Water Quality Issues Associated with Manure

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Many of the images and scenarios on this page may be permit violations or may contribute to exceedances of water quality standards; however, additional information beyond what is provided on this educational page is required to make determinations of that nature.

What Is Gasification of Manure?

green stylized pig logoWhen looking at ways to improve the environmental impact of pig production, renewable energy generation is a popular topic. One such technology, gasification, is a series of chemical reactions (see image at bottom) that involve heating a suitable organic material in a controlled, low-oxygen environment to the point that the hydrocarbons (simple organic compounds that contain only hydrogen and carbon) are converted to synthesis gas (‘syngas’).…

What Greenhouse Gases Are Emitted by Pig Farms?

green stylized pig logoIn 2014, all man-made sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. were estimated to be 6,870.5 MMT CO2e (millions of metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent). Agriculture was estimated to be responsible 8.3% of those emissions (573.6 MMT CO2e per year). When looking specifically at animal agriculture, all different species together emit an estimated 243.4 MMT CO2e/year, which is 3.5% of all U.S.…

Can feeding pigs less crude protein reduce their carbon footprint? Does it also affect growth and performance?

green stylized pig logoFeeding less crude protein in pig diets can reduce the carbon footprint of that farm, within limits.  Pigs require amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and different protein sources contain different amounts of essential amino acids.

Feed manufactures have begun to make feed grade amino acids (AA) which allow nutritionists and farmers to balance a diet more precisely and feed less crude protein.…

Weather Trends: State, Regional, and National

logo for animal agriculture climate change which includes a weather vane with cow and topWeather happens and the climate is always changing. Farmers are very in tune with these changes because weather is critical to any farming operation. What are the current weather trends in your area? Is it hotter? dryer? cooler? warmer? Is the growing season longer? Has the first frost date changed?…

Biosecurity for Livestock and Poultry Manure Management

Most biosecurity plans are meant to protect animal and human health by preventing the spread of bacteria or other pathogens. Indirectly, effective biosecurity practices can reduce the likelihood of multiple or catastrophic mortalities which is an issue of environmental concern. While not usually discussed under the umbrella of “biosecurity”, manure handling should not be ignored when considering your plan.…

Adaptation and Risk Management

Food production is dependent on weather and climate. Agriculture must always be planning and preparing for weather or responding to weather as it happens. Adaptation to weather and climate has occurred since farming started and will continue to occur as we move forward in the future. The rate of adaptation is the key to keep up with the rate that the climate changes.…