CAFOs in the Yadkin River basin.

CAFOs in the Yadkin River basin.

The Yadkin Basin has been home to some of the most productive agriculture in North Carolina for three centuries. Today, we see a thriving agricultural economy co-existing with the spread of suburbs and cities in the basin. The Riverkeeper works with both communities to ensure that we all do our part to preserve the waters of the basin for those downstream. 

Clean water is needed by farms and families alike. While the human population of the Yadkin valley has grown rapidly over the past two generations, it has been outpaced by the number of animals that are grown and slaughtered in the watershed. As part of Waterkeeper Alliance's Pure Farms/Pure Water campaign, Yadkin Riverkeeper is committed to working with communities throughout the basin to find local solutions that protect water quality for future generations and to advocate for more enforceable regulations for the CAFOs industry.  

  • There are an estimated 50 million chickens living in the upper Yadkin basin at any given time at over 700 facilities.

  • Cattle CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) are required to have discharge permits with the state Department of Environment & Natural Resources.  Chicken growers are not.

  • In order to be cost effective chicken litter must be spread within a 100 square mile local area.  


Locations of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in North Carolina

Click the map for an interactive locator of CAFOs in NC