NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE
CONSERVATION PRACTICE STANDARD
HEAVY USE AREA PROTECTION
This practice does not apply to Conservation
Practice Standards Access Road (Code 560 or
Critical Area Planting (Code 342).
Criteria Applicable to All Purposes
All planned work shall comply with all federal,
state, and local laws and regulations.
Drainage and Erosion Control. Provision
shall be made for surface and subsurface
drainage, as needed, and for disposal of runoff (Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources Conservation Service) without causing erosion or water quality
impairment. Provision shall be made to DEFINITION exclude unpolluted run-on water from the
treatment area. All treatment areas shall be The stabilization of areas frequently and
shaped to prevent ponding of water. intensively used by people, animals, or
vehicles by establishing vegetative cover, Foundation. All site foundations shall be surfacing with suitable materials, and/or evaluated for soil moisture, permeability, installing needed structures. texture, and bearing strength in combination
with the design load and anticipated frequency PURPOSE of use.
This practice may be used as a part of a Areas to be treated shall be excavated with conservation management system to support special attention to providing vertical edges one or more of the following purposes. around the perimeter.
; Reduce soil erosion. A base course of gravel, crushed stone, other
suitable material, and/or geotextile shall be ; Improve water quantity and quality.
provided on all sites with a need for increased ; Improve air quality. load bearing strength, drainage, separation of
material and soil reinforcement. ; Improve aesthetics.
An impervious barrier shall be provided on ; Improve livestock health. sites with a porous foundation (high
permeability rate), where there is a need to CONDITIONS WHERE PRACTICE APPLIES protect ground water from contamination. This practice applies to urban, agricultural, Foundation preparation shall consist of recreational, or other frequently and removal and disposal of soil and other intensively used areas requiring treatment to material that are not adequate to support the address one or more resource concerns. design loads. When used on livestock operations, this Filter Fabric. A nonwoven needle-punched practice will be completed as a component of geotextile fabric with a minimum tensile a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan strength of 150 lbs. and minimum weight of 6 or Prescribed Grazing (Code 528A).
NRCS, TN Conservation practice standards are reviewed periodically, and updated if needed. To obtain the current version of this standard, contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service. May 2003
ounces per square yard shall be installed
under all treatment areas, unless foundation is Fine Aggregate (screenings on rock or the surface treatment is concrete. or ? inch to No. 200) 2” to 3” A minimum overlap of geotextile panels Coarse Aggregate (2? without sewing shall be 12 inches at all joints. to ? inches) 4” to 6” Surface Treatment. The type of material Nonwoven Geotextile Fabric selected shall be appropriate for the loading,
use, and exposure of the area. Options Existing Subgrade
Figure 1 – Details for 2-layer aggregate pads* ; Concrete. Thickness shall be a minimum
of 4 inches for livestock traffic or 5 inches
where equipment loading is expected. ; NOTE: 1-layer pads can consist of 6 to 8 Compressive strength of concrete after 28 inches of fine aggregate material. days curing shall be 3,500 psi. Welded wire
mesh, 6” x 6” x 10/10 gauge, reinforcing Figure 1: shall be used in the slab. If welded wire
fabric is omitted from concrete slabs and
only fiber additives are used, contraction ; Other Cementitious Materials. Soil joint spacing will be reduced from a cement, roller compacted concrete, and maximum of 30 feet to a maximum of 10 coal combustion by-products (flue gas feet in any direction. Sawn joints shall be desulfurization sludge and fly ash) may be one-fourth of the slab's thickness in depth. used as surface material, if designed and Formed joints shall be of a keyway type. installed to withstand the anticipated loads Smooth vertical joints through the slab are and surface abrasion. not permitted. Fiber shall consist of 3/4"
length virgin homopolymer polypropylene Other Treatment. Where other surfacing fibers, either the collated fibrillated or materials are used, such as cinders, tree bark, monofilament type. The minimum rate of sawdust, brick chips, shredded rubber, etc., the application is 1.5 lbs. of fiber per cubic yard minimum thickness shall be 6 inches and shall be of concrete. renewed as animals remove the surface. ; Bituminous Pavement (Asphalt). The Structures. All structures shall be designed thickness of the pavement course, the kind according to appropriate NRCS standards and and size of aggregate, the type of specifications, Engineering Field Handbook
proportioning of bituminous materials, and recommendations, and sound engineering the mixing and placing of these materials practice(s).
shall be in accordance with Tennessee Vegetative Measures. Bermuda and/or tall Department of Transportation criteria for the fescue mixtures shall be established and expected loading. managed according to the Conservation
Practice Standard Critical Area Planting (Code ; Aggregate. Coarse aggregate shall be 2? 342). Bermuda shall be established first inches to ? inch in size. Fine aggregate between May 1 and July 1. Tall fescue shall be can range from ? inch to No. 200 (1/200 established between August 15 and October 15. inch). Sufficient fines (size No. 100 or less) If bermuda is dense, establish tall fescue at the shall be present in the fine aggregate to end of recommended seeding date. If promote bonding of the material when vegetation is not appropriate, other measures compacted. Aggregate (fine or coarse) shall be used to prevent erosion. shall be underlain by nonwoven geotextile.
Figure 1 specifies the requirements for two-Additional Criteria for Agricultural Areas layer pads. The layer can consist of 6 to 8
inches of compacted fine aggregate Where lanes or travel ways are planned that material. facilitate animal movement, Animal Trails and
Walkways (Code 575) and/or Stream Crossing
(Code 576) shall be used. Where access NRCS, TN
561-3 roads are planned to facilitate heavy farm and fields, then more than one HUA may
equipment, Access Road (Code 560) shall be be installed. A combination of HUA's on the
farm shall not exceed 100 square feet per used.
animal (1,000 lbs.). Additional Criteria for Winter Feeding Size - Confined. Animals confined a total of Heavy Use Areas 45 days (1,080 hours) during a 12-month
period on an area are considered confined. Strategies to unroll hay, rotate hay rings
An example would be dairy cows confined 4 across the field, or feed in remote field
hours per day times 365 = 1,460 hours. This locations when opportunities exist for field
represents a confined operation. The size of access by equipment shall be considered
the HUA can range from 100 to 200 square before installing heavy use areas for feeding.
feet per animal (1,000 lbs.) in confinement. Location. Heavy use area (HUA) winter An HUA designed for animals confined must feeding areas shall be located adjacent to all-include provisions for developing a manure weather access roads. HUA winter feeding and wastewater handling and storage areas shall be located outside of floodplains. component of a Comprehensive Nutrient If site restrictions require location within the Management Plan (CNMP). floodplain, heavy use areas shall be protected
Slope. HUA feeding areas shall be from inundation or damage from a 25-year,
constructed on relatively level areas. They 24-hour storm event.
shall be mounded with slopes away from Sensitive Areas. Any part of the HUA feeding feeders a minimum of ? to ? inch per foot. area located upslope and within 300 feet of a See Figure 3. sensitive area (water source, water
If the wasted feed in combination with the conveyance, or sinkhole) shall have one or
manure lack the properties that promote both of the following installed:
stacking, then a storage facility shall be ； A minimum 35-foot filter strip established installed and managed in accordance with and maintained adjacent to the water Waste Storage Facility (Code 313). source, water conveyance, or sinkhole.
Storage and Stacking. When manure and The filter strip shall be established and
wasted hay/feed is removed from the HUA, it maintained in permanent vegetation in
shall be stored or stacked until spreading can accordance with Filter Strip (Code 393) or
occur. For confined operations, storage shall Riparian Forest Buffer (Code 391); and/or
occur in accordance with development of a ； A fence constructed in such a way that CNMP. For non-confined operations where livestock must travel a minimum of 50 feet manure and wasted hay/feed have the from the edge of the HUA across the slope consistency to stack, it shall be stacked in a before being able to turn down the slope to position higher than the area around it for a the sensitive area(s) (see Figure 2). The period not to exceed 30 days. If a longer fence must be located within 2 feet of the period is needed, a cover or storage facility HUA and a minimum of 70 feet from the shall be utilized in accordance with Waste sensitive area. The area below the fence Field Storage (Code 749) or Waste Storage shall be maintained in permanent Facility (Code 313). If the manure and vegetation. The fence shall be installed in wasted hay/feed do not have the consistency accordance with Fence (Code 382). to stack, then it shall be stored in a storage
facility in accordance with Waste Storage Size - Non-confined. The size of HUA Facility (Code 313). Manure mixed with feeding areas can range from 50 to 100 appropriate amounts of wasted hay/feed or square feet per animal (1,000 lbs.) in non-dried will exhibit material with 20 percent or confinement. The maximum size of an HUA greater solids content that can be stacked. A shall not exceed 2,800 square feet. Where minimum 100-foot vegetative buffer will be concrete is used as the surface treatment, an maintained below the stacking area for the additional minimum 4-foot wide aggregate duration of winter. transition area not to exceed 10 feet wide shall be provided around the HUA. If the herd is maintained in groups on separate parts of the
Maintenance. The HUA feeding area shall be Additional Criteria for Gate HUA
maintained to achieve the intended purpose. Heavy use areas shall be mounded and extend Manure and wasted hay/feed shall be scraped a minimum of 3 feet beyond the edges of the from the HUA when accumulation of the gate opening and extend in all directions as manure and wasted hay/feed is 6 inches or shown in Figure 4. The shape of the HUA is greater. When spreading occurs, maintain a
35-foot non-application setback from all
sensitive areas such as water sources, water
conveyances, and sinkholes. Spreading shall HUA occur as soon as field conditions exist for land 3’ 12’ application by equipment and at periods when /------/------/-- ------/------/--- crops are actively growing. When re-Gate vegetation is necessary, follow criteria for 9’ Vegetative Measures.
8’ Bale Figure 4 – HUA at Gate feeders Fence
------/------/------/------/------/------/------/------/---Additional Criteria for Watering Facility HUA Min. ---/------ Max. of 2’ of 70’ Min. of 50’ (both For areas such as watering facilities or mineral sides) boxes (see Figure 5), the treatment area shall
Water source, conveyance, or extend a minimum of 10 feet to a maximum of
sinkhole 16 feet outside the limits of the water facility
and should be mounded. A freeze-proof
watering facility shall be anchored to a Figure 2 – Plan View of HUA Feeding Area concrete pad.
Any part of the HUA water facility located
upslope and within 50 feet of a sensitive area
(water source, water conveyance, or sinkhole)
shall have measures installed to maintain a Provide slope ? to ? vegetative buffer between the water facility inch per foot away Bale and sensitive area. The width of the buffer from bale or bunk adjacent to the sensitive area shall be at least
Livestock watering access ramps into water
sources shall be fenced and installed in Figure 3 – Cross-section of HUA accordance with drawing HUA-561-1 or STR-
578-1. The area around the water source shall
be protected from access by livestock.
Ideally shown w/ cow’s
front legs on concrete
10’ to 16’
Figure 5 – HUA around Water Facility
Additional Criteria for Grassed Loafing Lot Additional Criteria for Recreational HUA
The treated area shall be conducive to the Grassed loafing lots are intended for overall recreation area and aesthetically blend vegetative cover, not grazing. Refer to NRCS with the general landscape and surroundings. conservation practice standard, Prescribed
Grazing (528A), to develop a prescribed Plants, landscaping timbers, traffic control grazing plan. Establish grassed loafing lots as measures, wooden walkways, etc., shall be follows: evaluated for effectiveness, aesthetics, and
accessibility as covered by the Americans with 1. Establish a minimum of four grassed lots. Disabilities Act. Grassed lots should be sized at no smaller
than one acre per 20 cows except on CONSIDERATIONS favorable sites. Up to 30 cows may be
considered, provided the site has Consider strategies to unroll hay, rotate hay adequate soil fertility, favorable slopes, rings across the field, or feed in remote field and four or more lots are planned. locations when opportunities exist for field
access by equipment. 2. Avoid slopes that are less than 2 percent
or greater than 12 percent, unless Consider placing heavy use areas where additional lots are added and/or drainage access is to multiple pastures. issues are addressed. Consider forage systems that provide grazing 3. Vegetate lots in accordance with this that reduces feeding to 90 days or less. standard and Tennessee Conservation Consideration will be given to the location, Practice Standard Critical Area Planting distance, and gradient to streams, sinkholes, (Code 342). and well heads relative to the proposed site. 4. Develop an operation and maintenance Depth to bedrock, aquifer flow characteristics, plan that addresses frequency of lot animal traffic patterns, animal density, type of rotation, fencing patterns, animal trails and maintenance, proximity to neighbors, walkways, etc. prevailing winds, visual effects, operation and
maintenance cost, and local, state, and federal 5. Provide an alternative watering system regulations will also be considered. that meets the needs of the rotational
schedule and protects water quality. For areas with aggregate surfaces that will be
frequently scraped, consideration should be 6. Fence cattle from all streams, water given to the use of concrete or cementitious bodies, and sinkholes. materials to lessen the recurring cost of 7. Maintain a minimum 30-foot grass buffer aggregate replacement. between grassed loafing lots and streams, The stabilizing material should be selected unless the runoff is collected and considering the intended use, desired managed by a method outlined in the maintenance frequency, and runoff control. Comprehensive Nutrient Management
Plan. This buffer shall be designed in For urban and recreational areas, traffic accordance with the Tennessee control plants, landscaping timbers, wooden Conservation Practice Standard Filter walkways, etc., should be evaluated for Strip (Code 393). effectiveness and aesthetics.
Fence. Fencing shall be installed as Consider the increase in the amount and peak necessary to control all animal traffic. Fencing rate of runoff due to the construction of a more shall be built in accordance with Tennessee impervious surface. Consideration should be Conservation Practice Standard Fence (Code given to measures that will reduce the peak 382). Alternative fencing procedures that discharge rates, if these rates can cause provide permanent and positive control may damage to the receiving areas. be approved on a case-by-case basis. Consider the effects on the erosion and the
movement of sediment, animal waste, and
soluble and sediment-attached substances Design Data:
carried by runoff. The following is a list of the minimum required Consider the effects of changes in surface and design data (record on engineering paper or ground water caused by introduction of other paper as appropriate):
fertilizer for vegetated areas, and oils and 1. Comprehensive Nutrient Management chemicals associated with concrete and Plan describing type of treatment planned asphalt placement and other construction for waste storage and/or disposal, if such a activities. plan is necessary (see Additional Criteria There may be changes in surface water for Agricultural Areas).
caused by the surfacing of concentrated 2. Plan view of system layout showing extent livestock areas. Provisions should be made to of work area. collect and/or treat all waste from runoff per
the Comprehensive Nutrient Management 3. Profiles of the area disturbed showing Plan. grades and thickness of the base course
and surface treatment, as appropriate. PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS 4. Description of surface treatment (with Plans and specifications for heavy use area material description). Include references protection shall be in keeping with this to plans or components supplied by others. standard and shall describe the requirements 5. Design of Waste Storage Facility (Code for applying the practice to achieve its 313) and other components if required by intended purpose. Comprehensive Nutrient Management All required smoothing, grading, or leveling Plan.
shall be completed prior to the start of the 6. Runoff treatment design. surfacing operations. All components of the
completed structure shall comply with cross-7. Area grading plan.
sections, lines, grades, dimensions, and 8. Seeding, liming, fertilizing, and mulching material specifications shown on the plans. requirements according to Tennessee Supporting Data and Documentation Conservation Practice Standard Critical
Area Planting (Code 342). Components are to be designed according to
sound engineering practices and in 9. Quantities for individual work items. accordance with NRCS conservation practice Written operation and maintenance plan. standards and specifications and the
Engineering Field Handbook. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
Plans, specifications, and reports shall be The Operation and Maintenance (O&M) plan approved by an individual with appropriate job shall specify that the treatment areas and approval authority and shall include: associated practices will be inspected annually
and after significant storm events to identify Field Data and Survey Notes: repair and maintenance needs.
1. Documentation of discussions/decisions The O&M plan shall contain the operational
made with operator/owner. requirements for managing the heavy use area.
Planned scraping intervals, replacement of 2. Type and number of animals, people, fine material, storage, treatment, and/or and/or vehicles the Heavy Use Area will utilization methods will also be described. serve. Provisions for re-establishment of vegetated 3. Soils investigation auger logs to determine areas will be included.
any special construction needs. The O&M plan shall detail the level of repairs 4. Surveying data such that an accurate needed to maintain the effectiveness and
representation of topography and site useful life of the practice.
conditions may be plotted for the plans If using a front-end loader, recommend back and specifications. dragging the manure/hay to conserve removal NRCS, TN
of gravel from the surface. Consider using Natural Resources Conservation Service fabricated large equipment tire for scraping (NRCS) Field Office Technical Guide, Section surface. IV, NRCS Conservation Practice Standards: The O&M plan shall be provided to, and ; Animal Trails and Walkways, Code 575 discussed with, the operator. The O&M plan ; Fence, Code 382
must complement the Comprehensive Nutrient ; Filter Strip, Code 393
Management Plan, as necessary.; Nutrient Management, Code 590
; Prescribed Grazing, Code 528A
; Riparian Forest Buffer, Code 391 REFERENCES
; Stream Crossing (Interim), Code 576 American Association of State Highway and ; Waste Field Storage (Interim), Code 749 Transportation Officials (AASHTO) ; Wastewater Treatment Strip, Code 635
; Waste Storage Facility, Code 313 American Concrete Institute. ACI 360, Design
; Waste Utilization, Code 633 of Slabs-on-Grade.
NRCS National Engineering Field Handbook Midwest Plan Service, Structures and
Series. Environment Handbook. Revised 1987.
Swisher, Jerry M., Jr., H. E. White, S. B. Carr. Midwest Plan Service. "Using All-Weather
"Dairy Loafing Lot Rotational Management Geotextile Lanes and Pads," Agricultural
System," Publication 404-252. Virginia Engineers Digest, AED 45. July 1999.
Cooperative Extension. Reprinted 1994. Natural Resources Conservation Service
Swisher, Jerry M., Jr., "Nutrient Management (NRCS). Agricultural Waste Management
Using Intensively Managed Loafing Lots on Field Handbook. April 1992.
Dairies," 1998. NRCS Experiences from Field Offices in
Tennessee Department of Transportation. Tennessee (Sevier, Putnam, Overton, Grundy,
Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge White, Clay, Jackson, Giles, Lawrence, and
Construction. 1995. Coffee Counties).
Turner, Larry W., "Using Geotextiles for
Feeding and Traffic Surfaces." University of
Kentucky, AEN-79. August 1997.