Precision feeding of dairy cows is a great way to address water quality concerns in local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. So what is precision feeding? It is feeding dairy cows to most precisely meet their nutrient requirements based on their level of production.
When it comes to water-test results, one of the murkiest problems facing homeowners is how to interpret the results, according to an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. And with the flood of Marcellus shale gas-drilling activity in Pennsylvania, there has been a steadily rising tide of information about water availability, water quality, water-testing procedures and what those tests indicate.
This space will showcase of some of the tools and approaches developed for nutrient and sediment reduction within Pennsylvania’s watersheds. Many of the best management practices and partnership building activities in the Conewago Watershed, Pennsylvania’s showcase watershed will be highlighted, but other watershed agencies and organizations also have stories to tell.
The recent eruption of a Marcellus shale gas well in Clearfield County, Pa., has triggered investigations by state agencies. A Penn State Cooperative Extension water specialist said it also should remind Pennsylvanians that drilling can impact surrounding water resources, and well owners near any drill sites should take steps to monitor their drinking water.
Nitrogen contamination of ground and surface water and air pollution caused by leaching, runoff and gaseous nitrogen emissions from animal-feeding operations are the most important environmental concerns related to animal agriculture, which is known to be the leading polluter of the bay.
Water quality and water conservation will be the focus of five Web-based seminars produced by Penn State Cooperative Extension this spring. Topics will include water testing, septic systems, managing ponds and lakes, and safe drinking water.