It was a muddy mess on the 2015 North Dakota Feedlot Tour June 16. But perhaps the worst of the mess on the gravel roads to some of the farms on the tour.
More than an inch of rain fell the night before and during the annual tour of three new cattle feedlots in southwest North Dakota. The tour bus struggled up and down the gravel roads and was lucky it didn’t end up in the ditch.
Of course, it was muddy in the feedlots, too, but the runoff wasn’t pouring into nearby creeks. At all three ranches, the runoff was being contained on site. The mud, muck and manure was going into lagoons and or into vegetative treatment areas, where the water and the fertilizer will be taken up by a growing crop. The water pouring off the hills surrounding some of the feedlots wasn’t flowing through the pens and feedyards either. It was being diverted around the facilities into the watershed.
“When we started to move dirt, it looked like what we had decided to build overkill,” said Casey Maher, of Maher Angus Ranch, Morristown, S.D. “But we are glad we did it. On a day like today, we can see kind of difference it makes.”
Ottmar Feedyards, Elgin, N.D., and Roth Feedyard, New Leipzig, N.D., were the other farms on the tour hosted by the North Dakota Stockman’s Association Feeders’ Council.