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An Evaluation of the New York NRCS Pathogen Management Interim Standard

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  072276.(doi:10.13031/2013.23379)
Authors:   Peter E Wright, Bill Reck, Larry Geohring, Susan Stehman
Keywords:   Manure Management, Pathogen reduction, NRCS standards

The impact of pathogens on society, while declining due to improved sanitation, will gain more attention from society in the future. As states perform TMDL determinations on their impaired watersheds, often pathogens are identified as a contaminant that needs to be reduced. The USEPA is evaluating pathogen control on CAFO operations. New technology allowing the source of pathogens to be traced could result in increased regulations and/or litigation. Agricultural consumers are demanding increased protection from pathogens. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in an attempt to improve water quality by helping people help the land, has developed an interim standard to reduce the opportunity for pathogens to leave animal agricultural operations. This conservation practice standard is being evaluated to determine its practical application to animal agriculture enterprises in NY State and to determine if it would be appropriate to add as a NRCS national standard. The standard consists of four parts; preventing pathogen entry into the farm, controlling the spread of pathogens on the farm, treating the manure to reduce pathogens, and limiting the opportunity for pathogen movement off the farm. It is assumed that biosecurity on the farm and good animal husbandry reduces the opportunity for pathogen entry and growth on the farm. Proper manure spreading and erosion control reduce the opportunity for pathogens to leave the agricultural fields from manure spreading. Control of and /or treatment of manure, process wastewater, and contaminated runoff from the farms production area are thought to reduce pathogen movement from the farmstead. These assumptions will be explored in this paper and an evaluation of the Interim standard will be made.

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