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Planning for Temporary Feeding Areas

March 29, 2013
As farmers and ranchers begin to plan for the upcoming grazing season, you may want to consider temporarily confining cattle or cow-calf pairs if the drought continues and pastures are not adequate to support livestock. 
Decisions for how and where to confine livestock for a short-term period will impact whether or not the operation is defined as an animal feeding operation (AFO) and will dictate the need for an inspection. Selecting an appropriate site to provide easy access for feeding and managing animals, along with managing the site to minimize environmental impact are also important considerations.
Dr. Amy Millmier Schmidt, Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer in the UNL Biological Systems Engineering Department, recently recorded a webinar titled "Environmental and Regulatory Considerations During Temporary Confinement of Cattle." In this webinar, Dr. Schmidt discusses manure management and permitting requirements for confined livestock. She also discusses what factors determine the need for a regulatory inspection and permit, and provides options for managing a temporary confinement situation to minimize environmental impact.
A webinar recently recorded by Jason Gross, Engineering Technician with UNL Extension, is titled "Site Selection Considerations for Confined Feeding of Dry Cows or Cow-Calf Pairs." In this webinar, Jason discusses pen and bunk space requirements, options for delivering drinking water to the animals, lot maintenance, and returning the lot to pasture following the temporary confinement period.

An additional resource on drylot beef production, referenced during this webinar, is available from the NDSU Agriculture website. It is titled "Drylot Beef Cow/Calf Production."


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