Submitted to: High Plains Beef Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Large feedyards have recently become more regulated by state and federal government agencies. The impact of large feedyards on their surrounding water environment, concerning fecal coliforms and endotoxin, is limited. It was determined that the average endotoxin concentration in three feedyard playas at various depths was 17,290 ng/ml and the average total fecal coliform concentration was 6.5 x 10**3. The average endotoxin concentration was nine times more concentrated in the muck at the bottom of the playas, and the average total fecal coliform concentration was 10**3 more concentrated than in the water. These high concentrations of endotoxin and coliforms in the feedyard playa water are a potential danger to humans and possibly cattle when the water is placed under high pressure. This water has been used as an aerosol spray to settle feedyard dust and to cool cattle. This information has the potential to save the cattle feeder industry money in lawsuits over human respiratory sickness and potential slow weight gains in feeder calves.