Increased concentrations of ammonia, nitrogen, phosphorus, and fecal bacteria are being found in parts of the North Bosque River, Upper North Bosque River, and the Leon River. A positive correlation appears to exist between waste concentrations from dairies and the decline of water quality in the surrounding area.
Through funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; the Texas Water Resources Institute and Texas Cooperative Extension are working in a joint effort to expand the market for dairy compost from the Stephenville, Texas area. To support this effort, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is administering an incentive program for public entities that purchase dairy compost. By establishing a sustainable market for this natural manure product, the dairy producer, end-user, and environment benefit.
Dairy compost is an organic soil amendment created from dairy manure. Large portions of plant nutrients ingested by cows appear in the manure and its compost, which, like other compost, can be applied to gardens, fields, or yards to improve soil structure and fertility.