Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance Through Livestock Management

In this webinar, representatives from multiple sectors of the livestock production industry are featured to learn how each sector is approaching the complex problem of antibiotic resistance with management strategies to improve antimicrobial stewardship in live animal production and across the food production system. This presentation was originally broadcast on August 20, 2021. Continue reading “Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance Through Livestock Management”

Dietary Impact on Antibiotic Resistance in Feedlot Manure

Report on research conducted at the University of Nebraska, originally printed in the 2021 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report.

Summary

There is a growing public concern regarding antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics, including in livestock management. Understanding the ecology of antibiotic resistance among microbes, identifying resistance gene reservoirs, and implementing antibiotic resistance mitigation practices in livestock production is critical to protecting animal and human health while meeting increasing food demands. This research is one of several studies seeking to assess risk for livestock-to-human transfer of antibiotic resistance and to identify mechanisms for reducing that risk where possible. This study evaluated the impact of forage concentration and supplemental essential oil in beef cattle finishing diets on antibiotic resistance in freshly excreted and consolidated beef feedlot manure. Results indicate that antibiotic resistance in manure was not impacted by either of the two dietary treatments considered. Continue reading “Dietary Impact on Antibiotic Resistance in Feedlot Manure”

Antibiotic Resistance in Manure-Amended Agricultural Soils

Report on research conducted at the University of Nebraska, originally printed in the 2021 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report.

Summary

Manure application to agricultural land benefits soil health and agronomic yields. However, as antibiotic resistance becomes a more serious threat to public health, there is concern that antibiotic resistance originating from livestock manure could impact human health through contamination of the environment or food. This study sought to quantify this risk by monitoring concentrations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes in fallow soil during the period of October through April, representing fall manure application through spring planting. Resistance to three common antibiotics – tylosin, azithromycin, and tetracycline – was monitored following application of fresh, stockpiled, or composted beef feedlot manure, or inorganic fertilizer. Overall, concentrations of all monitored resistant bacteria were below the detection limit for enumeration. Results indicate that while all the manure treatments increased at least one measure of antibiotic resistance during the sampling period, by the final sampling day antibiotic resistance prevalence and concentrations in manured plots were not significantly different from soil receiving no fertilizer treatments  Continue reading “Antibiotic Resistance in Manure-Amended Agricultural Soils”

Antibiotic use in food animals and its effect on antimicrobial resistance spread and human health

Most people alive today have never known a world without antibiotics. Antibiotics became widely used to treat bacterial infections in the 1930s and ‘40s, and were quickly labeled a “miracle drug”. But, as the widespread use of antibiotics evolved, so did the discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And we have now entered an era where antibiotic resistance is considered one of the biggest worldwide public health challenges of our time. Continue reading “Antibiotic use in food animals and its effect on antimicrobial resistance spread and human health”

We can learn a lot from poop

A summary of Using sewage for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance by Aarestrup and Woolhouse (2020)

Key Points

  • Sewage-based surveillance for antimicrobial resistance provides a flexible, scalable, and quickly implementable AMR tracking method.
  • Advances in DNA sequencing enable faster and more responsive resistance monitoring, which is essential to address AMR surveillance worldwide.

Continue reading “We can learn a lot from poop”

Selecting Preferred Land Application Sites: Extension Curricula for Interactive Land Application Education

preview of map in progress
The curricula contains a map where participants keep track of their progress visually as they work through the different activities.

An educational curricula was pilot tested in 2020 by Extension professionals in Nebraska and Minnesota. It utilizes a table-top sized map game board, six pre-planned scenarios, and interactive planning by small groups to select preferred manure application sites. The curricula addresses:

    • How far will I need to travel to manage manure nitrogen? Phosphorus?
    • Which fields benefit the most agronomically from manure?
    • How far can I afford to travel?
    • Which fields benefit most from manure’s soil health benefits?
    • What water quality risks are connected with individual fields?
    • How can I use a weather forecast to minimize neighbor’s odor risks?

These activities often lead to lots of peer-to-peer teaching. For example, we have witnessed discussions about minimizing compactions and planning to minimize impacts on community infrastructure and neighbors. As participants work through these discussions, they add their happy and sad face emojis to the map to weigh the benefits and concerns connected to individual fields.

Resources Available for Adapting to Your State

The curricula includes:

preview of factsheets and worksheets
Factsheets complement each activity’s main worksheet, helping the participants make their decision on which field is the best for manure application.
    • a 25-square mile map,
    • scenarios set up for six alternative animal feeding operations (you pick one for your group),
    • four alternative fields for land application with simplified information cards (soil tests, soil health tests, nutrient requirements, water quality risk indicators), and
    • worksheets and one-page information sheets for each of the six scenarios.

You may download electronic copies of all resources, adapt to your state, and begin sharing a highly interactive and peer-to-peer educational experience.

Downloadable Resources

Thank you for your interest in the curricula. Please fill out the following form to access the files:

Contacts

Leslie Johnson, Rick Koelsch and Amy Schmidt