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Competency Area 8: Concentrated source pollution AEM

PO 83. Discuss advantages and disadvantages of various barnyard surfaces.

An advantage of an earthen, permeable barnyard surface is that it may infiltrate and retain contaminants in place. However, if the area is permeable, groundwater may become contaminated.

Generally, livestock traffic quickly turns earthen surfaces into seas of mud or compacted soil, from which animal health and runoff water quality soon deteriorate. Smooth concrete surfaces are easily to clean, but will quickly result in surface runoff and contaminated surface runoff if not kept absolutely clean. Slightly roughened minimally sloping concrete is best for animal footing. The roughened surface is more difficult to keep clean but has the ability to retain small amounts of precipitation without generating runoff.

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Concrete cattle lot

Photo courtesy of NRCS