Recent News & Information

Farm Bill

Posted Apr 11, 12 in CAFO

This document is an informational sheet on the EQIP program for farms.


Know What’s in Your CAFO Plan

Posted Jun 15, 09 in CAFO

By Robert Hatrick

Whether you’re a large or medium size CAFO operation, your CAFO plan developed for your farm includes both an ) & M (Operations and Maintenance) plan and an emergency action plan.

Operation and Maintenance - Scheduled Inspections
Most farms have invested thousands of dollars in the installation of BMP’s (Best Management Practice), which are required in your CAFO plan. However, as the Farmstead Consultant conducts at least an Annual Review of the Farmstead or come during DEC Inspections, more often than not, little or no maintenance has been accomplished.

Your CAFO plan does include an “operation and maintenance” schedule outlining what items should be inspected and when those items need to be looked at and fixed, or repaired.

Some of the most common items we see that need attention are:

1. Bunk Silo - high/low flow collections systems. Pipes, tanks, spreader devices and screens cleaned.

2. Vegetated treatment strip vegetation and splitter devices in need of reseeding or repair.

3. Manure and waste transfer systems including pipes, pumps, etc.

4. Fence and warning signs either lacking or in need of repair.

5. Earthen manure pond dikes-reseed bare areas on dikes, repair or woodchuck or burrowing animal holes that need filling. Mowing of dikes often to prevent burrowing animal from digging dens.

6. Gutters, downspouts and tile outlets should be inspected and perform any necessary repairs.

7. Pastures and loafings and abuse area - seedings should be inspected and reseeded as needed. Cattle should be rotated or removed to rest these areas and allow for re-growth of vegetation.

These are just a few reminders so as to insure proper and regular operation and maintenance is occurring. If you are unsure of what items may need attention or need advice on fixing practices feel free to contact your CAFO planners for assistance.

Emergency Action Plan
The purpose of the emergency action plan is to provide for a plan of action should an emergency occur on the farm. These could be emergencies that involve personal injuries, chemical or manure spills, manure pond/pit failures, accidents involving tractor/spreaders, etc.

Should an emergency happen that threatens a persons’ life, obviously 911 should be called first for fire/rescue to respond.

If it involved a chemical/manure spill and contaminants could enter a water body such as a stream, lake, water supply, reservoir, or ground water aquifer, the farms first response should be to contain the spill to prevent the contaminant from entering the water source. If it is a small spill the best recommendation is to clean it up. However, if it is a large spill, after containment is achieved, the farm should immediately contact the DEC Spill Hot line and your WNY Crop Management Farmstead Planner. If entry to a stream is imminent contact your earth-moving contractor to get dozer/backhoe equipment there to divert or contain the spill. The plan should be reviewed with all staff and yourself and provide adequate training and direction so everyone knows their responsibilities and where emergency equipment is located.

WNY Crop Management staff is currently in the process of updating Emergency Action Plans for all farms we services as our time permits. The new plans will no include updated information regarding emergency contact numbers, locations of emergency equipment lists of contractors and engineers and now a listing of emergency spreading fields. This will e a separate documents, which should be kept in a fully accessible location for all farm staff.