Everyone agrees that sand bedding is the gold standard for cow comfort. However, most everyone who uses sand bedding will tell you that they’ve had to overcome problems.

Joe Harner, agricultural engineer at Kansas State University, says producers can increase their success with sand by following these guidelines:

1. Build a containment structure for sand-laden manure.

2. Sand-laden manure will be easier to handle the longer it is contained in storage, except when stored in a lagoon.

3. Avoid using a lagoon or holding pond as storage for sand-laden manure.

4. Use gravity whenever possible to minimize the use of pumps and augers to move sand-laden manure.

5. Do not judge the success of a system designed to handle sand by what is seen on the surface. Generally, the top surface is mostly slurry. But, once the slurry is removed, the remaining material will be less than 80 percent moisture.

6. When flushing sand, it is better to purchase more storage towers and place them close to alleys than to use pipes and elbows to deliver the water to each alley. Doing so allows you to take advantage of the energy created by water depth and head pressure at the point of release.

7. Recycling sand for bedding requires mechanical separation and washing.