The Penn State Extension Equine Stewardship Program includes the Nutrient & Sediment Management Project for the Chesapeake Bay Tributary. The program was developed to help educate equine operators on the need to address environmental stewardship and on-farm assessment. The project took place in 2008-2010. In 2009, Equine operations within the Chesapeake Tributary participated.
The methodology used was to conduct an Equine Nutrient and Sediment Management- field demonstration survey to define best management practices for horse farm operations and develop a formula to quantify the "efficiency" of those practices. The surveyed operations were used to develop a baseline for total nutrient balances and levels for the Pennsylvania horse industry. These farms were selected based on willingness to participate, soil cover conditions and stocking rates. On the farms, existing practices such as pasture plant cover, manure handling, manure storage, land application of manure, bedding, housing, flooring, holding/sacrifice lot management, buffer/green belts, erosion, soil compaction, cropland, stocking rates, etc. were measured using the above mentioned tools. Soil, feed and manure samples from the surveyed farms were tested.
Regional educational programs and demonstrations included information to equine owners on environmental stewardship. The 2009 Equine Issues forum, "How Green is Your Farm," concentrated on educational information concerning a wide range of solutions and management ideas that can improve the quality of water supplies in the Chesapeake Watershed and across the state.
How Green is Your Farm? - Hosted by the Penn State University Equine Program and the Pennsylvania Equine Council (PEC). 9 presentations on topics ranging from nutrient management and water quality to parasites and laminitis.