Farm yards can pose a number of risks to rivers.

It is important that they have gutters that are effectively connected to a clean water drainage system. This helps to ensure rainwater does not become contaminated with manure from stock handling areas.

All manure, solid or liquid, should be collected and stored to ensure all of the nutrients produced on farm are captured for use as a fertiliser and do not enter the rivers. Manure storage must have adequate capacity to ensure it is only spread when it will be utilised by a growing crop, not just to avoid an overflow. Excessive quantities of rainwater entering manure stores not only compromise their capacity but also create additional spreading costs for farmers.

Feedstocks like silage can also pose a risk when not stored correctly. If the effluent that is produced during fermentation enters a stream, it can strip the oxygen from water, suffocating invertebrates and fish. Our advisers carry out infrastructure audits to identify opportunities to improve yard management.


Further reading from Scotland's Farm Advisory Service:

Nutrient Budgeting I The benefits to your business

Nutrient Budgeting II - Getting started