Feed and water should be of concern to livestock producers. Concentrates, forages and water all have the potential to carry organisms that could be harmful to your herd. Salmonella, a cause of diarrhea, has occurred in some feed sources, such as corn, barley, cottonseed, canola and soybeans. Salmonella has also shown up in forages that have been irrigated with contaminated water. Also, improper harvest and storage of forages can lead to clostridial infections. Forage crops can be contaminated by diseases like Johne's that are carried in manure that are spread on fields. Contaminated water could also introduce E. coli, salmonella, or cryptosporidium to your herd.
To ensure the safety of the herd's feed and water supplies:
- Store all feed in covered containers or sealed storage units to prevent rodent contamination.
- Prevent fecal and urine contamination of feed and water by your herd, as will as outside sources (including pests, other animals and farm operations up stream).
- Ask feed suppliers about their practices in the storage and delivery of their products.
- Test water for bacterial, chemical or nutrient contamination.
- Avoid spreading manure on forage crop fields.
- Do not use the same equipment to handle feed and water, such as front-end loader.