Getting Along With the Neighbors – Some Suggestions from Farmers


University of Wisconsin Extension hosted a meeting and part of the agenda was a discussion on neighbor relations. The farms represented at the meeting were large animal operations. They shared ideas on how they build or repair relationships with the community.

* During a recent power outage, we stopped by all of the neighbors with small children, offered the conference room at the farm as a warming shelter, as we have a generator on site that kept our power going.

* I provide a business card with my number to all of the neighbors and ask them to call me anytime with questions or concerns, allowing them to
also give me advance notice if they have a get together or event that our crews should be aware of. I say to call anytime they have a question
or concern. I stop by once per year, even to the neighbors who don’t like me.

* We do an annual training with our manure haulers, reviewing both the regulations we are under (243)/our maps, but also how we expect them to
act when representing our farm–etiquette expectations on the road-Jake braking, speed, being polite

* My clients are designating one person who does marking of setbacks in the field — biodegradable flags, spray paint, cones, even tillage that
shows where the setbacks area

* When a valve was left open on a tanker last fall, we bought car wash tokens and gave them to anyone driving through the area and those who
may not even have left home yet but lived on that road.

* We bought an industrial street sweeper and use it to clean mud and manure from the road

* After LISTENING to what the neighbors said in the hearing, some in my region are volunteering to observe larger setbacks to address neighbor
concerns. These can not be put into the permit and become enforcable, but it does show that they are open to the neighbor concerns.

* In January, I buy certificates for a maid service and hand deliver them to the neighbors. That way if our operations create dust, they can use it anytime during the year when they want to.

* We sponsor a local baseball team/soccer team, put the farm name on the back of the shirts, and after each game, provide chocolate milk to the winners “and non winners”

* We plow the snow from the ends of our neighbor’s driveways after each storm. It takes 5 minutes but they really appreciate it.

For More Information

For more on neighbor relations, working with industry (especially insurers), and professional training, contact Kevin Erb, University of Wisconsin. kevin.erb@uwex.edu

Drying and Rewetting Effects on Gas Emissions from Dairy Manure in Semi-arid Regions

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Abstract

The major source of emissions in animal production sites is from animal waste (manure), which can be in solid, slurry, or liquid states, exhibiting varying physical properties. Once manure is excreted from an animal, processes of biological decomposition and formation of gaseous compounds continue, but diminish as the manure cools and dries. However, increases in gas emissions following rewetting, particularly from precipitation, have been observed in various agricultural lands. Our study investigates changes of gaseous emissions through manure drying and rewetting processes to identify the effects of climatic conditions and manure management on gaseous emissions. We carried out drying and rewetting processes of dairy manure in a greenhouse to maintain moderate wintertime temperatures (20 – 40 C) while monitoring gaseous emissions through these processes. Closed dynamic chambers (CDC) coupled with a multiplexed Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy gas analyzer provided gas flux estimates. The analyzer was capable of monitoring 15 pre-programmed gases simultaneously including typical gaseous compounds and greenhouse gases emitted from manure sources; namely, ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, oxides of nitrogen, and volatile organic compounds. Magnitude of dairy manure gas emissions resulting from variations in moisture and temperature provide insight toward enhancing manure management decisions. Results from our study should further understanding of manure gas emission temporal dynamics that are largely dictated by heat and by drying and rewetting processes that impact the generation and delivery of gasses to the atmosphere. Our overall goal is to advance development of appropriate best management practices to reduce gas emissions for dairy operations in semi-arid regions.

Purpose

The objective of this project is to identify the effects of climatic conditions and manure management on gaseous emissions. The results from our study will be used to advance development of appropriate best management practices to reduce gas emissions for dairy operations in semi-arid regions.

Fig 1. Gas emissions from two dairy manure samples were monitored in a greenhouse to compare the magnitude of gas fluxes through manure drying and rewetting processes.

What Did We Do?

We investigated changes in gaseous emissions by carrying out  drying and rewetting processes of dairy manure in a greenhouse to maintain moderate summertime temperatures (20 – 40 oC) while monitoring gaseous emissions. Closed dynamic chambers (CDC) coupled with a multiplexed Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy gas analyzer provided gas flux estimates. The analyzer was capable of monitoring 15 pre-programmed gases simultaneously including typical gaseous compounds and greenhouse gases emitted from manure sources; namely, ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, oxides of nitrogen, and volatile organic compounds. Gas emissions from two dairy manure samples were monitored to compare the magnitude of gas fluxes during 14 days of manure drying and rewetting processes.

Fig 2. Gas emissions were determined using the closed dynamic chambers integrated with a multiplexed Fourier Transformed Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy gas analyzer.

What Have We Learned?

An increase in surface water content occurring after a rewetting event (e.g., simulated 5 mm of rain) represents an abrupt increase in manure moisture content, which can promote microbial activity and a commensurate increase in gas emissions from manure. In our study, we found gas fluxes were actually suppressed during and shortly after the rewetting process, mainly due to reduction in air-filled pore space causing reduced gas diffusivity in the manure crust layer. As the wet layer dried, gas emissions eventually increased to levels prior to wetting.

Future Plans

Future experiments include: (1) simulation of manure drying-rewetting with various amount of water and rewetting times,  (2) considering the immediate response time and effective period of the pulse response of the gas fluxes after rewetting which might have been missed in our study, (3) Further

Fig 3. Manure sample after the rewetting process.

investigation of the effect of the crust layer on water and gas transport from and into manure.

Authors

Pakorn Sutitarnnontr, Graduate Student, Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Climate, Utah State University, pakorn@aggiemail.usu.edu

Enzhu Hu, Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Climate, Utah State University

Rhonda Miller, School of Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education, Utah State University

Markus Tuller, Dept. of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, University of Arizona

Scott B. Jones, Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Climate, Utah State University

Additional Information

Contact Information: Pakorn Sutitarnnontr, Environmental Soil Physics Laboratory, Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Climate, Utah State University. Email: pakorn@aggiemail.usu.edu

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the USDA-NIFA under the AFRI Air Quality Program (Grant # 2010-85112-50524) and the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (Grant # GW13-006).

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