Environmental issues and wintering pen for cow-calf. 15th years of research - written for presentation at the CSBE/SCGAB 2016 Annual Conference Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre 3-6 July 2016 [Paper No. CSBE 16-064]

Pelletier, Fréderic; Godbout, Stéphane; Georg, Heiko GND; Brassard, Patrick; Fournel, Sébastien; Sporkmann, Katrin Heike; Chrétien, Francois; Joncas, Roch

During the winter months, cow-calves are generally confined in wintering sites consisting of a wintering pen (WP) which is combined with a vegetative filter strip (VFS). This approach is widely accepted and used as an economical and simple method for rearing cows during winter. Over the 15th last years, a series of research projects were conducted on the wintering setup built in Deschambault, Quebec. The original setup consisted of four pens combined with four VFS. Results obtained from the first five winters of experiment showed that the approach may require some modifications. The snowmelt in spring was identified as a critical period generating significant amounts of water that were not caught by the VFS. After these winters of experimentation and modelling, modifications were made involving changes to several aspects in order to control runoff water from the WP during snowmelt. Results highlighted that the changes made to the setup tended to reduce and delay runoff water until the end of April when the vegetation was growing in the VFS. Even though the changes introduced have contributed towards reducing excessive volumes of water and reducing the risk of nearby surface and ground water contamination, they are not always 100% effective and they also brought some issues with the daily management of the pen.

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Pelletier, Fréderic / Godbout, Stéphane / Georg, Heiko / et al: Environmental issues and wintering pen for cow-calf. 15th years of research - written for presentation at the CSBE/SCGAB 2016 Annual Conference Halifax World Trade and Convention Centre 3-6 July 2016 [Paper No. CSBE 16-064]. Orleans/Ontario 2016. Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE).

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