NRCS Practice Standard: Trails and Walkways (575)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Trails and Walkways (575)
A trail is a constructed path with a vegetated or earthen surface. A walkway is a constructed path with an artificial surface. A trail/walkway is used to facilitate the movement of animals, people, or off-road vehicles.
This practice is used where there is a need to: Provide or improve animal access to forage, water, working/handling facilities, or shelter; Facilitate improved grazing efficiency and distribution; Protect ecologically sensitive, erosive, or potentially erosive sites; Provide pedestrian or off-road vehicle access to agricultural, construction, or maintenance operations; Or provide trails/walkways for recreational activities or access to recreation sites.
The trail or walkway will be designed to accommodate the expected frequency of use and the type of user. It will also have a surface that matches the usage. An infrequently used trail can be vegetated with grass. A walkway that is used daily would have a hardened surface. If it is necessary to locate the walkway in a wet area, an elevated boardwalk could be used.
This practice has a minimum expected life of 10 years. Maintenance of a trail or walkway can include periodic grading or reshaping to maintain the designed grade or dimensions, replacement of surface materials, reseeding damaged vegetation, and removal of manure accumulations.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Trails and Walkways (Code 575) is almost always installed in conjunction with NRCS CPS Fence (Code 382) when used to facilitate livestock movement. It is often applied with NRCS CPS Prescribed Grazing (Code 528) to complement a rotational grazing system.
Other commonly associated conservation practices are include:
To view the national NRCS standard Trails and Walkways please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY