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FARM MANAGEMENT

Some“Green” Flooring/Paving Ideas to Consider H ello to all! This is the time of year when the two year old in training sales have really gotten underway. Watching the horses go up to the sales arena at O.B.S., I am noticing more and more facilities using rubber pavers and permeable concrete in the barn aisles, walk ways and wash racks. Not only are these flooring systems very horse friendly, they also incorporate the use of recycled products, help eliminate runoff and enable concrete to help with recharge since water can percolate through the permeable concrete, helping to purify our ground water. First, let’s discuss recycled rubber pavers.” Rubber pavers are used any place in a barn or wash rack where flooring is needed. Their greatest benefit is certainly the safety factor because it’s extremely difficult for a horse to slip or skid on the surface. Shock absorption is another benefit for the horse, as is simply the reduction

If you are considering improving the flooring systems of your barn, wash racks and even your driveways, consider some more positive, beautiful and environmentally friendly concepts. of noise in the barn. Companies also claim that because there is no absorption of bacteria, it could help stop disease spread. Pavers work well in a wash stall because they’re slip resistant, even when the material gets wet. Supposedly indestructible, pavers are known to be easy to clean and maintain. Made from recycled rubber and a binding agent, they use the “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept, so they can help make your barn more environmentally friendly, too. Many race tracks and sales pavilions around the country have installed these pavers in recent years and the trend seems to be continuing. Another option to consider is permeable, “green concrete”, as a flooring option for your barn aisles, walk ways and wash racks. This concrete is also ideal for paving the driveway of your barn and home. An old technology from the 1850’s, the proper use of pervious concrete is today recognized as a Best Management Practice by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because it

provides storm water management and recharges groundwater. Pervious concrete is made with very little, or no sand, allowing water to pass through, thus helping to eliminate runoff that normally goes into our water ways and retention ponds. Pervious concrete is being promoted as a cost-effective and sustainable building material and is being heavily marketed for its use in large parking lots; it percolates storm water straight into the concrete, eliminating sediment and pollutant laden runoff. Soil chemistry and biology can then “treat” the polluted water naturally through the natural filtering process. In a wash rack, walk way and driveway, this means that the “first flush” of rainfall, and/or runoff from washing your animals is captured, allowing it to percolate into the ground. Again, this percolation allows for nature’s filtering process to take place, so up to 90% of pollutants found in water runoff can be eliminated. Pervious concrete is actually modeled after natural groundcover so using it effectively can help eliminate drain puddles around the barn where excess water normally collects. Now, pavement can stop creating a runoff problem and instead help to recharge the groundwater. This is especially important when it is used for driveways and parking areas on the farm or home. The water that normally flies off of these areas, growing into a river and becoming heavily polluted to go into streams and water bodies, is now able to percolate into the groundwater, helping to become part of the “recharge” system. One of the most serious water quality problems today actually stems from pavement runoff. So, if you are considering improving the flooring systems of your barn, wash racks and even your driveways, consider some more positive, beautiful and environmentally friendly concepts. Be sure to contact me or your local Extension agent if you need any help when considering either one of these materials. As always, keep up the good management practices! ■

Schedule a Farm Call: Jamie A. Cohen Farm Outreach Coordinator UF IFAS/Marion County Extension Service 352-671-8792 • jamiecohen@ufl.edu

THE FLORIDA HORSE • JUNE/JULY 2012 125

Profile for Florida Equine Publications

Florida Horse 2012 June/July Directory  

The Florida Horse magazine 2012 annual directory

Florida Horse 2012 June/July Directory  

The Florida Horse magazine 2012 annual directory

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