LSU is one of 13 universities working together to reduce the environmental impact of horse farms through a multi-state research project.

The universities led the development of smarter feed strategies and pasture management, as well as an outreach campaign to raise awareness of new sustainable farming methods.

One of the most expensive challenges for horse farms is waste removal, according to Mark Rieger, dean of the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and administrative adviser for the research project.

In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states alone, there are more than 428,000 horses, ponies, and mules on farms. Each horse produces about 50 pounds of manure every day or more than 21.4 million pounds altogether. Water runoff from manure, horse feed and bedding can pollute nearby bodies of water.

The research group was formed to find sustainable, safe strategies for equine operations.