Copper Sulfate Foot Baths on Dairies and Crop Toxicities

Environmental Issues for Land Applying Copper Sulfate

A rising concern with the application of dairy wastes to agricultural fields is the accumulation of copper (Cu) in the soil. Copper sulfate (CuSO4) from cattle footbaths is washed out of dairy barns and into wastewater lagoons. The addition of CuSO4 baths can increase Cu concentration significantly in manure slurry, from approximately 5.0 grams per 1,000 liters to 90.0 grams per 1,000 liters.…

Environmental Benefits of Manure Application

For centuries, animal manure has been recognized as a soil “builder” because of its contributions to improving soil quality. Environmental benefits are possible from manure application if manure and manure nutrients are applied and timing and placement follows best management practices. When compared to more conventional fertilizer, manure properly applied to land has the potential to provide environmental benefits including:

  • Increased soil carbon and reduced atmospheric carbon levels
  • Reduced soil erosion and runoff
  • Reduced nitrate leaching
  • Reduced energy demands for natural gas-intensive nitrogen(N) fertilizers

Manure Effects on Soil Organic Matter

Manure contains most elements required for plant growth including N, P, potassium, and micronutrients (Manure as a Source of Crop Nutrients and Soil Amendment).…