Webinar Series

poultryThe Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community offers a free monthly webinar on a variety of issues related to animal manure management.

Next Live Webinar

The next webinar will be held on December 15, 2023 at 1:30 pm central. It will be “Energy Conservation in Livestock and Poultry Operations”. More information…

Webinar Schedule

The upcoming webinars will continue to include air and water quality topics. As webcast topics and speakers are finalized, they are posted at Upcoming Webcasts and announced in the newsletter.

Attending a Live Webinar

The webinars are presented live on the third Friday of each month (some exceptions apply) at 2:30 pm (eastern), 1:30 pm (central), 12:30 pm (mountain) and 11:30 am (pacific). All webinars are recorded and archived for on-demand viewing.

    1. First-time viewers should follow the steps on the How Do I Participate in a Webinar? page to be sure you have the appropriate software and web connection.
    2. On the day of the webcast connect through the Live Webinar Information page.

Due to system changes in the summer of 2016, the URL for the webinar will change each time, so please plan to connect through the Live Webinar Information page.

Viewing an Archived Webinar

Each archive includes the video segments, presentation slides, written summaries of the question and answer session (when available), links to additional information, and access to individual segments within each webinar.

You have two options for finding and archived presentation:

Continuing Education Units

The webcast series has been approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and to members of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS).

Upcoming Webinars

How Do I Participate in a Webinar?

Past webinars are available at Webinar Archive

When Are Webinars Held?

The one-hour webinar seminars are typically held on the third Friday of each month at 2:30 pm (eastern), 1:30 pm (central), 12:30 pm (mountain) and 11:30 am (pacific). This schedule is subject to change. To view a webinar, connect through the Live Webinar Information page.

Webinar Schedule

Date Topic/Title Add to Calendar Marketing Materials Registration
December 15, 2023 Energy Conservation in Livestock and Poultry Operations Outlook Google Printable Flyer Online Announcement Now Available!
January 19, 2024 NAEMS (tentative)
February, 2024 Upcoming Manure Tools (tentative)


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) Continuing Education Units

These webcasts have been approved for 1 continuing education unit (each) as part of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) program. To receive CEUs, view a live or archived webcast, complete an evaluation (if available), and contact ARPAS, 217-356-5390 to have the credit applied to your CEU balance. Repeat this process for each webcast being utilized for CEUs.

2023 Webinars

More Webinars…

2022 Webinars

Topics include: Carbon Markets, Worker Safety, CEAP I & II, Antimicrobial Resistant movement, Manure Nutrient Trends, Vermifiltration, Urban Manure Management, Manure Pipelines, and Lagoon and Digester Cleanouts. More…

2021 Webinars

Topics include: Edge of Field Monitoring, PFAS, Food Safety, Digesters & Natural Gas, Manuresheds, Extreme Events, Antimicrobial Resistance, Sustainability, Weeds, and Soil Health. More…

2020 Webinars

Topics include: Less typical species, designer manure, precision technologies, human health, poultry systems, communicating science, compost emissions, PFAS, and manure transfers. More…

2019 Webinars

Topics include: Separation technologies, soil health, cleaning barn exhaust air, pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient inventories, and phosphorus management. More…

2018 Webinars

Topics include: Emergency response, treatment technologies, manure foaming, small farm equipment, manure’s impact on soil, manure irrigation, manure pit death, sampling, and biosecurity. More…

2017 Webinars

Topics include: Climate resiliency, avian influenza, side-dressing nitrogen on emerged corn, runoff risk advisory tools, anaerobic digestion, manure handling safety, long-term manure application, and managing edge of field losses.. More…

2016 Webinars

Topics include: Construction and maintenance of manure ponds, antibiotic resistance, manure entomology, NAQSAT, Drones, manure safety and transport, the nutrient recycling challenge, Vermont nutrient management training course, and pathogens. More…

2015 Webinars

Topics include: Manure Apps, Gypsum Bedding, Livestock Housing, Tile Drained Lands, Micro Manure Management, Horse Manure Composting, Uses of Biochar, Thermal Manure-to-Energy Systems, Mortality Management during Avian Influenza, Communication Pathways, Communicating During Controversy. More…

2014 Webinars

Topics include: Capturing Nutrients, Manure as a biofuel, Water Quality Index, Liquid manure nutrients, Carbon credits, Bioaerosols, WOTUS, Biosecurity, Mortality composting, Whole Farm Nutrient management, Winter manure application, Next generation activities. More…

2013 Webinars

Topics include: Risk Management, Waste to Worth, Mono-slope beef barns and research results, Bioavailability of Phosphorus, Capturing Nutrients. More…

2012 Webinars

Topics include: Biofilters, The 4Rs, Microbes, Life-Cycle Assessments, Carbon Footprints, Nitrates, Adaptive Nutrient Managment, Chesapeake Bay, Emergency Management. More…

2011 Webinars

Topics include: Top-dressing manure, Chesapeake Bay, Soil Health, Reducing Odor Risk, Anaerobic Digestion, NMP implementation, NAEMS, Lagoon Closure, Manure Economics, 2011 NPDES CAFO rule. More…

2010 Webinars

Topics include: Cover Crops, Vegetative Environmental Buffers, Mortality Composting, Manure Spills, NAQSAT, Manure on No-Till, SPCC, Ammonia Emissions. More…

2009 Webinars

Topics include: Feeding Strategies, Carbon Footpring, Conserving Nitrogen, AFO Inspection, Mortalities, Air Emissions, Grazing Management. More…

2008 Webinars

Topics include: Market Based Conservation, Antibiotics and Hormones, Dry Manure Housing Systems, Ammonia, Small Farms, Regulations, Manure Management Planner Software. More…

2007 Webinars

Topics include: Integrated Nutrient Management, Manure Application to Legumes, Value of Manure in Land Application, Smithfield Project, Value Added Processing of Manure, Manure Treatment Technologies, Value of Manure in Energy Generation, Vegetative Treatment Systems, and Innovative Manure Treatment Technologies. More…

2006 Webinars

Topics include: CNMP Core Curriculum, Pathogens, EPA CAFO Regulations. More…

Having Trouble?

If you experience difficulty in viewing webinars, please visit our webinar troubleshooting page:

Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) Continuing Education Units Available Through the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

How Do I Get CEUs?

Certified Crop Advisors (CCA), Certified Professional Agronomists (CPAg), and Certified Professional Soil Scientists (CPSS) are eligible for CEUs. You can obtain them by doing one of the following:

    1. View a live webinar. You will be instructed to submit your name, email and CCA# during registration. This will be submitted to the CCA program along with an attendance list.
    2. View an archived webinar, and click on the quiz link on each page or search for the title of the webinar in the CCA course catalog. The CCA program charges a fee for CEUs obtained through self-study.

Nutrient Management CEUs

Soil & Water Management CEUs

Professional Development CEUs

Crop Management CEUs

Integrated Pest Management CEUs

Having Trouble?

If you have difficulties playing back one or more of the webinars, visit our webinar troubleshooting page.

Environmental Benefits of Manure Application

For centuries, animal manure has been recognized as a soil “builder” because of its contributions to improving soil quality. Environmental benefits are possible from manure application if manure and manure nutrients are applied and timing and placement follows best management practices. When compared to more conventional fertilizer, manure properly applied to land has the potential to provide environmental benefits including:

    • Increased soil carbon and reduced atmospheric carbon levels
    • Reduced soil erosion and runoff
    • Reduced nitrate leaching
    • Reduced energy demands for natural gas-intensive nitrogen(N) fertilizers

Manure Effects on Soil Organic Matter

Manure contains most elements required for plant growth including N, P, potassium, and micronutrients (Manure as a Source of Crop Nutrients and Soil Amendment). However, it is manure’s organic carbon that provides its potential environmental value. Soil organic matter is considered nature’s signature of a productive soil. Organic carbon from manure provides the energy source for the active, healthy soil microbial environment that both stabilizes nutrient sources and makes those nutrients available to crops.

photo of solid manure spreader
Manure is comparable to commercial fertilizer as a plant food and, if applied according to a sound nutrient plan, has environmental benefits over commercial fertilizer. cc2.5 manure nutrient management group

Several long-term manure application studies have illustrated its ability to slow or reverse declining soil organic levels of cropland:


    The ability of manure to maintain or build soil organic matter levels has a direct impact on enhancing the amount of carbon sequestration in cropped soils.Manure organic matter contributes to improved soil structure, resulting in improved water infiltration and greater water-holding capacity leading to decreased crop water stress, soil erosion, and increased nutrient retention. An extensive literature review of historical soil conservation experiment station data from 70 plot years at 7 locations around the United States suggested that manure produced substantial reductions in soil erosion (13%-77%) and runoff (1%-68%). Increased manure application rates produced greater reductions in soil erosion and runoff. Additional studies during years following manure application suggest a residual benefit of past manure application.

    Overview of Manure Impacts on Soil (Mark Risse, University of Georgia). Visit the archived webinar for additional videos on carbon, fertility, and soil health.

    Manure Effects on Soil Erosion

    In addition, surface application of manure behaves similarly to crop residue. Crop residue significantly decreases soil erosion by reducing raindrop impact which detaches soil particles and allows them to move offsite with water runoff. Data has been published showing how manure can coat the soil surface and reduce raindrop impact in the same way as crop residue. Therefore, in the short-term, surface manure applications have the ability to decrease soil erosion leading to a positive impact on environmental protection.

    Organic Nitrogen

    In addition, organic N (manure N tied to organic compounds) is more stable than N applied as commercial fertilizer. A significant fraction of manure N is stored in an organic form that is slowly released as soils warm and as crops require N. Commercial fertilizer N is applied as either nitrate or an ammonium (easily converted to nitrate). Nitrate-N is soluble in water and mobile. These forms contribute to leaching during excess precipitation (e.g., spring rains prior to or early in growing season) or irrigation. Manure N’s slow transformation to nitrate is better timed to crop N needs, resulting in less leaching potential. In fact, manure N is a natural slow-release form of N.

    Energy Benefits

    Recycling of manure nutrients in a cropping system as opposed to manufacturing or mining of a new nutrient resource also provides energy benefits. Commercial nitrogen fertilizers consume significant energy as a feedstock and for processing resulting in greenhouse gas emissions. Anhydrous ammonia requires the equivalent of 3300 cubic feet of natural gas to supply the nitrogen requirements of an acre of corn (assuming 200 lb of N application). Phosphorus and potassium fertilizers also have energy requirements for mining and processing. Substituting manure for commercial fertilizers significantly reduces crop production energy costs

    It is important to remember that the environmental benefits of manure outlined in this article are only beneficial when best management practices for reducing soil erosion are implemented in concert with proper levels of manure nutrient application and use.

    Recommended Reading on Environmental Benefits of Manure


  • Authors: Rick Koelsch, University of Nebraska, and Ron Wiederholt, North Dakota State University
  • Reviewers: Charles Wortmann, University of Nebraska, and Steve Brinkman, Iowa NRCS
    Last reviewed on October 25, 2022 by Leslie Johnson, Animal Manure Management Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension.

Archived Webinars, Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

Browse Webinars in Chronological Order

Each archive page contains video clips, presentation slides, written summaries of the question and answer session (when available), and links to additional information.

Most Recent Webinars

Software Need to View Archived Webinars

Webinars require Flash Player (already installed in 98% of web browsers). The power point presentations and other documents are available in PDF format and require Adobe Reader to open.

Air Quality


Manure Treatment Technologies

Manure Nutrient Management

Manure Value and Economics

Emerging Issues

Manure Storage, Handling and Mortality Management

Small Farms

Environmental Planning

Professional Development

Economics of Anaerobic Digesters for Processing Animal Manure

Digesters are of interest with regards to climate changeenergyair quality, and water quality. However, digesters are capital-intensive and difficult to maintain. Profitability of a farm-based digester usually requires utilizing the energy, carbon credits, tipping fees, and marketing other co-products such as manure solids that are separated out and composted.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s AgSTAR program has a website http://www.epa.gov/agstar/ with information to assist livestock producers who are considering installation of a digester.  The website contains a database of farm digesters that are operating in the United States or that have operated in the past.  It also provides a spreadsheet-based screening tool to help assess the potential feasibility of a project based on factors such as the feedstock, onsite conditions, the system type and size, and the planned biogas use.

What does a digester cost to install?  Costs will vary widely depending on the situation, but the two sources discussed below show what some recent dairy farm digester installations have cost. The reports are the 2015 article by Manning and Hadrich, and the annual reports of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (CDFA).

The CDFA funded 117 dairy farm projects between 2015 and 2021.  All but one of them were covered lagoon digesters (see the fact sheet by Hamilton for a discussion of digester types).  Those funded in 2015 generated electricity, but most of those funded in 2017 and later have renewable natural gas (RNG) as the end-use of the biogas.  The AgSTAR database lists the herd sizes for 19 of these digester projects that are producing RNG.  For those projects, the average herd size was 7,479 cows and the average project cost was $947/cow or $4,384,479 total before deducting the CDFA grant.  For the entire group of 117 projects, the CDFA grant funds covered 33 percent of the total cost.

The total cost of the greenhouse gas reductions achieved by these 117 projects was $30.94 per 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent including both the CDFA grants and the matching funds, or $9.88/1 metric ton considering only the CDFA grant funding.  Those greenhouse gas reductions are calculated using methodology developed by the California Air Resources Board.

Manning and Hadrich report on 12 California dairy operations that had installed digesters and were using the biogas to generate electricity.  They found that in 2014 the average initial cost of a lagoon system was $1.1 million ($869/cow with an average herd size of 2,496 cows) while a plug-flow system was $ 1.5 million ($1,114/cow and 1,620 cows).  Subsidies covered around half of the initial investment on average.

The 12 Manning-Hadrich digesters included seven covered lagoon digesters and five plug-flow digesters.  Seven of the digesters were providing benefits to the operations that exceeded their costs after subsidies.  The other five were not operating profitably, including three of the plug-flows and two of the lagoon systems.  Three of the unprofitable plug-flow digesters had ceased operation at the time of the study while the others were all operating.  The seven profitable digesters had average annual operating costs of $0.98/cow while the five unprofitable ones averaged $2.72/cow.

Author: William F. Lazarus, University of Minnesota


Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (2022). Report of Funded Projects (2015-2022) 2022: Report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, California Department of Food and Agriculture, from https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/ddrdp/docs/2022_DDRDP_Legislative_Report.pdf.

Hamilton, D. (2019). “Types of Anaerobic Digesters.”   Retrieved 8/4/22, 2022 from https://lpelc.org/types-of-anaerobic-digesters/.

Manning, D. T. and J. C. Hadrich (2015). “An evaluation of the social and private efficiency of adoption:  Anaerobic digesters and greenhouse gas mitigation.” Journal of Environmental Management 154: 70-77.

U.S. AgSTAR. “AgSTAR:  Biogas Recovery in the Agriculture Sector.”   Retrieved 8/3/22, from http://www.epa.gov/agstar/.

Live Webinar Information

The next webinar will be held on December 15, 2023 at 1:30 pm central. It will be “Energy Conservation in Livestock and Poultry Operations”. More information…

Register/Connect Now

Minimizing Risk on Livestock & Poultry Operations (PDF format)

November Announcement

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Webinar Troubleshooting

Continuing Education Units

Certified Crop Advisers (CCA)

    • CCAs attending a live webinar should register as such upon sign in to the webinar. This information will be submitted to the CCA program.
    • CCAs viewing any of our past (archived) webinars can receive credit through the self-study option by following links on the CCA Continuing Education page.

American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

    • ARPAS members viewing live webinars should register as such upon sign in to the webinar. The member is still responsible for reporting their attendance to the association.
    • ARPAS members viewing any of our past webinars can also self-certify those credits at the ARPAS Continuing Education page.

Other Programs

    • Members of other programs attending live webinars, should log into the virtual meeting room with their first and last name. During registration for the webinar, request an attendance list and flyer from the webinar manager, Leslie Johnson at leslie.johnson@unl.edu. The member can submit that information to their certifying organization for consideration.
    • Members of other programs viewing archived webinars can request a quiz from the project manager which, after completion, can be submitted along with the flyer to the certifying organization for consideration.

Archived Webinar

The webinar will be archived and available for on-demand viewing early the week following the presentation. Go to webinar archive…

Communicating Science Using the Science of Communication

In the digital world in which we live today the public is presented with an overwhelming quantity of information, much of which is unscientific. In this webinar we will apply the lessons learned from antimicrobial resistance and health communications to more science communication challenges. This presentation was originally broadcast on August 14, 2020. More… Continue reading “Communicating Science Using the Science of Communication”