For information on animal waste management planning, see the Links to BMP Guides . All farms should have a Whole Farm Plan (WFP), Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP), and emergency action plan, as appropriate. Planning should include a pollutant mass balance analysis to assess if the farm is a significant contributor of pollutants to the environment. Emergency action plans should detail contingencies for potential major events such as large-scale spills of liquid manure, lagoon water, fuel oils, and other liquid materials.
The production of unnecessary wastes should be kept to a minimum, and management procedures for the waste produced should be based on both environmental and economic considerations. Approaches can include physical BMPs, nutrient management plans for applying animal waste to croplands and pasture, and stakeholder education and outreach. Approaches will depend largely on the type and number of animals, the local hydrogeology and climate, and the applicable regulations. Assessing the effectiveness of BMPs can at times be difficult because in many cases the physical reality is extremely complex.
Alternatives are at times available that do not negatively impact or cost more than current AFO operations, but can significantly reduce contaminant releases. In other cases, there are strategies that AFOs can employ that end up reducing contaminant emissions while also positively impacting AFO operations and profits. Cost-sharing programs have proven effective for helping motivate farmers to make pollution control BMP improvements.