Manure Storage Abandonment
Failed manure pits should be permanently closed or removed to prevent environmental damage. Photo courtesy Univ of Wisconsin Extension.
An abandoned manure pit being emptied; the nutrient-rich contents can be used on cropland. Photo courtesy Stearns County (MN) SWCD.
Abandoning manure storage or other agricultural waste impoundments, treatment lagoons or liquid storage facilities means permanently removing facilities that are no longer used or can no longer serve their intended purpose in an environmentally sound manner. Typically these are older manure pits or lagoons that no longer work; they might be leaking, eroded or cracked beyond repair or otherwise sub-standard in design or capacity.
Abandonment of old manure pits and lagoons often occurs when a feedlot expands. The old pit may not meet current environmental regulations and design standards, or it may be in the way of planned new facilities.
To properly abandon a manure storage facility, it should be completed emptied. In the in the case of earthen storage facilities, the liner materials (soil/clay) should also be removed and properly spread on land.
Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service
See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District