Covered Manure Storage & Access Road at 400-Cow Dairy in Stamford, Delaware County

In May 2011, the Watershed Agricultural Program began construction on a 40’x150’ covered manure storage, one of the largest built to date in the region. The structure addressed water quality issues of manure quantity, storage capacity and potential phosphorus load that impacted the nearby Cannonsville Reservoir. Located at Eklund Farm–a 400-cow organic dairy farm on 2,700 acres in the Town of Stamford, Delaware County–the project addressed water quality issues in a sensitive basin while providing an outdoor storage for manure until its scheduled Spring spreading.

To remedy the stockpiling of manure inside the barn, the team originally proposed locating the manure storage directly behind the dairy barn. However, the landowner preferred the storage unit be built to the back-right of the existing barn. “We installed a scrape pad and alley to improve efficiency of clean up and collection to the outdoor storage area,” explains Pete Steenland, P.E., Engineering Specialist for the Watershed Agricultural Council. “The farmer uses a tractor to clear manure out of the barn and on top the scrape pad. From the scrape pad, the farmer continues pushing the load down a graded ramp, known as the scrape alley. The ramp from the access road leads right into the manure structure. The concrete is sloped and grooved to direct manure and fluids directly into the covered storage area. We built a new access road with a solar powered electric fence that helps the farmer access the barn, animals and covered unit. This work also improved drainage in, around and behind the structure.”

Local contractor, John LaFever of Bovina, performed the excavation work, and shared the job with two subcontractors. Ben Reynolds Construction of Walton poured over 300 cubic yards of concrete, creating the structure’s base. Roofer Kevin Bender, a first-timer to the WAP contractor pool, outfitted the treated lumber frame with tin roof in record time. “These guys came in under cost estimate, got right to work, and did a great job on this straight-out-of-the-box project,” noted Steenland. “The landowner, Bill Eklund, was easy to work with and provided us guidance throughout the planning stage. By late July, we completed the project, including reshaping, regrading and reseeding of the surrounding area. This is a textbook construction project that mitigated water pollution issues quickly and effectively.”