NRCS Practice Standard: Vegetated Treatment Area (635)
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:
Vegetated Treatment Area (635)
A Vegetated Treatment Area is an area of permanent vegetation used for agricultural wastewater treatment.
Vegetated treatment areas are used to improve water quality by reducing loading of nutrients, organics, pathogens, and other contaminants associated with animal manure and other wastes and wastewater by treating agricultural wastewater and runoff from livestock holding areas. More than one treatment strip may be needed.
For the wastewater treatment strip to work properly, discharge to and through it must be in the form of sheet flow so that the discharge does not concentrate into channels. Some means, such as a ditch, curb, or gated pipe, is provided to disperse concentrated flow and ensure sheet flow across the width of the treatment strip. Permanent herbaceous vegetation, consisting of a single species or a mixture of grasses, legumes, and/or other forbs adapted to the soil and climate, is established in the treatment strip.
The vegetated treatment area must receive regular maintenance for it to operate as planned.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Vegetated Treatment Area (Code 635) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:
To view the full NRCS standard for Vegetated Treatment Areas 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