Soil Conservation District is including horse farms in its latest manure management initiative, but is having trouble reaching horse farmers.
Eileen Greason of the SCD thinks it may be because many horse owners consider their equines pets. Or family.
Since people have been known to post their mule’s birthday on Facebook, this may be true.
But pets, family or livestock, horses produce manure, so horse farmers need to use the same Best Management Practices as those who raise cattle, sheep or other animals, Greason said.
Protecting water quality is the main reason for proper waste management, but there are others listed in the Soil Conservation District’s brochure on the subject: Improves soil nutrient levels, supplements or replaces commercial fertilizers, can be property composted and sold as a farm product, promotes health and welfare of farm livestock, reduces non-point source pollution.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture developed criteria and standards for animal waste management.
There are five general requirements each New Jersey farm must abide by, according to the brochure.
Animals in confined areas cannot have access to state waters unless the access is controlled in accordance with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Best Management Practices Manual.
Manure storage must be at least 100 linear feet from state surface waters and land application shall be in accordance with BMP.
Farmers must contact the state veterinarian before disposing of any animal who dies from a reportable contagious disease or act of bio-terrorism.
Any person who enters a farm for official business must follow bio-security protocols.
Greason said the SCD will assist farmers in writing a self-certification plan to comply with the state criteria at no cost.
“Most farmers will find they won’t have to change, they are already using BMPs,” she said.
Quite a few farmers have the information from the SCD, but not many horse farmers have, she added.
“We’re not looking for violations, we’re not trying to get people in trouble. We’re trying to protect water.”
The SCD brochure defines BMPS as “any method, measure or practice used to protest, maintain and preserve water quality.”
The brochure suggests some useful BMPs.
These include installing an area of vegetation to trap organic materials, composting manure, permanent manure storage, soil testing, and using manure appropriately on land.
Greason suggestes farmers contact the SCD at 908-852-2579 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .