In balance, nutrients are essential for healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. But nutrients in excess, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, are harmful to the environment. Excess nutrients stimulate algal blooms that deplete the oxygen in natural waters, resulting in conditions that cannot sustain aquatic life -- including commercial fisheries.
Recent, tragic loss of life in conjunction with an open air manure storage facility brings to the front the critical need for conversations with all agriculturalists about how to prevent future losses. This fact sheet, developed by Penn State Extension specialists who work with farm safety and manure handling, provides a checklist for ensuring the welfare of those who work near and in manure storage areas.