Adapting to Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest: Promoting Adaptation with Five-Minute Videos of Agricultural Water Conservation and Management Practices


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Purpose            

In a multimedia-based world, short videos are an effective visual means to provide information. A series of short (5-minute) climate change videos focusing on water conservation and efficiency were developed to connect innovative farming practices to other farmers, their advisers, consultants and the agricultural community.

What did we do? 

Profiled stories include: water-efficient measures, featuring ‘low irrigation spray application’ (LISA) irrigation and ‘low elevation precision application’ (LEPA) irrigation in Eastern Washington; a video focused on dry-land farming of vegetables and fruit in Oregon using regionally adapted long taproot varieties from California; and a video featuring an Eastern Washington dairy farm’s reactive adaptation management after 2015, preparing for future growing seasons with less water. In each of the short videos, farmers, their advisers, and university experts are interviewed to provide their perspectives, knowledge and economic information.

What have we learned?             

These videos are shared to highlight successful practices of conserving water while remaining profitable. Each video suggests evaluating a climate compatible management practice or crop variety on a part of a field, or when replacing outdated irrigation sprinklers and pumps.

Future Plans   

Future plans include regional promotion of these successful practices.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation        

Elizabeth Whitefield, Research Associate, Washington State University

Corresponding author email    

e.whitefield@wsu.edu

Other authors   

Joe Harrison, Livestock Nutrient Management Extension Specialist, Washington State University

Additional information               

Please visit https://puyallup.wsu.edu/lnm/ to view the videos and to find more information.

Acknowledgements       

This effort was fully supported by Western Region Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program (EW15-012, Implications of Water Impacts from Climate Change: Preparing Agricultural Educators and Advisors in the Pacific Northwest)

Renewable Energy Set-asides Push Biogas to Pipeline

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Purpose

Deriving the most value from the harvesting of organic wastes, particularly waste produced through farming operations, can be quite challenging. This paper describes an approach to overcome the challenges of realizing the best value from harvested farming wastes through aggregation. Included in this description is an overview of the first swine waste-to-energy project in North Carolina based on aggregation of the value stream rather than aggregation of the feedstock, or manure. Also included in the description are an overview of the challenges encountered, approaches to overcome these challenges, and the solutions developed for this breakthrough approach that will foster further development of successful ventures to maximize the value derived from recycled farming wastes.

What did we do?

Increasingly, our civilization is turning to bioenergy sources as an environmentally-friendly, sustainable alternative to harvesting long-buried fossil fuel sources to supply our energy needs. As the land that farmers have cultivated for years becomes encroached more and more by non-farming land uses, society seeks innovations to address its concerns for our future food needs produced in a manner that addresses environmental concerns associated with modern food production, including nutrient recovery, water conservation and reuse, and controlling odors and emissions from agricultural wastes and manures. Collectively, these innovations have been described as ‘sustainable farming’ approaches.

North Carolina is a significant agricultural producer, and as such, a large producer of agricultural wastes. This state also became the first state in the Southeast to adopt a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, and is the only state in the U.S. to require a certain percentage of that renewable energy must be generated from agriculture waste recovery, with specific targets for swine and poultry waste. Naturally, the plentiful resources coupled with a regulatory driver for renewable energy worked together to create attention and efforts toward cost-effective and efficient means of supplying our energy needs through organic waste recovery, or bioenergy approaches.

We are only beginning to see a surge in commercial development for the recovery of additional value stream from the waste, such as through the recovery of nutrients, enzymes, and monetized environmental attributes associated with pollution abatement. While manyOptima-KV swine waste to pipeline RNG project forward-thinking farmers have learned that their waste is valuable for supplying renewable energy, it has been unfortunately difficult for an individual farmer to implement and manage advanced value recovery systems primarily due to costs of scale. Rather, it seems, success may be easier achieved through the aggregation of these products from several farms and through the collaborative efforts of project developers, product offtakers, and policy. A shining example of such aggregation and collaboration can be observed from the Optima-KV swine waste to pipeline renewable gas project, located in eastern North Carolina in an area of dense swine farm population.

The Optima-KV project combines, or aggregates, the biogas created from the anaerobic digestion of swine waste from five (5) adjacently located farms housing approximately 60,000 finishing pigs. The Optima-KV project includes the construction of an in-ground anaerobic digester at each farm. The resulting biogas is captured from each farm, and routed to an adjacent, centralized biogas upgrading facility, or refinery, where the biogas undergoes purification and cleaning to pipeline quality specifications. The renewable natural gas produced from this system will be sold to an electric utility subject to the requirements of the North Carolina Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, and will result in reduced emissions from both the receiving electricity generating unit and the farms, reduced emissions of odors from the farms, and reduced fossil fuel consumption for the production of electricity. The upgraded biogas (RNG) will be transmitted to the electricity generating unit through existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

What have we learned?

The innovative design, permitting, and financing for the project is very different than a conventional feedstock aggregation approach, and thus much has been learned. To deliver the RNG to the end user, in this case, multiple contracts with multiple utilities wereGraphic showing how it works required, which presented challenges of negotiating multiple utility connections and agreements. This learning curve was steepened as, at the time of the inception of Optima KV, the state of North Carolina lacked formal pipeline injection standards, so the final required quality and manner of gas upgrading was established through the development of the project.

The project is currently in the beginning stages of construction, and completion is expected by the end of 2017. Given this schedule, the Optima KV project will provide the first pipeline injection of gas – from any source – in the state of North Carolina (all natural gas presently consumed in the state is sourced from out of state).

Future Plans

North Carolina’s potential for agricultural waste-to-energy projects is enormous, given its vast agricultural resources. Combining the potential from agriculture with the bioenergy potential from wastewater treatment plants and landfills, it is estimated to be third in capacity behind only California and Texas. The unique approach to aggregation of value streams from multiple sources, as exhibited by this project, will open the doors for similar aggregation strategies, including the anaerobic digestion of mixed feedstocks such as food waste, poultry and swine waste, animal mortality, fats, oils and grease and energy crops.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Gus Simmons, P.E., Director of Bioenergy, Cavanaugh & Associates, P.A.

Corresponding author email

gus.simmons@cavanaughsolutions.com

Additional information

http://www.cavanaughsolutions.com/bioenergy/

1-877-557-8923

gus.simmons@cavanaughsolutions.com

https://www.biocycle.net/2016/11/10/anaerobic-digest-67/

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Use of Aluminum Sulfate (Alum) to Decrease Ammonia Emissions from Beef Cattle Bedded Manure Packs

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Purpose

Confined cattle facilities are an increasingly common housing system in the Northern Great Plains of the United States. Ammonia volatilization from the surface of the floor and bedding in these confined facilities depends on several variables including pH, temperature, and moisture content. When pH is above 8, a large percentage of inorganic nitrogen is in the ammonia form and can be easily volatilized. When pH is lowered, nitrogen is converted to the nonvolatile ammonium form which increases the total nitrogen content of the manure/bedding mixture, theoretically improving the fertilizer value and reducing ammonia emissions. The poultry industry has successfully used aluminum sulfate (alum) as a litter amendment to control ammonia emissions, but the use of alum in cattle facilities has not been evaluated. The objectives of this study were to determine if the addition of alum to simulated cattle bedded packs would lower ammonia emissions and to determine the frequency of dosing needed to maintain a reduction in ammonia emissions.

What did we do?

Thirty-six simulated bedded packs containing corn stover bedding were constructed and maintained for 42 days. The study was designed as a 2×4 factorial design with repeated measures in time. The treatment factors of alum concentration (0, 2.5, 5, or 10% alum) and frequency of dose (ONCE or WEEKLY) were examined. Simulated bedded packs were constructed in 0.5-m2 plastic containers as previously described (Spiehs et al., 2014). To initially construct the simulated bedded packs, 400 g of bedding, 400 mL of cattle urine adjusted to pH 7.4, and 400 g of fresh cattle feces were added to the plastic containers. Alum was applied according to treatments on Day 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35. Bedded packs in ONCE treatment group, received a dose of alum in the initial application equal to 0, 2.5, 5 or 10% of the total estimated mass of the manure/bedding mixture at 42 days. Those in the WEEKLY treatments received 1/6 of the total dose every 7 days throughout the study. The treatments receiving 0% alum had water misted on them in the same way that alum was added to the bedded packs. The bedding material, feces, urine, and alum were mixed slightly to simulate mixing that occurs due to cattle activity on a bedded pack. On Friday and Monday of each week, 400 g of cattle feces and 400 g of cattle urine were added to the simulated bedded packs and mixed slightly with the bedding material. Beginning on Day 7 and each Wednesday thereafter, air samples were collected from individual simulated bedded packs. Dynamic flux chambers were used to pull air samples into a Thermo Fisher 17i ammonia analyzer. Each bedded pack was sampled for 20 minutes. After collecting air samples,  200 g fresh bedding, alum according to treatments, 400 g of urine, and 400 g of feces were added to the containers and mixed slightly. The bedded packs were maintained for 42 days. The bedded packs were housed in small environmental chambers with an ambient air temperature of 18°C with a dew-point temperature of 12° C (Brown-Brandl et al., 2011).

What have we learned?

A significant concentration x dose x time interaction was observed. Air samples collected above bedded packs receiving 10% alum concentrations had significantly lower NH3 concentration after 7 days compared to other treatment groups, with those receiving a one-Graph of concentration of ammonia based on alum concentration and dose frequency over 42 daystime 10% alum treatment having the lowest NH3 concentration. After 28 days, only the bedded packs receiving the weekly dose of 10% alum maintained lower NH3 concentrations. This lab-scale study suggests that a one-time dose of 10% alum may successfully lower ammonia emissions for up to 21 days, but a weekly dose at this concentration will effectively lower NH3 concentrations for a longer period of time – over the full 42 days in this case.

Future Plans

Lab-scale studies are currently being conducted to determine if alum can be used to reduce ammonia emissions when applied to feedlot surface material from outdoor beef feedlot facilities. The same concentrations of alum are being evaluated. If successful at the lab-scale, alum will be applied to feedlot pens at the U.S. MARC beef feedlot and ammonia emissions will be measured in a commercial situation.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Mindy J. Spiehs and Bryan L. Woodbury, USDA ARS U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE

Corresponding author email

mindy.spiehs@ars.usda.gov

Additional information

Spiehs, M.J., T.M. Brown-Brandl, D.B. Parker, D.N. Miller, J. P. Jaderborg, A. DiCostanzo, E.D. Berry, and J.E. Wells. 2014a. Use of wood-based materials in beef bedded manure packs: 1. Effect on ammonia, total reduced sulfide, and greenhouse gas concentrations. J. Environ. Qual. 43:1187-1194.

Brown Brandl, T.M., Nienaber, J.A., and Eigenberg, R.A. 2011. Temperature and humidity control in indirect calorimeter chambers. Trans. ASABE. 54:685-692.

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Alan Kruger and Todd Boman for assistance with data collection.

Scenario Planning for the New York State Dairy Industry in a Changing Climate

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Purpose

Climate change is a slow and continual process that has been gradually changing our weather, and it will continue to occur. In order to adapt to such gradual changes, much foresight and planning is needed. The input-gathering process undertaken for this exercise was intended to compile information from stakeholders that was used to determine various scenarios of what future dairy production will look like, under specific climate change scenarios.

A survey of producers’ perspectives performed in 2014 yielded useful information regarding the beliefs of many New York State (NYS) dairy farmers. The survey showed that the majority of these farmers believe that they and their peers must adapt to climate changes they are currently facing, in the coming decades, in order to continue to grow and expand the industry in a sustainable manner. The scenario planning process will aid producers and their advisors in determining which adaptation strategies will be most effective to become more resilient to the climate changes that are projected in the near-term future for New York.

What did we do?

A Scenario Planning exercise was conducted throughout 2016 in preparation to help NYS producers imagine a future that involves the changes in climate that are projected over roughly the next 50 years. Scenario planning is a process that involves stakeholder input to develop multiple future scenarios based on a few key variables that will affect and change the way a system functions currently. It is a unique process in that it is not probability-based rather, it is based on the views of stakeholders and experts who choose the variables to be presented in a divergent fashion.

A workshop was held in July 2016 which gathered input from 12 stakeholders, and this input was then combined with current climate projections and other resources, to develop 8 comprehensive scenarios, 4 for the winter season and 4 for the growing season. The final scenarios are visual representations and are paired with qualitative narratives to explore the impacts of the divergent situations that are created. The final narratives provide a useful communications tool to share with farmers and other stakeholders, to explore the impacts of the climate variables involved.

Growing season scenarios 1Winter scenarios

What have we learned?

The exercise focused on temperature and precipitation changes for New York State, and the impacts to various aspects of the farmstead on a typical New York dairy farm. Scenarios were created for both winter and growing seasons, since the range of impacts is highly season dependent. The divergent scenarios created are presented in Figure 1 (growing season scenarios) and Figure 2 (winter season scenarios). Qualitative narratives were developed to describe in-depth the interactions that occur in each situation, for example, impacts to: the herd, the farmstead, manure management, farm economics, and finally with the farmer and personnel. Furthermore, once each situation is described fully, the next level of impact explores outside variables, for example, regional economic or political changes, population growth or social changes, or nation-wide or world-wide events that could have a significant impact on the specific farm situation presented.!

Future Plans

Next steps include identifying the best management strategies to handle the challenges presented in each resulting scenario. The final scenarios are presented in such a fashion that they will be useful tools to inform farm management, planning and decision making. The final scenarios can be used to examine how a certain set of management actions would perform under various future climatic conditions. “Robust” management actions need to be identified that would be the most highly effective under all scenarios considered, in other words, best management practices need to be identified that make the most sense to invest in, to be prepared for as many of the scenarios created as possible. In the same effort, it is important to identify management actions that are ineffective or that have little impact for a majority of the future scenarios developed. Pursuing actions that only work under a few of the projected scenarios is not in! line wit h smart planning to make the farm as resilient as possible. This preparation is a significant step towards helping farms be resilient in the face of unexpected future changes.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Jennifer Pronto, Co-founder, BioProcess Analytics, LLC

Corresponding author email

jenny.pronto@gmail.com

Other authors

Curt Gooch, PE, Cornell University

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Environmental Sustainability of Beef


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Purpose 

In recent years, there has been negative publicity in the media related to the sustainability of beef. In response, there has been a demand from within and outside of the industry for a scientific study to quantify the sustainability of beef over its full life cycle. This type of request has been given to many of the major food commodities, so a number of sustainability studies are underway or complete. Beef is one of the most complex systems though for this type of analysis. This beef industry life cycle assessment (LCA) is being conducted to establish benchmarks in various measures of sustainability and to identify opportunities for improvement. These types of analyses are important to promote consumer confidence in our food products.

What did we do? 

A national assessment of the sustainability of beef is being conducted in collaboration with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association through the support of the Beef Checkoff. This includes surveys and visits to cattle operations throughout the U.S. to gather production information. With this information, representative production systems are being modeled and evaluated through a cradle-to-farm gate LCA. So far, the environmental impacts of representative production systems have been evaluated for 5 of 7 geographic regions including the Southern Plains, Northern Plains, Midwest, Northwest and Southwest. To complete the full LCA, post-farm gate data were obtained from harvesting and case-ready facilities, retailers, and restaurants while consumer data were obtained from literature and public databases. These data were combined to quantify sustainability through a full cradle – to – grave life cycle assessment.

What have we learned? 

Preliminary LCA results have been obtained using the farm gate and post farm gate information obtained thus far. The environmental impacts of cattle production systems vary widely, with more variation within regions than among regions. For individual production systems, total greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprint) ranges from 17 to 36 kg CO2e/kg carcass weight (CW) with regional means around 20 kg CO2e/kg CW. Regional values for fossil energy use, non-precipitation water use and reactive nitrogen loss are 40-50 MJ/kg CW, 400-6500 l/kg CW and 120-180 g N/kg CW, respectively. To assess the full life cycle of beef, the BASF eco-efficiency analysis methodology is used with the functional unit or consumer benefit being 0.45 kg (1 lb) of consumed boneless edible beef. The full life cycle carbon footprint of beef is 43-50 kg CO2e/kg of consumed beef with about 85% of this footprint related to cattle production, 10% related to the consumer and l! ess than 5% related to processing, packaging, transport and retail. Other impact metrics include water emissions, cumulative energy demand, land use, acidification potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, ozone depletion potential, abiotic depletion potential, consumptive water use, and solid waste disposal. An initial assessment indicates that feed and cattle production phases are the largest contributors to most of these environmental impact categories. Eco-efficiency improvements are being made in cattle production through increased crop yields and more efficient use of resource inputs such as fertilizer and feed. Beneficial improvements among processors include increased use of natural gas in lieu of fuel oil, biogas capture and use from wastewater lagoons at harvesting plants, packaging optimizations, and improvements in water use efficiency. This LCA is the first of its kind for beef and has been third party verified in accordance with ISO 14040:2006 and 14044:2006 a! nd 14045: 2012 standards.

Future Plans   

Surveys, visits and farm gate analyses will be completed this year for the Southeast and Northeast regions. All of the regional data will then be used along with expanded data from post farm gate processes to form the full national LCA. The national LCA will be completed in collaboration with the University of Arkansas using the SimaPro LCA software.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation       

C. Alan Rotz, Agricultural Engineer, USDA/Agricultural Research Service

Corresponding author email  

al.rotz@ars.usda.gov

Other authors  

Senorpe Asem-Hiablie, Agricultural Engineer, USDA/ARS;Tom Batttagliese, Global Sustainability Metrics Manager, BASF Corporation; Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, Director of Sustainability, JBS USA (Formerly with the National Cattlemen’s Association)

Additional information 

Asem-Hiablie, S., C.A. Rotz, J. Dillon, R. Stout and K. Stackhouse-Lawson. 2015. Management characteristics of cow-calf, stocker, and finishing operations in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Prof. Anim. Scientist 31:1-10.

Asem-Hiablie, S., C.A. Rotz, R. Stout and K. Stackhouse-Lawson. 2016. Management characteristics of beef cattle production in the Northern Plains and Midwest regions of the United States. Prof. Anim. Scientist 32(6):736-749.

Asem-Hiablie, S., C.A. Rotz and R. Stout. 2016. Characteristics of beef cattle operations in the Midwest. Beefacts, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Centennial, CO.

Asem-Hiablie, S., C.A. Rotz and R. Stout. 2016. Characteristics of beef cattle operations in the Northern Plains. Beefacts, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Centennial, CO.

Rotz, C.A., S. Asem-Hiablie, J. Dillon and H. Bonifacio. 2015. Cradle-to-farm gate environmental footprints of beef cattle production in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. J. Anim. Sci. 93:2509-2519.

Rotz, C.A., B.J. Isenberg, K.R. Stackhouse-Lawson, and J. Pollak. 2013. A simulation-based approach for evaluating and comparing the environmental footprints of beef production systems. J. Animal Sci. 91:5427-5437. 2013.

Acknowledgements      

Funded in part by The Beef Checkoff and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. The authors thank Kathleen Fisher and others of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for their help in obtaining information supporting this analysis.

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Microarthropods as Bioindicators of Soil Health Following Land Application of Swine Slurry


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*Purpose 

As producers of livestock and agricultural crops continue to focus significant efforts on improving the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of their systems, increasing the utilization of livestock manure in cropping systems to offset inorganic fertilizer use benefits both sectors of agriculture. However, promoting manure based purely upon nutrient availability may not be sufficient to encourage use of organic versus inorganic fertilizer. The value of livestock manure could increase significantly with evidence of improved soil fertility and quality following manure application. Therefore, understanding the impact of manure addition and application method on both soil quality and biological health is an important step towards improving the value and desirability of manure for agricultural cropping systems.

For edaphic ecosystems, collection, analysis, and categorization of soil microarthropods has proven to be an inexpensive and easily quantified method of gathering information about the biological response to anthropogenic changes to the environment (Pankhurst et al., 1995; Parisi et al., 2005). Arthropods include insects, crustaceans, arachnids, and myriapods; nearly all soils are inhabited by a vast number of arthropod species. Agricultural soils may contain between 1,000 and 100,000 arthropods per square meter (Wallwork, 1976; Crossley et al., 1992; Ingham, 1999). Soil microarthropods show a strong degree of sensitivity to land management practices (Sapkota et al., 2012) and specific taxa are positively correlated with soil health (Parisi et al., 2005). These characteristics make soil microarthropods exceptional biological indicators of soil health.

This study focused on assessing the chemical and biological components of soil health, described in terms of soil arthropod population abundance and diversity, as impacted by swine slurry application method and time following slurry application.

What did we do? 

A field study was conducted near Lincoln, Nebraska from June 2014 through June 2015 on a site that has been operated under a no-till management system with no manure application since 1966. Experimental treatments included two manure application methods (broadcast and injected) and a control (no manure applied).

Soil samples were collected twelve days prior to treatment applications, one and three weeks post-application of manure, and every four weeks, thereafter, throughout the study period. Samples were not collected during winter months when soil was frozen.

Two types of soil samples were collected. Samples obtained with a 3.8-cm diameter soil probe were divided into 0-10 and 10-20 cm sections for each of the plots for nutrient analysis at a commercial laboratory. Samples measuring 20 cm in diameter and 20 cm in depth, yielding a soil volume of 6,280 cm3, were stored in plastic buckets with air holes in the lids, placed in coolers with ice packs, and transported to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln West Central Research & Extension Center in North Platte, Nebraska within 12 h of collection. These samples were then transferred to Berlese-Tullgren funnels for extraction of arthropods, a commonly used technique to assess microarthropods in the soil (Ducarme et al., 2002). A 70% ethanol solution was used to preserve the organisms for later analysis.

The QBS method of classification was employed to assign an eco-morphological index (EMI) score on the basis of soil adaptability level of each arthropod order or family (Parisi et al., 2005). Preserved arthropods from each soil sample were identified and quantified using a Leica EZ4 stereo microscope (Leica Biosystems, Inc., Buffalo Grove, IL) and a dichotomous key (Triplehorn and Johnson, 2004). Arthropods were classified to order or family based on the level of taxonomic resolution necessary to assign an EMI value as described by Parisi et al. (2005). For some groups, such as Coleoptera, characteristics of edaphic adaptation were used to assign individual EMI scores.

The impacts of swine slurry application method and time following manure application on soil arthropod populations and soil chemical characteristics was determined by performing tests of hypotheses for mixed model analysis of variance using the general linear model (GLM) procedure (SAS, 2015). The samples were tested for significant differences resulting from time and treatment, as well as for variations within the treatment samples. Following identification of any significant differences, the least significant differences (LSD) test was employed to identify specific differences among treatments. P <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

What have we learned? 

A total of 13,311 arthropods representing 19 orders were identified, with Acari (38.7% of total arthropods), Collembola: Isotomidae (26.8%), Collembola: Hypogastruridae (10.4%), Coleoptera larvae (1.6%), Diplura (1.2%), Diptera larvae (0.9%), and Pseudoscorpiones (0.6%) being the most abundant soil-dwelling taxa. These taxa had the greatest relative abundance in samples throughout the study and were, therefore, chosen for statistical analysis of their response to manure application method and time since application.

The most significant responses to application method were found for collembolan populations, specifically for Hypogastruridae and Isotomidae. However, Pseudoscorpiones were also significantly affected by application method. Time following slurry application had a significant impact on most of the analyzed populations including Hypogastruridae, Isotomidae, mites, coleopteran larvae, diplurans, and dipteran larvae. The positive response of Hypogastruridae and Isotomidae collembolans to broadcast swine slurry application was likely due to the addition of nutrients (in the form of OM and nitrates) to the soil provided by this form of agricultural fertilizer.

Future Plans   

Research focused on the role of livestock manure in cropping systems for improved soil quality and fertility is underway with additional soil characteristics being monitored under multiple land treatment practices with and without manure.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation       

Dr. Amy Millmier Schmidt, Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Corresponding author email 

aschmidt@unl.edu

Other authors   

Nicole R. Schuster, Julie A. Peterson, John E. Gilley and Linda R. Schott

Additional information               

Dr. Amy Millmier Schmidt can also be reached at (402) 472-0877.

Dr. Julie Peterson, Assistant Professor of Entomology, University of Nebraska – Lincoln can be reached at (308) 696-6704 or Julie.Peterson@unl.edu.

Acknowledgements      

Eric Davis, Ethan Doyle, Mitchell Goedeken, Stuart Hoff, Kevan Reardon, and Lucas Snethen are gratefully acknowledged for their assistance with field data collection. Kayla Mollet, Ethan Doyle, and Ashley Schmit are acknowledged for their assistance with data processing. This research was funded, in part, by faculty research funds provided by the Agricultural Research Division within the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Field Technology & Water Quality Outreach

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Purpose

In 2015, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) partnered with local and state agencies to help identify potential sources of fecal coliform bacteria that were impacting shellfish beds in northwest Washington.  WSDA and Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) program partners began collecting ambient, as well as rain-driven, source identification water samples. Large watersheds with multiple sub-basins, changing weather and field conditions, and recent nutrient applications, meant new sites were added almost daily. The increased sampling created an avalanche of new data. With this data, we needed to figure out how to share it in a way that was timely, clear and could motivate change. Picture of water quality data via spreadsheet, graphs, and maps.

Conveying complex water quality results to a broad audience can be challenging. Previously, water quality data would be shared with the public and partners through spreadsheets or graphs via email, meetings or quarterly updates. However, the data that was being shared was often too late or too overwhelming to link locations, weather or field conditions to water quality. Even though plenty of data was available, it was difficult for it to have meaningful context to the general public.

Ease of access to results can help inform landowners of hot spots near their home, it can link recent weather and their own land management practices with water quality, as well as inform and influence decision-making.

What Did We Do?

Using basic GIS tools we created an interactive map, to share recent water quality results. The map is available on smartphones, tablets and personal computers, displaying near-real-time results from multiple agencies.  Viewers can access the map 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We have noticed increPicture of basic GIS tool.ased engagement from our dairy producers, with many checking the results map regularly for updates. The map is symbolized with graduated stop light symbology, with poor water quality shown in red and good in green. If they see a red dot or “hot spot” in their neighborhood they may stop us on the street, send an email, or call with ideas or observations of what they believe may have influenced water quality. It has opened the door to conversations and partnerships in identifying and correcting possible influences from their farm.

The map also contains historic results data for each site, which can show changes in water quality. It allows the viewer to evaluate if the results are the norm or an anomaly. “Are high results after a rainfall event or when my animals are on that pasture?”

The online map has also increased engagement with our Canadian neighbors to the north. By collecting samples at the US/Canadian border we have been able to map streams where elevated bacteria levels come across the border. This has created an opportunity to partner with our Canadian counterparts to continue to identify and correct sources.

What Have We Learned?

You do not need to be a GIS professional to create an app like this for your organization. Learning the system and fine-tuning the web application can take some time, but it is well worth the investment. GIS skills derived from this project have proven invaluable as the app transfers to other areas of non-point work.  The web application has created great efficiencies in collaboration, allowing field staff to quickly evaluate water quality trends in order to spend their time where it is most needed. The application has also provided transparency to the public regarding our field work, demonstrating why we are sampling particular areas.

From producer surveys, we have learned that viewers prefer a one-stop portal for information. Viewers are less concerned about what agency collected the data as they are interested in what the data says. This includes recent, as well as historical water quality data, field observations; such as wildlife or livestock presence or other potential sources. Also, a brief weekly overview of conditions, observations and/or trends has been requested to provide additional context.

Future Plans

The ease and efficiency of the mobile mapping and data sharing has opened the door to other collaborative projects. Currently we are developing a “Nutrient Tracker” application that allows all PIC partners to easily update a map from the field. The map allows the user to log recent field applications of manure. Using polygons to draw the area on the field, staff can note the date nutrients were identified, type of application, proximity to surface water, if it was a low-, medium- or high-risk application, if follow-up is warranted, and what agency would be the lead contact. This is a helpful tool in learning how producers utilize nutrients, to refer properties of concern to the appropriate agency, and to evaluate recent water quality results against known applications.

Developing another outreach tool, WSDA is collecting 5 years of fall soil nitrate tests from all dairy fields in Washington State. The goal is to create a visual representation of soil data, to demonstrate to producers how nitrate levels on fields have changed from year to year, and to easily identify areas that need to be re-evaluated when making nutrient application decisions.

As part of a collaborative Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) group, we would like to create a “Story Map” that details the current situation, why it is a concern, explain potential sources and what steps can be taken at an individual level to make a difference. A map that visually demonstrates where the watersheds are and how local neighborhoods really do connect to people 7 miles downstream.  An interactive map that not only shows sampling locations, but allows the viewer to drill down deeper for more information about the focus areas, such as pop-ups that explain what fecal coliform bacteria are and what factors can increase bacteria levels. We envision a multi-layer map that includes 24-hour rainfall, river rise, and shellfish bed closures. This interactive map will also share success stories as well as on-going efforts.

Author

Kerri Love, Dairy Nutrient Inspector, Dairy Nutrient Management Program, Washington State Department of Agriculture

klove@agr.wa.gov

Additional Information

Results Map Link: http://arcg.is/1Q9tF48

Washington Shellfish Initiative: http://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/energy-environment/shellfish

Mobile Mapping Technology presentation by Michael Isensee, 2016 National CAFO Roundtable

Sharing the Data: Interactive Maps Provide Rapid Feedback on Recent Water Quality and Incite Change by Educating the Public, Kyrre Flege, Washington State Department of Agriculture and Jessica Kirkpatrick, Washington State Department of Ecology,  2016 National Non-Point Source Monitoring Workshop

Whatcom County PIC Program: http://www.whatcomcounty.us/1072/Water-Quality

Skagit County, Clean Samish Initiative: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/PublicWorksCleanWater/cleansamish.htm

Lower Stillguamish PIC Program: http://snohomishcountywa.gov/3344/Lower-Stilly-PIC-Program

GIS Web Applications: http://doc.arcgis.com/en/web-appbuilder/

Acknowledgements

The web application was a collaborative project developed by Kyrre Flege, Washington State Department of Agriculture and Jessica Kirkpatrick, Washington State Department of Ecology.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Recommendations for Manure Injection and Incorporation Technologies for Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model


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Purpose

A Best Management Practice (BMP) Expert Panel was convened under guidance of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP) Water Quality Goal Implementation Team to assess and quantify Nitrogen and Phosphorus load reductions for use in the Phase 6 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model when manure is injected or incorporated into agricultural lands within the watershed. (Further description of Expert Panels and processes can be found in the 2017 Waste to Worth Proceedings and Presentation by Jeremy Hanson and Mark Dubin).

What Did We Do?

The Expert Panel first created definitions of injection and incorporation practices, which allowed technologies utilized in research to be categorized within each definition. Categorization considered the manner in which manure was placed beneath the soil surface as well as the level of surface disturbance. Manure injection was defined as a specialized category of placement in which organic nutrient sources (including manures, biosolids, and composted materials) are mechanically applied into the root zone with surface soil closure at the time of application with soil surface disturbance of 30% or less. Manure incorporation was defined as the mixing of dry, semi-dry, or liquid organic nutrient sources (including manures, biosolids, and compost) into the soil profile within a specified time period from application by a range of field operations (≤24hr for full ammonia loss reduction credit and 3 days for P reduction credit(s)). Incorporation was divided into categories of high disturbance (<30% residue retention) and low disturbance (>30% residue retention). Both liquid and solid manures were considered.

The panel conducted an extensive literature review of research that allowed comparison of nutrient loss after manure injection and incorporation with a baseline of surface manure application without incorporation. These comparisons were assembled in a large categorical table in percentage form, that reflected loss reduction efficiency. Many manuscripts offered a percentage comparison of application treatments to the surface application baseline. For research reports that did not provide a percentage comparison, the panel interpreted results into a percentage comparison when possible.

Consideration to soil variability and location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed was considered on a very broad basis and in a manner consistent with work of other panels and modeling team recommendations. Loss reduction efficiencies were provided for soils or locations listed as either Coastal or Upland regions. Nitrogen efficiencies did not vary between the regions, but Phosphorus efficiencies did.

What Have We Learned?

Nitrogen and Phosphorus loss reduction efficiency reported or derived from literature varied within categories. For some categories, the volume of literature was small. Research providing these efficiencies is often conducted on small plots with simulated rainfall. Literary reduction results were often provided as a range and not as a single value. Professional scrutiny and judgment was applied to each value provided from literature and to all values within injection and incorporation categories to determine loss reduction efficiencies to be used in the broad categories of the model. The final loss reduction efficiencies of the Expert Panel’s final report are provided in Tables 1 (Upland Region) and 2 (Coastal Region).

Table 1. Loss reduction efficiency values for Upland regions of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

 

Category

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Time to Incorporation

Ammonia Emission Reduction

Reduction in N Loading1

Time to Incorporation

Reduction in P Loading2

Injection

0

85%

12%

0

36%

Low Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

50%

34%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

24%

High Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

75%

50%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

0%3

1 Reduction in N loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  25% of total N losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved N and sediment-associated organic matter N).

2 Reduction in P loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  80% of total P losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved  and sediment-bound P) in upland regions of the watershed.

3 Reduction in dissolved P losses typically offset by greater sediment-bound P losses due to greater soil erosion with tillage incorporation in upland landscapes.

 

Table 2. Loss reduction efficiency values for Coastal Plain region of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

 

 

Category

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Time to Incorporation

Ammonia Emission Reduction

Reduction in N Loading1

Time to Incorporation

Reduction in P Loading2

Injection

0

85%

12%

12%

0

22%

Low Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

50%

34%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

14%

High Disturbance Incorporation

≤24 hr

24-72 hr

75%

50%

 

8%

8%

≤72 hr

 

14%

1 Reduction in N loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  25% of total N losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved N and sediment-associated organic matter N).

2 Reduction in P loading water achieved only for losses with surface runoff. The portion of total N loss through leaching is not impacted by the practices.  48% of total P losses to water are assumed to be lost with runoff (both dissolved and sediment-bound P) in Coastal Plain.

Future Plans

The report of the Manure Injection and Incorporation Panel were accepted by the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Agricultural Workgroup in December 2016. The values will be utilized in Phase 6 of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model. Future panels may revisit the efficiencies as future model improvements are made.

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation) 

Robert Meinen, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State University

Corresponding author email address  

rjm134@psu.edu

Other Authors 

Curt Dell (Panel Chair), Soil Scientist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service

Art Allen, Associate Professor and Associate Research Director, University of Maryland – Eastern Shore

Dan Dostie, Pennsylvania State Resources Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Mark Dubin, Agricultural Technical Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, University of Maryland

Lindsey Gordon, Water Quality Goal Implementation Team Staffer, Chesapeake Research Consortium

Rory Maguire, Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

Don Meals, Environmental Consultant, Tetra Tech

Chris Brosch, Delaware Department of Agriculture

Jeff Sweeney, Integrated Analysis Coordinator, US EPA

For More Information

Two related presentations given at the same session at Waste to Worth 2017

Acknowledgements

Funding for this panel was provided by the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and Virginia Tech University through an EPA Grant.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Livestock Methane Emissions Estimated and Mapped at a County-level Scale for the Contiguous United States


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Purpose         

This analysis of methane emissions used a “bottom-up” approach based on animal inventories, feed dry matter intake, and emission factors to estimate county-level enteric (cattle) and manure (cattle, swine, and poultry) methane emissions for the contiguous United States.

What did we do? 

Methane emissions from enteric and manure sources were estimated on a county-level and placed on a map for the lower 48 states of the US. Enteric emissions were estimated as the product of animal population, feed dry matter intake (DMI), and emissions per unit of DMI. Manure emission estimates were calculated using published US EPA protocols and factors. National Agricultural Statistic Services (NASS) data was utilized to provide animal populations. Cattle values were estimated for every county in the 48 contiguous states of the United States. Swine and poultry estimates were conducted on a county basis for states with the highest populations of each species and on a state-level for less populated states. Estimates were placed on county-level maps to help visual identification of methane emission ‘hot spots’. Estimates from this project were compared with those published by the EPA, and to the European Environmental Agency’s Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR).

What have we learned? 

Overall, the bottom-up approach used in this analysis yielded total livestock methane emissions (8,888 Gg/yr) that are comparable to current USEPA estimates (9,117 Gg/yr) and to estimates from the global gridded
EDGAR inventory (8,657 Gg/yr), used previously in a number of top-down studies. However, the
spatial distribution of emissions developed in this analysis differed significantly from that of
EDGAR.

Methane emissions from manure sources vary widely and research on this subject is needed. US EPA maximum methane generation potential estimation values are based on research published from 1976 to 1984, and may not accurately reflect modern rations and management standards. While some current research provides methane emission data, a literature review was unable to provide emission generation estimators that could replace EPA values across species, animal categories within species, and variations in manure handling practices.

Future Plans    

This work provides tabular data as well as a visual distribution map of methane emission estimates from enteric (cattle) and manure (cattle, swine, poultry) sources. Future improvement of products from this project is possible with improved manure methane emission data and refinements of factors used within the calculations of the project.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation        

Robert Meinen, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State University Department of Animal Science

Corresponding author email    

rjm134@psu.edu

Other authors   

Alexander Hristov (Principal Investigator), Professor of Dairy Nutrition, Penn State University Department of Animal Science Michael Harper, Graduate Assistant, Penn State University Department of Animal Science Richard Day, Associate Professor of Soil

Additional information                

None.

Acknowledgements       

Funding for this project was provided by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Biofuels and Bioproducts from Wet and Gaseous Waste Streams: Challenges and Opportunities

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Purpose

To provide an initial characterization of the wet and gaseous organic feedstocks available in the continental U.S., and to explore technological possibilities for converting these streams into biofuels and bioproducts.

What did we do?

The Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy commissioned an in depth resource assessment by teams at the the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL). Concurrently, BETO conducted a series of workshops, informed by an extended literature review and several rounds of peer review to ascertain the states of technologies for making biofuels and bioproducts from these resources. These efforts resulted in a January 2017 report that is available here:

https://energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/articles/beto-publishes-analysis-biofu…

What have we learned?

Terrestrial feedstocks are currently the largest resource generated for the bioeconomy, estimated at 572 million dry tons for 2017 (Billion Ton 2016), and have traditionally constituted the primary focus of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). However, the resource assessment conducted by the National Renewable Energy Lab and Pacific Northwest National Lab indicates that wet waste feedstocks (Summarized in Table ES-1) could also make significant contributions to the bioeconomy and domestic energy security goals.

Summary of Annual Wet and Gaseous Feedstock Availability

Table 1. Annual Resource Generation

1 116,090 Btu/gal. This does not account for conversion efficiency.

2 The moisture content of food waste varies seasonally, ranging from 76% in the summer to 72% in the winter.

3 Methane potential. This does not include currently operational landfill digesters (>1,000 billion cubic feet [Bcf] annually) and may double count potential from wastewater residuals, food waste, and animal waste.

4 DDGS = Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles

BCF- Billion cubic feet

When combining the primary waste streams of interest: sludge/biosolids, animal manure, food waste, and fats, oils, and greases, a supplemental 77 million dry tons per year are generated. Of this total, 27 million dry tons is currently being beneficially used (e.g. fertilizer, biodiesel, compost), leaving 50 million dry tons available for conversion to biofuels, bioproducts or biopower. Gaseous waste streams (biogas and associated natural gas) contribute an additional 734 trillion Btu (TBtu), bringing the total energy potential of these feedstocks to over 2.3 quadrillion Btu. Additionally, these streams contain methane, the second most prevalent greenhouse gas, which constituted 12% of net U.S. emissions in 2014 according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas inventory. Thus, there is significant potential to valorize these energy dense streams while simultaneously reducing harmful emissions.

As illustrated by example in Figure ES-1, wet and gaseous waste streams are widely geographically distributed, frequently in areas of high population density, affording them unique current and emerging market opportunities. The size of publicly owned treatment works, landfills, rendering operations, and grease collectors overlay with the largest population centers nationwide. Therefore, when compared to terrestrial feedstocks, these waste streams are largely aggregated and any derivative biofuels, bioproducts, or biopower are close to end markets.

Figure ES-1. Spatial distribution and influent range of 14,581 US EPA 2012 Clean Water Needs Survey (CWNS) catalogued treatment plants

At the same time, however, this close proximity to populations markets often correlates with more stringent regulatory landscapes for disposal. Therefore, the value proposition presented by these waste streams commonly includes avoiding disposal costs as opposed to an independent biorefinery that requires stand-alone profitability. Aided by these and related factors, public and private entities are actively exploring and deploying novel solutions for waste stream valorization. Potential competition between biofuels, bioproducts, and other beneficial uses will likely be a key element of future markets, and clearly merits further analytical and modeling investigation.

Future Plans

This report concludes that wet and gaseous organic waste streams represent a significant and underutilized set of feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts. They are available now, in many cases represent a disposal problem that constitutes an avoided cost opportunity, and are unlikely to diminish in volume in the near future. As a result, at least in the short and medium term, they may represent a low-cost set of feedstocks that could help jump start the Bioeconomy of the Future via niche markets. While much modeling, analysis, and technological de-risking remains to be done in order to bring these feedstocks to market at significant scales, the possible contributions to the overall mission of the Bioenergy Technologies Office merit further attention.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Mark Philbrick, Waste-to-Energy Coordinator, Bioenergy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy

Corresponding author email

mark.philbrick@hq.doe.gov

Other authors

see report

Additional information

Future activities are contingent upon Congressional appropriations.

Acknowledgements

see report

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.