The Use of USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants to Advance Air Quality Improvements

USDA-NRCS has nearly fifteen years of Conservation Innovation Grant project experience, and several of these projects have provided a means to learn more about various techniques for addressing air emissions from animal agriculture.  The overall goal of the Conservation Innovation Grant program is to provide an avenue for the on-farm demonstration of tools and technologies that have shown promise in a research setting and to further determine the parameters that may enable these promising tools and technologies to be implemented on-farm through USDA-NRCS conservation programs.

Evaluation of a Model to Predict Enteric Methane Production from Feedlot Cattle


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Purpose

Continual refinement of methods estimating enteric methane production in beef finishing cattle provides a more accurate assessment of the environmental impact of the beef industry.  The USDA-OCE publication “Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory” identified conservation practices and management strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while improving agriculture production (Eve et al., 2014). …

Use of zilpaterol hydrocholoride to reduce odors and gas production from the feedlot surface when beef cattle are fed diets with or without ethanol byproducts

Purpose

Many malodorous compounds emitted from the feedlot surface of beef finishing facilities result from protein degradation of feces and urine (Mackie et al., 1998; Miller and Varel, 2001, 2002). The inclusion of wet distillers grain with solubles (WDGS) in beef finishing diets has been shown to increase nitrogen excretion (Spiehs and Varel, 2009; Hales et al., 2012) which can increase odorous compounds in waste (Spiehs and Varel, 2009).…

Photometric measurement of ground-level fugitive dust emissions from open-lot animal feeding operations.

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Abstract

Fugitive dust from confined livestock operations is a primary air quality issue associated with impaired visibility, nuisance odor, and other quality-of-life factors.  Particulate matter has conventionally been measured using costly scientific instruments such as transmissometers, nephelometers, or tapered-element, oscillating microbalances (TEOMs). …

Demonstration of a Pilot Scale Leach-bed Multistage Digester for Treating Dry-lot Wastes

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Abstract

Dry-lot feedlot wastes have historically been a challenging feed-stock for digestion due to the dry recalcitrant nature of the waste, and the presence of settleable sand. Leach-bed dry digestion systems could theoretically circumnavigate these difficulties but poor hydraulic conductivities are noted in the literature.…

What are typical values for the higher heating value of manure scraped from cattle feedyard surfaces?

The higher heating value of manure scraped from cattle feedyard surfaces depends primarily on its ash and moisture content. If the manure’s ash and water were completely removed with only the combustible fraction remaining as a residue, that (primarily organic) residue would have a higher heating value (HHV) of about 8,500 BTU per pound, as determined experimentally by Annamalai et al.…