NRCS Practice Standard: Watering Facility (614)

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NRCS Practice Standard: Watering Facility (614)

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:

Watering Facility (614)

A watering facility is a means of providing drinking water to livestock or wildlife.

Practice Information

A watering facility is used to provide livestock and/or wildlife with drinking water to meet their daily needs. Proper location of a trough improves animal distribution and vegetation associated with the watering facility. A watering facility is sometimes installed to keep livestock out of streams and other surface water areas where water quality is a concern.

This practice applies to all land uses where there is a need for a watering facility for livestock and/or wildlife, where there is a source of water that is adequate in quantity and quality, and where soils and topography are suitable for a facility.

The water source may be a well, spring, stream, pond, municipal water supply, or other source, including water hauled from offsite, in some situations. A tank can be installed to store water to supply the trough. A watering ramp can be used to provide controlled access to a pond or stream.

This practice has a minimum expected life of 10 years. Operation and maintenance of the watering facility includes cleaning, repair, or replacement of damaged components, ensuring adequate inflow and outflow, and winterizing. If a portable trough is used operation and maintenance includes moving the trough and monitoring the condition of the associated vegetation.

Common Associated Practices

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Watering Facility (Code 614) is commonly used with other conservation practices such as:

  • Water Well (Code 642)
  • Livestock Pipeline (Code 516)
  • Spring Development (Code 574)
  • Fence (Code 382)
  • Trails and Walkways (Code 575)
  • Pond (Code 378)
  • Heavy Use Area Protection (Code 561)
  • Prescribed Grazing (Code 528)

  • To view the national NRCS standard Watering Facility please click here.

    Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC United States 1-833-ONE-USDA Visit Company Website

    Solution Type

    • General Support and Other


    • Others


    • Other

    To view additional information about this vendor, click below.

    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 Comments/Opinions:

    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.

    Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

    View the Scoring Page

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