Alternatives for managing agricultural waste are available for any given agricultural operation. As described in chapters 2 and 9, an agricultural waste management system can consist of any one or all of the following functions: production, collection, storage, treatment, transfer, and utilization. These functions are carried out by planning, applying, and operating individual components.
A component can be a piece of equipment, such as a pump; a structure, such as a waste storage tank; or an operation, such as composting. The combination of the components should allow the flexibility needed to efficiently handle all forms of waste generated for a given enterprise. In addition, the components must be compatible and integrated with each other. All components should be designed to be simple, manageable, and durable, and they should require low maintenance. In this chapter, components are discussed under section headings that describe the function that they are to accomplish.
Components that affect the volume and consistency of agricultural waste produced are included in the production function. Roof gutters and downspouts and diversion to exclude clean water from areas of waste are examples of components that reduce the volume of waste material that needs management. Fences and walls that facilitate collection of waste confine the cattle, thus increase the volume.
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