Manure Storage - Structure that stores manure until conditions are appropriate for field application.

Manure Storage - Structure that stores manure until conditions are appropriate for field application.

How it works
The type of manure storage structure you use depends upon your livestock operation, animal waste management system and planned field application. Several options exist including an earthen storage pond, above or below ground tank, pit underneath a confinement facility or a sheltered concrete slab area. Manure can be pumped, scraped and hauled, pushed or flushed into your storage structure. The structure's purpose is to safely contain the manure and keep nutrient loss and pollution of downstream water bodies to a minimum by preventing runoff.

How it helps

  • Protects water quality, by preventing runoff from feedlots.
  • Cuts fertilizer costs and reduces nutrient losses.
  • Allows for field application when conditions are right.

Planning ahead

  • Is the structure planned for the proper location considering the landscape, potential odor
    problems, visibility, aesthetic value and compatibility with existing farm buildings?
  • Will the structure store manure in a form you have the equipment to handle?
  • Are there buffer zones of vegetation around the structure to filter any runoff and to improve
  • Is the structure the right size to handle the amount of manure produced by your livestock
    during the planned storage period?

Tech notes

  • Storage period should be determined by manure use schedule. Plan to empty at least twice
    a year.
  • If manure is stored as a solid, it should be protected from precipitation.
  • Runoff from land surrounding livestock facilities should be diverted from storage structures.
  • Structures should be fenced for livestock and human safety.
  • Ramps built for handling equipment should meet safety standards.


  • Watch for any leaks or seepage and make repairs.
  • Repair any damaged fences immediately.

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