Emissions from Composting

This webinar focuses on air emissions associated different methods of composting and the subsequent emissions when composted manure is applied to cropland. This presentation was originally broadcast on September 18, 2020. More…

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Emissions from Dairy Compost Storage and Field Application

April Leytem, USDA-ARS (21 minutes)
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Emissions reduction from dairy compost

Mario E. de Haro Martí, University of Idaho (26 minutes)
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Questions and Answers From the Audience

All presenters (11 minutes)

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Continuing Education Units


Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz. Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

Human Health: Pathogens and Contaminants in Livestock Systems

This webinar provides practical guidance on reducing pathogen and inhalation exposures in livestock operations and identifies ways to protect human health and those we love. This presentation was originally broadcast on May 15, 2020. More…

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Pathogens and Contaminants in Livestock Systems

Matt Nonnenmann, University of Iowa (15 minutes)

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Building Air Quality and Exposures

Renee Anthony, University of Iowa (17 minutes)
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Respirators: Answers to Common Questions

Michael Pate, Utah State University (20 minutes)
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Questions and Answers

All Presenters (12 minutes)

Continuing Education Units


Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz (not available yet). Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

Updating manure N and P credits: A growth chamber study

For a long time, farmers have realized the benefits of using manure as a nutrient source.  The ratio of various nutrients in manure, however, rarely matches the exact plant needs. Consequently, farmers must choose between overapplying some nutrients, or underapplying others and meeting the remaining needs with commercial fertilizers. Figuring out nitrogen (N) credits can be a difficult task since the total amount of N found in manure is not fully available the year of application, nor even after the second year of application. In addition, understanding P availability in manure is necessary because excess P can ultimately lead to eutrophication of surface waters. The amount of N that is available will depend on several factors such as animal species, bedding (if any), manure storage, and application method. We assume approximately 80% of the total manure P is available the first year, but even this can vary depending on soil texture, manure chemistry, and weather conditions. Current University of Minnesota recommendations help determine N and P credits for a variety of manures (Hernandez and Schmitt 2012). These recommendations were developed several decades ago and need an update since the diets of animals, storage of manures, and manure application equipment have changed over the years. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study is to estimate N and P mineralization from a variety of manures and soil types across different temperature regime. Our goal is to verify and/or update N and P credit recommendations from manure so that farmers are able to make better decisions when purchasing and applying commercial fertilizers in following years.  

What did we do?

Laboratory incubations were used to assess N and P release characteristics from a variety of manures in several different soil types. The incubation studies were a complete factorial with 4 replications and with manure type, soil type, and temperature as the main factors. We also included a control treatment that did not include any manure application to see how much nitrogen and phosphorus mineralized from the soils themselves. We tested 8 manures, including: dairy liquid (separated and raw [non-separated]), swine liquid (from a finishing house and a sow barn), beef manure (solid bedded pack and liquid from a deep pit), and poultry (turkey litter and chicken layer manure). Manure analyses to determine nutrient content were conducted on all samples prior to incubations. Soils for the incubations included a coarse textured soil from the Sand Plain Research Center at Becker, MN; a medium textured soil from a research field near Rochester, MN; and a fine textured soil from the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, MN. Soils were collected from the top six inches of soil at each location in bulk and then air dried, ground down to pass a 2-mm sieve, and analyzed for nutrient and organic matter content.  

One liter clear glass canning jars were filled with 200 g of sieved soil and were kept at 60% of field capacity which was maintained by weighing every 4-6 days and adding deionized water as needed to replace the weight lost. We used the University of Minnesota guidelines and manure analysis results to calculate the appropriate application rate for each manure type. During the incubation study, the temperature inside the incubator was kept at either 25⁰C (77⁰F). We collected subsamples at 0, 7, 14, 28, and 56 days after the experiment had begun. Subsamples were destructively analyzed for potassium chloride extractable ammonium and nitrate and Bray-1 or Olsen extractable phosphate. Figure 1 shows the schematics of our experimental set-up and components.  

Figure 1: Growth chamber incubation study experimental set-up.
Figure 1: Growth chamber incubation study experimental set-up.

What have we learned?

At the time of writing, the experiment has only been run at one temperature, 25⁰C (77⁰F) and subsamples for days 0-28 have been collected. Ammonium and nitrate have been analyzed for subsamples for days 0-14. The remaining treatments will be completed later in 2019. Statistical analyses have not been conducted at this time.

The results of the initial soil and manure tests can be found in Tables 1 and 2, respectively. This will give an idea of the starting conditions of the soils and manures. For visual reference, Figure 2 shows the inorganic N (ammonium + nitrate) from each treatment from days 0-14 for the incubation at 25⁰C. The control samples showed that more inorganic N was present in the medium textured soil than the other soils. In general, the swine manure from both finisher and sow barns released the most inorganic N compared with other manures. Of the beef manures, the liquid deep pit manure tended to release more inorganic N than the bedded pack manure, likely due to the lack of bedding to tie up nitrogen. Of the dairy manures, the raw and liquid separated tended to release inorganic N similarly, except in the medium textured soil where the liquid separated manure released more inorganic N. Across soil types, the inorganic N release tended to be stable in the coarse textured soil, while in the medium and fine textured soil, it appears to have increased initially then slowly decreased. It is unclear why this may have happened but could be due to volatilization of ammonium, denitrification of nitrate, or immobilization of N into organic forms. More tests are needed and will be completed later in 2019.

Table 1. Initial characteristics of three soil types used in this study: coarse textured soil from Becker, MN; medium textured soil from Rochester, MN; and a fine-textured soil from Morris, MN.
Soil Characteristics Soil Textural Class
Coarse Medium Fine
Organic matter (%) 1.1 1.0 3.3
pH 5.1 5.2 7.9
Phosphorus – Olsen (ppm) 11 8 7
Potassium (ppm) 95 101 140
Magnesium (ppm) 42 49 570
Calcium (ppm) 274 310 3482
Ammonium (ppm) 3.4 2.8 8.6
Nitrate (lb/acre) 3.0 2.5 8.5
Table 2. Initial characteristics of eight manure types used in this study. The units of nutrients are in pounds per ton for solid manure and in pounds per 1000 gallons for liquid manure.
Species Type Manure Type Moisture Total N Ammonium-N Total P (as P2O5) Total K (as K2O) C:N Ratio
(%) (lbs per unit) (lbs per unit) (lbs per unit) (lbs per unit)
Beef Bedded Pack, Solid 60.5 13.43 2.37 9.59 18.01 22:1
Deep Pit, Liquid 86.6 56.72 36.7 23.43 30.83 9:1
Dairy Separated, Liquid 93.2 32.7 15.8 13.31 29.26 7:1
Raw, Liquid 88.9 33.17 15.66 13.08 31.29 13:1
Swine Finisher, Liquid 86.8 59.16 41.63 37.63 27.35 9:1
Sow, Liquid 99.3 16.5 15.69 1.38 11.34 1:1
Poultry Chicken Layer, Solid 48.6 55.51 14.39 35.78 25.91 7:1
Turkey Litter, Solid 53.0 28.2 13.16 26.69 28.65 12:1
Figure 2. The amount of inorganic-N (the sum of ammonium-N + nitrate-N) in soil mixed with various manure types in: a. coarse textured soil from Becker, MN; b. medium textured soil from Rochester, MN; and c. fine textured soil from Morris, MN.
Figure 2. The amount of inorganic-N (the sum of ammonium-N + nitrate-N) in soil mixed with various manure types in: a. coarse textured soil from Becker, MN; b. medium textured soil from Rochester, MN; and c. fine textured soil from Morris, MN.

Future plans

We plan to analyze all the 25 °C samples for nitrogen and phosphorus as well as samples from experiment at 15 and 5 °C this year. We also collected ammonia (NH3) gas samples from the headspace of each jars. We plan to analyze these samples to understand the effects of manure application on ammonia volatilization losses. In addition, on a separate set of experiments we deployed anion and cation exchange resins in each jar. These resins were replaced each week on average. We plan to extract these resins for N and P.

Authors

Dr. Suresh Niraula

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

University of Minnesota (sniraula@umn.edu)

 

Dr. Melissa Wilson

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist

Manure Management & Water Quality

Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

University of Minnesota

(Corresponding author email: mlw@umn.edu)

Acknowledgements

This material is based on work that is supported by the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota as well as the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council of Minnesota.

Additional information

Hernandez JA, Schmitt MA. 2012. Manure management in Minnesota. Saint Paul (MN): University of Minnesota Extension [accessed 24 Nov 2017].

Pagliari PH, Laboski CAM. 2014. Effects of manure inorganic and enzymatically hydrolyzable phosphorus on soil test phosphorus. Soil Soc. of Am. J. 78(4): 1301-1309.

Russelle MP, Blanchet KM, Randall GW, Everett LA. 2009. Characteristics and nitrogen value of stratified bedded pack dairy manure. Crop Management 8(1). https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/ publications/cm/abstracts/8/1/2009-0717-01-RS.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Production of Greenhouse Gases, Ammonia, Hydrogen Sulfide, and Odorous Volatile Organic Compounds from Manure of Beef Feedlot Cattle Implanted with Anabolic Steroids

Animal production is part of a larger agricultural nutrient recycling system that includes soil, water, plants, animals and livestock excreta. When inefficient storage or utilization of nutrients occurs, parts of this cycle become overloaded. The U.S. Beef industry has made great strides in improving production efficiency with a significant emphasis on improving feed efficiency. Improved feed efficiency results in fewer excreted nutrients and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that impair environmental quality. Anabolic steroids are used to improve nutrient feed efficiency which increases nitrogen retention and reduces nitrogen excretion. This study was conducted to determine the methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), odorous VOCs, ammonia (NH3), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production from beef cattle manure and urine when aggressive steroid implants strategies were used instead of moderate implant strategies.

What Did We Do?

Two groups of beef steers (60 animals per group) were implanted using two levels of implants (moderate or aggressive). This was replicated three times, twice with spring-born calves and once with fall-born calves, for a total of 360 animals used during the study. Both moderate and aggressive treatment groups received the same initial implant that contain 80 mg trenbolone acetate and 16 mg estradiol. At second implant, steers in the moderate group received an implant that contained 120 mg trenbolone acetate and 24 mg estradiol, while those in the aggressive group received an implant that contained 200 mg trenbolone acetate and 20 mg estradiol. Urine and feces samples were collected individually from 60 animals that received a moderate implant and 60 animals that received an aggressive implant at each of three sampling dates (Spring and Fall 2017 and Spring 2018). Within each treatment, fresh urine and feces from five animals were mixed together to make a composite sample slurry (2:1 ratio of manure:urine) and placed in a petri dish. There were seven composite mixtures for each treatment at each sampling date. Wind tunnels were used to pull air over the petri dishes. Ammonia, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide concentrations were measured using an Innova 1412 Photoacoustic Gas Analyzer. Hydrogen sulfide and methane were measured using a Thermo Fisher Scientific 450i and 55i, respectively. Gas measurements were taken a minimum of six times over 24- to 27-day sampling periods.

What Have We Learned?

Flux of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane, nitrous oxide, and total aromatic volatile organic compounds were significantly lower when an aggressive implant strategy was used compared to a moderate implant strategy. However, the flux of total branched-chained volatile organic compounds from the manure increased when aggressive implants were used compared to moderate implants. Overall, this study suggests that air quality may be improved when an aggressive implant is used in beef feedlot animals.

Table 1. Overall average flux of compounds from manure (urine + feces) from beef feedlot cattle implanted with a moderatea or aggressiveb anabolic steroid.
Hydrogen Sulfide Ammonia Methane Carbon Dioxide Nitrous  Oxide Total Sulfidesc Total SCFAd Total BCFAe Total Aromaticsf
µg m-2 min-1 ——–mg m-2 min-1——–
Moderate 4.0±0.1 2489.7±53.0 117.9±4.0 8795±138 8.6±0.1 0.7±0.1 65.2±6.6 5.9±0.5 2.9±0.3
Aggressive 2.7±0.2 2186.4±46.2 104.0±3.8 8055±101 7.4±0.1 0.8±0.1 63.4±5.7 7.6±0.8 2.1±0.2
P-value 0.01 0.04 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.47 0.83 0.05 0.04
aModerate treatment =  120 mg trenbolone acetate and 24 mg estradiol at second implant; bAggressive treatment = 200 mg trenbolone acetate and 20 mg estradiol at second implant; cTotal sulfides = dimethyldisulfide and dimethyltrisulfide; dTotal straight-chained fatty acids (SCFA) = acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, valeric acid, hexanoic acid, and heptanoic acid;  eTotal branch-chained fatty acids (BCFA) = isobutyric acid and isovaleric acid; fTotal aromatics = phenol, 4-methylphenol, 4-ethylphenol, indole, and skatole

Future Plans
Urine and fecal samples are being evaluated to determine the concentration of steroid residues in the livestock waste and the nutrient content (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur) of the urine and feces.

Authors

mindy.spiehs@ars.usda.gov Mindy J. Spiehs, Research Animal Scientist, USDA ARS Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

Bryan L. Woodbury, Agricultural Engineer, USDA ARS Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

Kristin E. Hales, Research Animal Scientist, USDA ARS Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

Additional Information

Will be included in Proceedings of the 2019 Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Alan Kruger, Todd Boman, Bobbi Stromer, Brooke Compton, John Holman, Troy Gramke and the USMARC Cattle Operations Crew for assistance with data collection.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Effects of Adding Clinoptilolite Zeolite on Dairy Manure Composting Mix on the Compost Stability and Maturity

The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the effects of adding natural clinoptilolite zeolites to a dairy manure compost mix at the moment of initiating the composting process on characteristics of the final compost and nitrogen (N) retention. On-farm composting of manure is one Best Management Practice (BMP) available to dairy producers. Composting reduces the volume of composted wastes by 20 to 60% and weight by 30 to 60%, which allows the final product to be significantly more affordable to transport than raw wastes. When done properly, composting can convert a considerable fraction of the N present in the raw manure into a more stable form, which is released slowly over a period of years and thereby not partially lost to the environment (Rynk et al., 1992; Magdoff and Van Es, 2009). During the manure handling and composting process, between 50 and 70% of the N can be lost as ammonia (NH3) if additional techniques are not used to increase nitrogen retention. Most of the time, manures from dairies and other livestock operations don’t have the proper carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N) to be composted efficiently without added carbon. A balanced mix for composting should be between C:N of 30:1 to 40:1 (Rynk et al., 1992; Fabian et al., 1993). Since manures are richer in nitrogen (C:N ratios below 15:1), and bedding doesn’t add enough carbon during most of the year, a great proportion of the available N is lost as NH3 due to the lack of carbon to balance the composting process, resulting in a lower grade compost that can generate local and regional pollution due to NH3 emissions. In many arid zones there are not enough sources of carbon to balance the nitrogen present in the manure. Due to this lack of adequate carbonaceous material, additional methods to reduce the loss of N as NH3 during the composting process are needed. Several amendments have been evaluated in the past to achieve this reduction in N loss (Ndegwa et al., 2008). Zeolites are minerals defined as crystalline, hydrated aluminosilicates of alkali and alkaline earth cations having an infinite, open, three-dimensional structure. Clinoptilolite zeolite is mined in several western states including Idaho, where mining is near the dairy production areas.

This paper showcases an on-farm project that explored the effects of adding clinoptilolite to dairy manure at the time of composting as a tool to reduce NH3 emissions, retain N in the final composted product, and evaluate its effect on the final product.

What did we do?

This on-farm research was conducted at an open-lot dairy in Southern Idaho with 100 milking Jersey cows. Manure stockpiled during the winter and piled after the corral’s cleaning was mixed with fresh pushed-up manure from daily operations and straw from bedding and old straw bales, in similar proportions for each windrow. The compost mixture was calculated using a compost spreadsheet calculator (WSU-Puyallup Compost Mixture Calculator, version 1.1. Puyallup, WA). Moisture was adjusted by adding well water to reach approximately 50% to 60% moisture on the initial mix. Windrows were mixed and mechanically turned using a tractor bucket. Three replications were made for control and treatment. The control (CTR) consisted of the manure and straw mix as described. The treatment (TRT) consisted of the same mix as the control, plus the addition of 8% w/w (15%DM) of clinoptilolite zeolite during the initial mix. Windrows were actively composted for 149 days on average. Ammonia emissions were measured using passive samplers (Ogawa & Co. Kobe, Japan) and results were described in a previous Waste to Worth proceeding paper (de Haro Martí, et al. 2017). Complete initial manure (compost feedstock mix) and final screened compost nutrient lab analyses were performed for each windrow. Compost maturity tests were performed using the SOLVITA® test (Woods End Laboratories, Mt Vernon, ME). Statistical analyses were conducted using SAS 9.4 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC). Analyses included ANOVA (PROC MIXED) and paired t-test when applicable.

What have we learned?

The initial mix lab analysis revealed no significant differences in all parameters between control and treatment, except for ammonium (NH4+) where a tendency was observed. Many of the most stable parameters were very close to one another numerically, indicating a good management of the on-farm feedstock formulation and mixing. Ammonium at 553.4±100 mg/kg for CTR and 256.77±100 mg/kg for TRT showed a tendency (0.05<p≤0.1, Figure 1).

Figure 1. Ammonium ppm before and after composting   
Figure 1. Ammonium ppm before and after composting

This difference from the beginning of the process indicates that clinoptilolite has an immediate impact on NH4+ when added to the compost mix, changing the NH4+ and NH3 behavior and volatilization even during the construction of the windrow.

Nitrate (NO3) concentration in the TRT compost, 702±127 mg/kg was three times higher than the CTR, 223±127 (p= 0.05, Figure 2).

Figure 2. Nitrate ppm before and after composting
Figure 2. Nitrate ppm before and after composting

The presence of such high amount of NO3 compared to the control indicates a strong prevalence of nitrification processes (Sikora and Szmidt, 2001; Weil and Brady, 2017). Elevated NO3 concentrations are desirable in high quality compost used in plant nurseries, green houses, and horticulture, and are usually obtained from feedstock with much higher carbon content than the one used in this research. The NO3 to NH4+ ratio (NO3:NH4) in the treated windrows is also indicative of a much more stable compost than what is to be expected in a dairy compost with such low initial C:N (Sikora and Szmidt, 2001). High NO3 concentrations in compost could, however, generate a concern for NO3 leaching if the compost is not managed properly during storage and at the time of application (Miner et al., 2000; Weil and Brady, 2017). Total nitrogen (TN) on the compost was 14,933±1,379 mg/Kg (1.5%) for CTR and 11,300±1,379 mg/Kg (1.1%) for TRT (p=0.13), showing no significant difference.

Table 1. Solvita® test results on finished compost
Sample TRT or CTR

CO2
Index

NH3
Index

Maturity Index Compost Condition O2 depletion Phytotoxicity Noxious hazard pH NH4+ Estimate (ppm) N-Loss potential
W 1 CTR 6.5 3.5 5.5 Curing 1.60% Medium/ Slight Moderate /Slight 9.1 500 Moderate/Low
W 2 CTR 6.5 2 4.5 Active 2.50% High Severe 9.3 1500 M/ High
W 5 CTR 6.5 2 4.5 Active 2.50% High Severe 9.8 1500 M/ High
W 3 TRT 7 5 7 Finished 0.70% None None 9.5 <200 V Low-None
W 4 TRT 7 5 7 Finished 0.70% None None 8.9 <200 V Low-None
W 6 TRT 6 5 6 Curing 1.20% None None 9.3 <200 V Low-None

The Solvita® test results from the screened composts (Table 1) show a significant difference (p=0.007) in the NH3 test results between CTR, index 2.5±0.35 and TRT, index 5.0±0.35. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) test results showed no significant differences between CTR and TRT. All other calculated parameters showed a significant difference between control and treatment. Maturity index was 4.8±0.33 for CTR and 6.7±0.33 for TRT (p<0.02). Oxygen depletion was 0.022±0.002 for CTR and 0.009±0.002 for TRT (p<0.02). NH4+ estimate was 1167 for CTR and <200 for TRT (p=0.05). Other estimated test parameters indicate a significant difference between CTR and TRT results. Control windrows showed more unstable conditions, reaching the active or curing status, medium to high phytotoxicity, moderate to severe noxious hazard, and moderate to low N-loss potential. In contrast, treatment windrows showed more stable conditions, including reaching finished and curing status, no phytotoxicity or noxious hazard, and very low to no N-loss potential.

These results, coupled with the NO3:NH4 ratio and much higher NO3 values in the zeolite amended compost, indicate that the addition of clinoptilolite zeolite to a dairy manure compost mix in this study induced nitrification processes, produced NH4+ retention, NH3 emissions reduction, and lower oxygen depletion without significantly modifying the CO2 production. It also led to compost maturity characteristics that are regularly achieved only in compost mixes with much higher carbon content  and C:N ratios, usually associated with high quality composts. No negative effects were observed in the composting process or final product.

Future Plans

A greenhouse trial on silage corn comparing treatment and control compost effects followed. Results need to be analyzed and published.

Authors

Mario E. de Haro-Martí. Extension Educator. University of Idaho Extension, Gooding County, Gooding, Idaho. mdeharo@uidaho.edu  

Mireille Chahine. Extension Dairy Specialist. University of Idaho Extension, Twin Falls R&E Center, Twin Falls, Idaho.

Additional information

 

References:

de Haro-Martí, M.E., H. Neibling, M. Chahine, and L. Chen. 2017. Composting of dairy manure with the addition of zeolites to reduce ammonia emissions. Waste to Worth, Advancing Sustainability in Animal Agriculture conference. Raleigh, North Carolina.

Fabian, E. E., T. L. Richard, D. Kay, D. Allee, and J. Regenstein. 1993. Agricultural composting: a feasibility study for New York farms. Available at:  http://compost.css.cornell.edu/feas.study.html . Accessed 04/28/2011.

Lorimor, J., W. Powers, A. Sutton. 2000. Manure Characteristics. Manure Management System Series. Midwest Plan Service. MPWS-18 Section 1. Iowa State University.

Magdoff, F., & Van Es, H. (2009). Building soils for better crops – Sustainable soil management (3rd ed.). Brentwood, MD, USA: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.

Miner, J. R., Humenik, F. J., & Overcash, M. R. 2000. Managin livestock wastes to preserve environmental quality (First ed.). Ames, Iowa, USA: Iowa State University Press.

Mumpton, F.A. 1999. La roca magica: Uses of Natural Zeolites in Agriculture and Industry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol.     96, No. 7 (Mar. 30, 1999), pp. 3463-3470

Ndegwa, P. M., Hristov, A. N., Arogo, J., & Sheffield, R. E. 2008. A review of ammonia emission mitigation techniques for concentrated animal feeding operations. Biosystems Eng. (100), 453-469.

Rink, R., M. van de Kamp, G.B. Willson, M.E. Singley, T.L. Richard, J.J. Kolega, F.R. Gouin, L.L. Laliberty Jr., D.K. Dennis. W.M. Harry, A.J. Hoitink, W.F.Brinton. 1992. On-Farm Composting Handbook. NRAES-54. Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. Cooperative Extension. Ithaca, New York.

Sikora, L. J., & Szmidt, R. A. 2001. Nitrogen sources, mineralization rates, and nitrogen nutrition benefits to plants from composts. In P. J. Stofella, & B. A. Kahn (Eds.), Compost utilization in horticultural cropping systems (pp. 287-306). Boca Raton, Florida, USA: CRC Press LLC.

Weil, R. R., & Brady, N. C. 2017. The nature and properties of soils (Fifteenth. Global Edition ed.). Harlow, Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.

Acknowledgements

This project was made possible through a USDA- ID NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) # 68-0211-11-047. The authors also want to thank the involved dairy farmer and colleagues that helped during this Extension and research project. Thanks to USDA-ARS Kimberly, ID for the loan and sample analysis of the Ogawa passive samplers.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

 

Production of Greenhouse Gases and Odorous Compounds from Manure of Beef Feedlot Cattle Fed Diets With and Without Ionophores

Ionophores are a type of antibiotics that are used in cattle production to shift ruminal fermentation patterns. They do not kill bacteria, but inhibit their ability to function and reproduce. In the cattle rumen, acetate, propionate, and butyrate are the primary volatile fatty acids produced. It is more energetically efficient for the rumen bacteria to produce acetate and use methane as a hydrogen sink rather than propionate. Ionophores inhibit archaea forcing bacteria to produce propionate and butyrate as hydrogen sinks rather than working symbiotically with methanogens to produce methane as a hydrogen sink. Numerous research studies have demonstrated performance advantages when ionophores are fed to beef cattle, but few have considered potential environmental benefits of feeding ionophores. This study was conducted to determine if concentrations of greenhouse gases, odorous volatile organic compounds (VOC), ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide from beef cattle manure could be reduced when an ionophore was fed to finishing cattle.

What Did We Do?

Four pens of feedlot cattle were fed an ionophore (monensin) and four pens received no ionophore (n=30 animals/pen). Samples were collected six times over a two-month period. A minimum of 20 fresh fecal pads were collected from each feedlot pen at each collection. Samples were mixed within pen and a sub-sample was placed in a small wind-tunnel. Duplicate samples for each pen were analyzed. Ammonia, carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations were measured using an Innova 1412 Photoacoustic Gas Analyzer. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methane (CH4) were measured using a Thermo Fisher Scientific 450i and 55i, respectively.

What Have We Learned?

 

Table 1. Overall average concentration of compounds from feces of beef feedlot cattle fed diets with and without monensin.
Hydrogen Sulfide Ammonia Methane Carbon Dioxide Nitrous  Oxide Total Sulfidesa Total  SCFAb Total BCFAc Total Aromaticsd
µg L-1 —————-mg L-1—————-
No Monensin 87.3±2.2 1.0±0.2 4.3±0.1 562.5±2.2 0.4±0.0 233.4±18.3 421.6±81.9 16.8±3.1 83.7±6.4
Monensin 73.9±1.4 1.1±0.2 3.2±0.2 567.1±2.1 0.5±0.0 145.5±10.9 388.9±32.5 20.3±2.3 86.4±5.6
P-value 0.30 0.40 0.01 0.65 0.21 0.01 0.79 0.48 0.75
aTotal sulfides = dimethyldisulfide and dimethyltrisulfide; bTotal straight-chained fatty acids (SCFA) = acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, valeric acid, hexanoic acid, and heptanoic acid;  cTotal branch-chained fatty acids (BCFA) = isobutyric acid and isovaleric acid; dTotal aromatics = phenol, 4-methylphenol, 4-ethylphenol, indole, and skatole

Total CH4 concentration decreased when monensin was fed. Of the VOCs measured, only total sulfide concentration was lower for the manure from cattle fed monensin compared to those not fed monensin. Ammonia, N2O, CO2, H2S, and all other odorous VOC were similar between the cattle fed monensin and those not fed monensin. The results only account for concentration of gases emitted from the manure and do not take into account any urinary contributions, but indicate little reduction in odors and greenhouse gases when monensin was fed to beef finishing cattle.

Future Plans

A study is planned for April – July 2019 to measure odor and gas emissions from manure (urine and feces mixture) from cattle fed with and without monensin. Measurements will also be collected from the feedlot surface of pens with cattle fed with and without monensin.  

Authors

Mindy J. Spiehs, Research Animal Scientist, USDA ARS Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

mindy.spiehs@ars.usda.gov

Bryan L. Woodbury, Agricultural Engineer, USDA ARS Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

Kristin E. Hales, Research Animal Scientist, USDA ARS Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

Additional Information

Dr. Hales also looked at growth performance and E. coli shedding when ionophores were fed to finishing beef cattle. This work is published in Journal of Animal Science.

Hales, K.E., Wells, J., Berry, E.D., Kalchayanand, N., Bono, J.L., Kim, M.S. 2017. The effects of monensin in diets fed to finishing beef steers and heifers on growth performance and fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Journal of Animal Science. 95(8):3738-3744. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28805884/.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Alan Kruger, Todd Boman, and the USMARC Cattle Operations Crew for assistance with data collection.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Development of a Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix

Growth in the livestock and poultry industries in Nebraska faces hurdles is greatly influenced by county zoning and local decision-making. Variation in policies from one county to the next and in decisions made by county boards creates significant challenges for agricultural operations and for local communities looking to remain vibrant and grow.  Many were requesting that a common tool be developed for county officials to use that would bring greater consistency and objectivity to the evaluation of proposals to expand animal feeding operations.

What was done?

In 2015, the Nebraska Legislature passed legislation (LB106) that directed the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to convene a committee of experts to develop an assessment matrix for livestock development.  A 10-person advisory committee, including county officials, livestock industry representatives, and me [representing the University of Nebraska] was approved by Governor Ricketts later that year.  In keeping with directions outlined in Nebraska LB106, the committee:

  • Reviewed tools already developed by counties in Nebraska and by other states, mainly those used in Iowa and Wisconsin.
  • Developed a tool (Excel spreadsheet or pdf) that produces quantifiable results based upon scoring of objective criteria;
  • Made concerted efforts to assure that the tool is practical to use when applying for conditional-use permits or special exceptions and when county officials score these applications; and
  • Ensured that all criteria had definite point selections and provided a minimum threshold total score that is required to ‘pass’.

In 2016, the resulting Nebraska Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix (‘Livestock Matrix’) was posted for comments and approved for dissemination by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.   The Livestock Matrix was recently reviewed and updated by the advisory committee, and the current version is available for public access at http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/promotion/livestock_matrix/index.html.

What we have learned?

Development of the Livestock Matrix was a highly formative process.  Overall, the factors that consumed the vast majority of discussion and effort involved the following:

  • Need for simplicity. Strong sentiments were expressed that the Livestock Matrix should be easy to complete, with little or no need for assembling additional information or consultation.
  • Desire for transparency. Clarity was paramount, with parties on both sides expecting to see numbers and requirements specified up front, which excluded process-based approaches.
  • Questions of merit. Many ‘generally good ideas’ and recommendations were removed when benefits were not well understood or defined, or a practice was considered an industry norm.
  • Will to retain control. Perceived loss of control or potential for new regulation ended discussion of some ideas that otherwise had merit.

Voluntary tool:

LB106 specified that the matrix be “Designed to promote the growth and viability of animal agriculture in this state”, and as a result, the advisory committee was comprised of supporters of [responsible growth of] the livestock and poultry industries.  Support for local control runs deep in Nebraska, though, and one of the most significant hurdles arose early on due to amended language in the final bill, “…develop an assessment matrix which may be used by county officials to determine whether to approve or disapprove” applications.  Voluntary consideration and adoption of the Livestock Matrix at local levels totally changed the nature of the discussions, and made it very challenging to develop a single tool that would have widespread appeal and rate of adoption, virtually guaranteeing that varied policies and practices would still exist.  Despite this challenge, the matrix committee pushed through to develop a ‘template tool’, which has been adopted – either as is or as a template – by some counties.

County setbacks:

The next major hurdle faced was how to handle county setback distances.  With the Livestock Matrix being voluntary, it quickly became clear that county officials were not going to adopt a tool that limited their use of and control over setback distance requirements.  After mulling over options, the committee decided that satisfying the county’s setback requirement would be the primary criterion for obtaining 30 of the 75 points needed to receive a passing score.  To promote positive change, the committee developed sets of sliding-scale ‘base separation distances for odor’ using an approach that drew from the science-based Nebraska Odor Footprint Tool (NOFT).  The intent was that county officials would use these distances [preferably] in establishing county setbacks or as an alternative approach that could be accepted by a county.  Direct use of the NOFT and inherent NOFT concepts within the Livestock Matrix was greatly limited by concerns over the NOFT requiring additional work of applicants, not being sufficiently transparent, and not being applicable for all applicants (esp. open-lot cattle feeders).

The idea of using ‘transitional planning zones’ that add or deduct points based upon consideration of locations of all residents within 1.5 times the separation distance for odor is presented in the alternative approach (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Illustration of planning zones for assessing odor risk.
Figure 1. Illustration of planning zones for assessing odor risk.

The intent was to bring more information into decisions than just what is the distance to the closest neighbor relative to the county setback.  The zones are mainly presented for information purposes, as there was considerable hesitance to adopt a scoring system that was not considered sufficiently simple and transparent to merit replacing a set separation distance being the criterion.

Water quality / permits:

Committee members shared the view that a proposed expansion that would secure required environmental permits (via Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, NDEQ) and meet the county’s setback requirement, if any, should generally earn a passing score and not be exposed to local requirements that are often employed to delay and deter operations from expanding.  There was disagreement, however, on whether an applicant should need to complete the rest of the assessment if these two conditions were met.  This issue weighed the applicant’s time and effort completing the assessment against the potential that glaring concerns (point deductions) may arise in another area and that communities may not see the matrix as being comprehensive and credible.  The current matrix conveys an expectation that all main sections be scored, but has been streamlined to minimize required time and effort.

There were also differing views on whether the Livestock Matrix should highlight the various water quality protections that would be put in place or simply that NDEQ requirements would be satisfied.  While there was significant early interest by several committee members to promote and educate the public on stewardship practices required of permitted feeding operations, the desire to reinforce the value of determinations made by NDEQ and to keep the tool very practical to complete and assess carried in the end.  As a result, applicants must indicate that NDEQ approval has been or will be secured to obtain 30 of the 75 points needed to receive a passing score (Figure 2), while indication of the practices that will be implemented is encouraged, but does not affect the score received.

Figure 2. Section to be completed within the Livestock Matrix that addresses environmental protection plans and permits.
Figure 2. Section to be completed within the Livestock Matrix that addresses environmental protection plans and permits.

This section of the Livestock Matrix arose was discussed again as the committee considered those applicants who would receive a letter from NDEQ stating that a permit would not be required – primarily applicable to small animal feeding operations and operations that involved dry manure.  The challenge presented was, ‘Does having official approval to go forward without needing a permit offer the same protections and merit the same points as would exist if required plans were developed to secure permits?’  The issue became prominent when a broiler processing facility was approved for construction, which required constructing hundreds of new broiler (chicken) houses in the state, none of which would likely require an NDEQ permit.  The main concern was that such facilities could be approved without having nutrient management plans (and a few other desired plans) in place to limit potential nutrient loading of ground and surface waters from application of manure at rates exceeding crop needs.  The company associated with the current large poultry expansion took a proactive stance and internally requires all of its growers to have nutrient management plans in place and qualify for an NDEQ permit, resolving the immediate concerns, but not the longer-term issue with the Livestock Matrix.  The committee will continue to examine ways to better highlight and reinforce the importance of nutrient management within the Livestock Matrix without suggesting changes in NDEQ regulation.

Other environmental sections:

Six more sections address various environmental risks and protections, including:

  • Environmental and zoning compliance record
  • Water quality protection – livestock facilities
  • Odor and dust control for facilities
  • Manure application practices
  • Manure application separation
  • Additional assurance of environmental protection

Each of these sections was refined down to a list of items that the committee believed merited inclusion in determining the total score.

Non-environmental sections:

Additional sections address other topics such as:

  • Traffic
  • Locations of the authorized representative and the site manager relative to the facility
  • Communication with the community
  • Economic impact
  • Landscaping and aesthetics

Each of these areas was well-understood to influence acceptance by the community.  Probably the biggest challenge for the committee was assigning appropriate section scores and total passing scores to value the importance of these areas without suggesting that an environmentally risky application could achieve a passing score through strong scores in these other areas.

Impacts and Implications

In developing the Nebraska Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix, the committee made available a well-critiqued tool for voluntary consideration by county officials.  Overall, the Livestock Matrix strikes a sometimes uncomfortable balance between being comprehensive and scientifically correct and being transparent and easy to use.  Although the Livestock Matrix will likely fall short of the original goal of achieving consistency and uniformity in Nebraska’s county zoning policies and practices, county officials are considering the matrix as a template zoning tool or as a gauge for evaluating and adjusting current policy.

 Next Steps

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is continuing to promote adoption of the Nebraska Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix, especially to counties looking to be officially designated as “Livestock Friendly”.  The matrix will be evaluated again in 1-2 years.

Authors

Richard R. (Rick) Stowell, Extension Specialist – Animal Environment, Rick.Stowell@unl.edu

Additional Information

For more information on the Nebraska Odor Footprint Tool, visit https://water.unl.edu/manure/odor-footprint-tool.

Acknowledgements

The other members serving  on the committee included: John Csukker; Elizabeth Doerr, Leon Kolbet, Dean Krueger, Mark McHargue, Jennifer Myers, Sarah Pillen, Andrew Scholting, Steve Sill.

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Aeration for Elimination of Manure Odor and Manure Runoff: What One Professional Engineer Has Learned in the Past 12 Years

Aerobic treatment has potential to be more practical for any size operation, reduce odors, reduce risk of runoff by facilitating application to growing crops, and reduce energy use when distributing manure nutrients.

Farm-based aeration, created through an upward/outward surface flow, was first introduced in the 1970’s and brought partial success.  With significant performance issues, challenges with struvite within manure recycling pipes/pumps, and the growing trend to store manure within pits under barns, further research with manure aeration was largely abandoned.  Very little research has been done on aerobic treatment within manure storage systems since traditional aeration using air blowers has been considered too expensive. Previous research sought to mimic traditional domestic wastewater treatment systems which also purposely perform denitrification.  Not always a goal for farm operations in years past, retaining Nitrogen within wastes used as fertilizer is now usually a goal.  Thus, past aerobic treatment systems were not designed to fully benefit today’s modern farms.

In 2006, hog producers were introduced to an updated version of equipment providing Widespreading Induced Surface Exchange (WISE) aeration, specifically for reducing hog manure odor while irrigating lagoon effluent.  The results became a “wonder” for the site’s CAFO permit engineer. Documentation showed that significant aeration was occurring at a rate much higher than could occur with the energy input used by traditional bubble blowers.  This indicated that aeration of manure ponds and lagoons may not be too expensive after all.  More questions led to a USDA NRCS-supported study, which revealed much more information and brought out more questions. The final report of that study is available at http://pondlift.com/more-info/, along with other information on the technologies described.

 The NRCS-funded study revealed the basis for previous performance failures, while it also showed the basis for getting positive aeration performance at liquid manure storage sites:  Ultimately, this information showed that large reductions of manure odor can be obtained while offering a new paradigm for eliminating most potential manure runoff through WISE aeration as the first step.

The paradigm change summary:

  1. Aeration provides aerobic bacteria based manure decomposition while in storage.
  2. Aerobic bacteria produce only carbon dioxide, which is considered carbon neutral when converting manure’s nutrients to fertilizer, reduced greenhouse gas (Aerobic gives off no other greenhouse gasses such as methane or oxides, and few odors)
  3. “No odor” allows direct distribution of decomposed manure nutrients onto crops during growing season. (Distribution is done during growing season, using automated irrigation equipment).
  4. Low-cost automated manure distribution reduces farm operation costs, but also allows the nutrients to be distributed to equal acres during a wider application time frame (not limited to when crop land is barren in spring or before fall freezeup.)
  5. A wider application time frame allows multiple applications at smaller doses onto growing crops. Depending on nutrient application goals and equipment, irrigation rates can be as little as 1/8th inch of water, multiple times through the year, instead of one large dose.
  6. Irrigation equipment is likely not operating when potential runoff conditions are pending, especially when the entire spring/summer/fall periods are available for distribution.
  7. When nutrients are applied onto growing crops at low dosage rates during periods when irrigation is desired, very little potential for runoff is present. Only a small portion of 1/8” of water onto a crop canopy rarely reaches the ground. The nutrient rich water quickly binds with the dry surface soil when it does get past the crop canopy during summer application.
  8. Current manure distribution distribution requires that most farmers fight to get raw manure distributed onto cropland before spring planting (which is often a wet time of year), OR after crops are harvested and bales removed. Although farmers and regulators wish that all manure handling is performed before freezeup, it is not the case: It happens more than anyone admits.  Manure application to frozen ground is an understated and unquantified manure runoff cause.  Such runoff can be eliminated by the new paradigm of application onto growing crops.

Further, the “side use” of treated effluent has significant benefit compared to raw manure.  Aerobic Bacteria-Laden Effluent (ABLE water) is extremely proficient in its use within flume systems and for automatic flushing of alleys. The aerobic bacteria within the treated water is “hungry” to go to work, to pick up fresh food as it passes over the floor/alley, on its way back to the storage pond.

The layman’s explanation is similar to urban water delivery pipes and wastewater pipes buried within city streets:

  1. Historically, dairy operators quickly learned that fresh well water will create a “slime” on surfaces, causing extremely slippery floors and alleys which injure cows. To eliminate much of the slipperiness, they stopped using fresh water and instead used raw manure from the pond.  In many cases, they would add water to the pond, when manure got too thick and again caused slippery areas.
  2. Unseen by most people are the 2 pipe systems under streets carrying our water and sewer. Factually, one pipe has slime, and the other pipe is amazingly clean: While acknowledging the newspaper notices that fire hydrants are going to be “flushed” several times/year, most don’t realize the purpose for doing so is to flush the slime from our drinking water pipes! The slime is not toxic to humans due to chlorination, but its buildup reduces pipe capacity, and its color is unpleasant to see in drinking water.  In the case of unaerated fresh water used at farms, it tends to grow the slime that dairymen simply can’t afford on their alleys/floors.
  3. Meanwhile, most people won’t look into a sewer manhole to note how “clean as a dinner plate” it looks! Sewerage pipes are designed for high capacity peak flow but normally runn at very low levels. This allows tremendous aeration activity within the system as water tumbles at manholes and as flows change direction.  Thus, the aeration, food, and bacteria within properly operating sewer systems have very little odor, with the bacteria laden effluent continuously cleaning the sewer pipe. Sewer Pipes indeed look “brand new” even after operating for decades!   Those who effectively aerate their manure pond water so they have high aerobic populations within the effluent, and use that effluent for flushing alleys and flumes are quite happy with the resultant cleaning of the alleys, floors, and flumes.

Lastly, ABLE water likely has traits of “compost tea”:  Compost Tea is made by steeping in water, a quantity of completed compost, rich with soluble nutrients, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods.  After removing the steeped compost solids, the remaining effluent is rich with those items recognized by many as necessary for building the soil and most effective for plant growth.   The tea is to be used quite soon after it is created, but aeration can lengthen the storage period.  Within aerobically treated manure ponds, because aeration is being performed continuously, compost tea-like benefits are anticipated to be included to crops having the WISE treated effluent application.

What did we do?

A basic hypothesis for WISE technology was developed in 2014 to explain why aeration levels are significantly higher compared to bubble blower technology.  This hypothesis explains how/why results are being obtained and allows purposeful thought on how to maximize performance.

Meanwhile, engineering solutions were developed for the two main issues of equipment available at the time: 1) Previous equipment was heavy and required boom trucks/cranes to install/remove it for servicing (250 to 900 lb.), and 2) The propeller orientation/shape would inherently draw in stringy material that wraps on the propeller shaft, which then requires removal (see problem 1).  New equipment was designed that weighs less than 120 lb. and is easily installed by hand (Figure 1).

Figure 1. One of two WISE technology models, this for open ponds (44” wide). The other model fits through a doorway to be installed in the manure storage pits of deep-pit hog barns.
Figure 1. One of two WISE technology models, this for open ponds (44” wide). The other model fits through a doorway to be installed in the manure storage pits of deep-pit hog barns.

What have we learned?

After years of testing the new design, the equipment proved to be able to operate without inviting stringy material to wrap on the propeller and to be easy to handle by hand.  The design was declared an engineering success and marketing began.

In addition, nitrogen retention rates for aerobic manure treatment are much higher than published, most likely due to the traditional domestic wastewater treatment process assumptions of the 1970’s and the use of partial aeration, due to high costs of bubble blowers, instead of continuous aeration used within WISE aeration activity.

Prior to the 2018 North American Manure Expo, data was collected at 3 different farms in the Brooking SD area, each farm having a different brand/style of providing aeration. Due to the uncontrolled variables, results varied within each farm and also varied from the other farms.  Although no clear specific results were determined, one specific trend was that installing equipment at a higher operational rate (1 device/50 animal units) than the study used (1 device/70animal units), offered higher nitrogen retention than can be expected from the NRCS funded study, which is higher than currently published aeration rates.   This leads me to believe that there may be some misunderstood biological process for retaining nitrogen within aerobically treated effluent using WISE aeration.  It appears there are some things unequivocally misunderstood about aerobic manure treatment and the nutrients retained, most likely also associated with the items commonly identified/targeted with Compost Tea discussions.   The potential for changing the current manure handling paradigm to one where odor is not an issue, and application of manure nutrients onto growing crops which might also reduce manure runoff   warrants further study.

The presentation will also touch on some basic misunderstandings about ammonia/ammonium, provide “do’s” and “don’ts” of installations and/or studies, and identify additional subjects for study.

What are the next steps?

  • Associated technology is being developed to perform foliar application. If farmers can’t handle manure differently, why would they do additional work, just to distribute it the same way they do now?  The presentation will include basic information for a Self-Propelled Extremely Wide Portable Linear Irrigator (SPEWPLI).  This equipment is projected to be able to irrigate/fertigate a full 160-acre field in 5 passes, and then be quickly moved to the next field.  It is anticipated that manure pumpers would use existing equipment to deliver liquid manure to fields and use the SPEWPLI equipment as an alternative to conventional drag-hose injection.  Foliar feeding has proven beneficial, applying nutrients directly onto growing crops (in canopy) when they best increase yields. By changing the distribution window to summertime, farmers don’t need to apply only in spring or in fall, or leave fields un-planted so manure can be applied in the summer.

While most farmers will not spend money to buy technology which only rids manure of odor while they continue to handle it as they have in the past, since there is very little economic return for only controlling odor, there are other aspects of WISE aeration technology to provide economic return, which then provides odor relief as a “free” benefit.

  • More information is needed on the benefits of distributing manure nutrients directly to growing crops and on the economics of low-cost, automated systems.
  • More information is needed in maximizing aeration for the energy used by way of this technology.
  • More information is needed in how nitrogen can possibly be tied up and reserved by the other bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods within compost tea-like effluent.

A listing of such subject study items, likely to be doctorate dissertation level projects, will be included in the presentation.

Because our brand resolves issues that other equipment has, we will make it available for academic study at field sites and for others to use for additional research in the use of WISE aeration technology.

Author

John Ries, PE, Pond Lift, Elk Point, SD, johnries@pondlift.com

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Evaluation of current products for use in deep pit swine manure storage structures for mitigation of odors and reduction of NH3, H2S, and VOC emissions from stored swine manure

The main purpose of this research project is an evaluation of the current products available in the open marketplace for using in deep pit swine manure structure as to their effectiveness in mitigation of odors and reduction of hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3), 11 odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and greenhouse gas (CO2, methane and nitrous oxide) emissions from stored swine manure. At the end of each trial, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia concentrations are measured during and immediately after the manure agitation process to simulate pump-out conditions. In addition, pit manure additives are tested for their impact on manure properties including solids content and microbial community.

What Did We Do?

Figure 1. Reactor simulates swine manure storage with controlled air flow rates.

We are using 15 reactors simulating swine manure storage (Figure 1) filled with fresh swine manure (outsourced from 3 different farms) to test simultaneously four manure additive products using manufacturer recommended dose for each product. Each product is tested in 3 identical dosages and storage conditions. The testing period starts on Day 0 (application of product following the recommended dosage by manufacturer) with weekly additions of manure from the same type of farm. The headspace ventilation of manure storage is identical and controlled to match pit manure storage conditions. Gas and odor samples from manure headspace are collected weekly. Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia concentrations are measured in real time with portable meters (both are calibrated with high precision standard gases). Headspace samples for greenhouse gases are collected with a syringe and vials, and analyzed with a gas chromatograph calibrated for CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. Volatile organic compounds are collected with solid-phase microextraction probes and analyzed with a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Atmospheric Environment 150 (2017) 313-321). Odor samples are collected in 10 L Tedlar bags and analyzed using the olfactometer with triangular forced-choice method (Chemosphere, 221 (2019) 787-783). To agitate the manure for pump-out simulation, top and bottom ‘Manure Sampling Ports’ (Figure 1) are connected to a liquid pump and cycling for 5 min. Manure samples are collected at the start and end of the trial and are analyzed for nitrogen content and bacterial populations.

The effectiveness of the product efficacy to mitigate emissions is estimated by comparing gas and odor emissions from the treated and untreated manure (control). The mixed linear model is used to analyze the data for statistical significance.

What we have learned?

Figure 2. Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia concentration increased greatly during agitation process conducted at the end of trial to simulate manure pump-out conditions and assess the instantaneous release of gases. The shade area is the initial 5 minutes of continuous manure agitation.

U.S. pork industry will have science-based, objectively tested information on odor and gas mitigation products. The industry does not need to waste precious resources on products with unproven or questionable performance record. This work addresses the question of odor emissions holistically by focusing on what changes that are occurring over time in the odor/odorants being emitted and how does the tested additive alter manure properties including the microbial community. Additionally, we tested the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia emissions during the agitation process simulating pump-out conditions. For both gases, the emissions increased significantly as shown in Figure 2. The Midwest is an ideal location for swine production facilities as the large expanse of crop production requires large fertilizer inputs, which allows manure to be valued as a fertilizer and recycled and used to support crop production.

Future Plans

We develop and test sustainable technologies for mitigation of odor and gaseous emissions from livestock operations. This involves lab-, pilot-, and farm-scale testing. We are pursuing advanced oxidation (UV light, ozone, plant-based peroxidase) and biochar-based technologies.

Authors

Baitong Chen, M.S. student, Iowa State University

Jacek A. Koziel*, Prof., Iowa State University (koziel@iastate.edu)

Daniel S. Andersen, Assoc. Prof., Iowa State University

David B. Parker, Ph.D., P.E., USDA-ARS-Bushland

Additional Information

  • Heber et al., Laboratory Testing of Commercial Manure Additives for Swine Odor Control. 2001.
  • Lemay, S., Stinson, R., Chenard, L., and Barber, M. Comparative Effectiveness of Five Manure Pit Additives. Prairie Swine Centre and the University of Saskatchewan.
  • 2017 update – Air Quality Laboratory & Olfactometry Laboratory Equipment – Koziel’s Lab. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29681.99688.
  • Maurer, D., J.A. Koziel. 2019. On-farm pilot-scale testing of black ultraviolet light and photocatalytic coating for mitigation of odor, odorous VOCs, and greenhouse gases. Chemosphere, 221, 778-784; doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.01.086.
  • Maurer, D.L, A. Bragdon, B. Short, H.K. Ahn, J.A. Koziel. 2018. Improving environmental odor measurements: comparison of lab-based standard method and portable odour measurement technology. Archives of Environmental Protection, 44(2), 100-107.  doi: 10.24425/119699.
  • Maurer, D., J.A. Koziel, K. Bruning, D.B. Parker. 2017. Farm-scale testing of soybean peroxidase and calcium peroxide for surficial swine manure treatment and mitigation of odorous VOCs, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide emissions. Atmospheric Environment, 166, 467-478. doi: 10.​1016/​j.​atmosenv.​2017.​07.​048.
  • Maurer, D., J.A. Koziel, J.D. Harmon, S.J. Hoff, A.M. Rieck-Hinz, D.S Andersen. 2016. Summary of performance data for technologies to control gaseous, odor, and particulate emissions from livestock operations: Air Management Practices Assessment Tool (AMPAT). Data in Brief, 7, 1413-1429. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2016.03.070.

Acknowledgments

We are thankful to (1) National Pork Board and Indiana Pork for funding this project (NBP-17-158), (2) cooperating farms for donating swine manure and (3) manufacturers for providing products for testing. We are also thankful to coworkers in Dr. Koziel’s Olfactometry Laboratory and Air Quality Laboratory, especially Dr. Chumki Banik, Hantian Ma, Zhanibek Meiirkhanuly, Lizbeth Plaza-Torres, Jisoo Wi, Myeongseong Lee, Lance Bormann, and Prof. Andrzej Bialowiec.

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.