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Healthy Soil and Water Management Tips  

Get tips for monitoring and managing both soil and water to prevent contamination, reduce run-off and prevent the transfer of disease.
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Improper fertilizer and animal waste application can affect soil and water resources. The Beef Quality Assurance Field Guide suggests these tips for monitoring and managing both soil and water to prevent contamination, reduce run-off and prevent the transfer of disease.  

Soil Management Tips: 

  • Use soil testing to determine the level of nutrients required for the optimum production of the target forage species.  
  • Apply fertilizer materials based only on soil test recommendations.  
  • Record all applications (rate and nutrient composition) of fertilizer, regardless of source, and the area to which it was applied.  

Water Management Tips:  

  • Use elemental scans to determine which salts are potential problems if high levels of total dissolved solids are detected.  
  • Develop water sources using gravity, solar, wind or electric power to prevent cattle from watering in streams.  
  • Limit cattle access to streams and sensitive riparian areas; fence critical management areas with temporary or permanent fence.  
  • Provide vegetative filter/buffer strips between corrals and streams—width of the strip is dependent on soil type and slope.  
  • Install runoff diversions above livestock holding areas or corrals to keep up-slope runoff from mixing with runoff from corrals.  
  • Install dikes and/or sediment ponds below livestock holding areas or corrals and streams.  
  • Seal all old and abandoned wells and protect active wells.  

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Tailored Advice From Experts

Would you like more information on Trust in Beef topics from the experts?

Additional Resources

Watch NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner profiles. See how the beef industry showcases its stewardship, conservation and business practices that work together on farms and ranches.

Blair Brothers Angus Ranch – South Dakota

Gracie Creek – Nebraska

Beatty Canyon Ranch – Colorado

JY Ferry & Son, Inc. – Utah

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