Industry Initiatives for Environmental Sustainability – a Role for Everyone

This webinar introduces current and future industry-based initiatives for environmental sustainability in the livestock and poultry sector, and how Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community learners can play a critical role in their region. This presentation was originally broadcast on September 17, 2021.

If you have difficulties please see our webinar troubleshooting page. If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request. The embedded videos can be viewed full screen by clicking on the icon in the lower right corner.

Introduction

Erin Cortus, University of Minnesota (2 minutes)

Poultry & Egg Sustainability Initiatives

Hema Prado, American Egg Board and Ryan Bennett, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs (18 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Verifying Our Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Marguerite Tan, National Pork Board (12 minutes)
Presentation Slides

Sustainable Beef Initiatives

Kathleen Fisher, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (8 minutes)

Presentation Slides

U.S. Dairy 2050 Goals and Net Zero Initiative

Curt Gooch, Dairy Management Inc. (18 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Questions From the Audience

All presenters (17 minutes)

More Information

Continuing Education Units


Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz (not available yet). Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

Litter Nutrients and Management in Poultry Systems

As poultry genetics, management practices and industries evolve, so do manure and litter characteristics. This presentation was originally broadcast on June 19, 2020. More…

If you have difficulties please see our webcast troubleshooting page. If you need to download a copy of a segment, submit a request.

Experiences with Slotted Flooring and Litter Management for Turkeys

Kevin Janni, University of Minnesota (14 minutes)

Presentation Slides

Broiler Litter Nutrient Content as Influenced by Bedding Management

John Chastain, Clemson University (15 minutes)
Presentation Slides

Nutrient Release Characteristics of Poultry Litter: Agronomic and Environmental Implications

Rishi Prasad, Auburn University (21 minutes)
Presentation Slides

Questions and Answers

All Presenters (21 minutes)

Continuing Education Units


Certified Crop Advisers (CCA, CPAg, or CPSS)

View the archive and take the quiz. Visit the CCA continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.


American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS)

View the archive and report your attendance to ARPAS via their website. Visit the ARPAS continuing education page for additional CEU opportunities.

Impact of Fluctuating Fertilizer Prices on Poultry Manure Nutrient Value

Over the last 15 years it has become common to build new poultry production facilities on a piece of property that will provide the necessary land area for all of the barns and support facilities, and that comply with the setbacks (i.e. surface water, nearest neighbors) required by local, state, and federal regulations. The manure management plan in such cases depended on the transport of poultry manure to remote cropland that was often not owned and managed by the poultry producer. In some states, the law held the poultry producer legally responsible for any possible environmental consequences associated with irresponsible spreading or handling. Such laws tended to limit transport distances due to the lack of liability transfer.  In other states, like South Carolina, poultry manure brokers were required to have a state permit that allowed for the transfer of liability from the producer to the broker by means of a contract. The broker became liable for proper application rates, adherence to setback requirements, application at agronomic rates, and other state requirements. While transfer of liability did encourage the movement of manure from nearby fields with high soil-test phosphorous contents to remote fields that could benefit from all plant nutrients in manure it also gave rise to an increase in the number or farms that were permitted with manure brokerage as the only manure nutrient management alternative.

During the period from 2002 to 2008 when many new poultry farms were being built the average prices of N, P2O5, and K2O were increasing due to surges in fuel prices. Nitrogen prices increased in a linear manner from 29 to 75 cents per pound or a 2.6 fold increase in price (Table 1 and Figure 1). Prices of the other major nutrients, P2O5 and K2O, increased by over a factor of 3 for the same six year period (Figure 2). Such increases in the cost of fertilizers greatly increased demand for poultry manure, and further encouraged poultry producers to build barns that depended on brokerage as the only manure management option without any considerations of potential decreases in manure value. In recent years, fertilizer prices have decreased and brokerage of manure is not as attractive. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of fertilizer price fluctuations on the value of broiler litter, high-rise layer manure, turkey grow-out litter, and turkey brooder litter.

Table 1. Fertilizer composition information and equation used to convert price per ton to price per pound.
Fertilizer Description Nutrient Content Per Ton of Fertilizer
Urea – 46% N by weight 920 lb N/ton
Ammonium Nitrate – 34% N by weight 680 lb N/ton
Ammonium Sulfate – 21% N and 24% by weight 420 lb N/ton
Conc. Super-Phosphate – 46% P2O5 by weight 920 lb P2O5 /ton
Potassium Chloride – 60% K2O by weight 1200 K2O / ton
Equation Used to Convert Fertilizer Price to Price per Pound of Nutrient $ / lb Nutrient = $ / Ton of Fertilizer÷ lb Nutrient / Ton
Figure 1. Variation in nitrogen prices based on national averages from 2000 to 2012 (USDA-ERS, 2013).
Figure 1. Variation in nitrogen prices based on national averages from 2000 to 2012 (USDA-ERS, 2013).
Figure 2. Variation in P2O5 and K2O prices based on national averages from 2000 to 2012 (USDA-ERS, 2013).
Figure 2. Variation in P2O5 and K2O prices based on national averages from 2000 to 2012 (USDA-ERS, 2013).

What did we do?

Fertilizer Nutrient Content of Poultry Manure

The type of poultry raised in a building and the amount of bedding used causes a wide variation in the plant nutrient content of the manure removed from the building. The manure composition used in the study was taken from data obtained in South Carolina and is shown in Table 2. Broiler litter and turkey grow-out litter were the most similar since pine shavings were used as bedding and several flocks of birds were grown-out on the litter prior to building clean-out. Clean-out frequency varies greatly from every 1 to 1.5 years. The data shown in Table 2 corresponded to annual litter clean-out. The moisture contents (MC) of these two litters were also similar (24% for the broiler litter and 26% for the turkey grow-out litter).  Turkey production begins on a brooder farm where chicks are placed, brooded, and the poults are transported to a grow-out farm. These farms are unique in that the litter was completely changed after each flock. The result is that litter from a brooder farm is much drier (14% moisture content) and contains less manure than any other type of poultry manure. The lower manure content also resulted in lower plant nutrient content. Manure from a high-rise layer barn was at the other extreme. Since no bedding was added to the manure the moisture content was much higher (47%). The high moisture content resulted in lower plant available nitrogen (PAN) content as compared to broiler litter, as well as lower phosphorus content (expressed as P2O5) and potassium (expressed as K2O).

Table 2. Poultry manure composition (lb / ton) used in the analysis (Chastain et al, 2001).
Nutrient Broiler Litter(MC = 24%) Layer Manure(MC = 47%) Turkey Grow-out Litter (MC = 26%) Turkey Brooder Litter (MC = 14%)
Ammonium-N 10 12 12 2.6
Nitrate-N 3.6 None detected 0.4 0.6
Org-N 43.8 22 42 37.2
Total-N 57.4 34 54 40.4
PAN – inc * 38 23 35 25
P2O5 66 51 64 29
K2O 57 26 37 20
* PAN – inc. = Incorporated plant available N = 0.60 x Org-N + 0.80 x Ammonium-N + Nitrate-N

Data for all three forms of nitrogen are provided in Table 2. However, not all of the nitrogen in manure is available for use by a crop. For this study, it was assumed that poultry manure was incorporated on the same day that it was applied by disking. As a result, 80% of the ammonium-N was counted as plant available. The amount of organic-N (Org-N) mineralized was assumed to be 60% based on common recommendations in South Carolina, however mineralization rates vary based on soil temperature, pH, and moisture. All the small amounts of nitrate contained in the manure was counted as available. The equation used for PAN estimates is provided with the table. Additional information concerning the estimate of plant available-N is provided by Chastain et al (2001).

The three plant nutrients used in our analysis are shown in bold colors in Table 2 for each type of poultry manure. They were the PAN, which is the best estimate of the nitrogen in manure that can be substituted for fertilizer-N, P2O5, and K2O.

Fertilizer Component Prices Used

The price of a pound of fertilizer nitrogen depends of the source. The price data shown previously in Figure 1 shows clearly that the most expensive source of nitrogen was ammonium sulfate, followed by ammonium-nitrate and urea. Ammonium-sulfate, the most expensive source of N, has few advantages unless soil-test results indicate that addition of large amounts of sulfur is needed. Ammonium-nitrate is one of the most common types of nitrogen used to manufacture complete fertilizers. It has the advantage of being water soluble, and is not as readily lost to the air as ammonia as compared to urea. Urea has the advantages of being more water soluble than ammonium-nitrate, and contains 35% more N per ton than ammonium-nitrate. The primary disadvantage of urea is that a significant amount (20% to 40%) can be lost to the air by ammonia volatilization unless it is incorporated in the soil to a depth of at least one inch. So the basic question to decide is: which N-price should be used to define the value of the plant available-N in poultry manure? The price of urea was selected because urea and poultry manure behave similarly with regards to ammonia volatilization losses.

The prices of N, P2O5, and K2O were shown to fluctuate widely from 2000 to 2012 (see Figures 1 and 2). The largest cause of these price fluctuations was the price of energy (i.e. oil) needed to manufacture and transport fertilizers. As a result, the prices of these three major plant nutrients were not allowed to vary independently in the analysis. That is, prices of all three nutrients had to be selected by year because of the dependence of all three on energy prices.

It was not a study objective to try to predict future prices since that would be possible, nor was it to perform calculations for each year. To do so would provide many numbers, but would obscure the basic points to be learned. Instead, the approach used was to select nutrient prices by year and use the years that encompassed the linear increase that began in 2004 as well as major peaks and valleys seen in the price of nitrogen in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Prices were also obtained from market reports to obtain prices for the fourth quarter of 2016 (USDA-SC, 2016; DTN, 2016). The actual prices used by year for the analysis are given in Table 3.

Table 3. Component fertilizer prices used in the analysis (USDA-ERS, 2013). The prices shown for 2016 were average prices obtained from market publications from the fourth quarter (USDA-SC, 2016; DTN, 2016).
Year $/lb N (Urea) $/lb P2O5 $/lb K2O
2004 0.30 0.29 0.15
2008 0.60 0.87 0.47
2010 0.49 0.55 0.43
2012 0.60 0.72 0.54
2016 0.37 0.26 0.27

Value of Poultry Manure Used as a Complete Fertilizer – N,P, and K

The first step in the study was to calculate the value of a ton of poultry manure by multiplying the price of N, P2O5, and K2O for each year (Table 3) by the amount of these nutrients per ton of manure (Table 2). This assumes that all of the nutrients in the manure can be used to grow a marketable crop. This is only true if the soil is poor in fertility or the excess P can be used by other crops in the rotation without application of additional manure. Many brokerage contracts in South Carolina, are based on application of 2 tons of litter per acre prior to a primary crop, such as corn or cotton. Additional litter is not spread on the second crop which is often soybeans. The results for the first step are provided in Table 4.

Table 4. Variation in the value of various types of poultry manure ($/ton) based on variability in price of N, P2O5, and K2O. Prices assume that all of the nutrients in the manure can be used in a crop rotation.
Year Broiler (MC = 24%) Layer (MC = 47%) Turkey Grow-out (MC = 26%) Turkey Brooder (MC = 14%)
2004 39.09 25.59 34.61 18.91*
2008 107.01 70.39 94.07 49.63
2010 79.43 50.50 68.26 36.80
2012 101.10 64.56 87.06 46.68
2016 46.61 28.79 39.58 22.19*
* Denotes values too low to be part of a viable brokerage contract with typical brokerage prices being in the range of $20 to $25 per ton of manure.

The most important observations that can be made from the results given in Table 4 are given below.

  • The value of broiler and turkey grow-out litter followed similar fluctuations. The values ranged from about $35 to $39 per ton in 2004 to a maximums of $94 to $107 per ton in 2008. By the end of 2016 the value of turkey grow-out litter and broiler litter ranged from about $40 to $47 per ton. During the years with high fertilizer prices brokerage customers that were paying $40 to $50 to spread 2 tons of litter per acre were receiving much more fertilizer value than they were paying for.
  • Turkey brooder litter consistently had the lowest value per ton as compared to the others due to low nutrient content and the large amounts of bedding used. The value of a ton of this type of litter was too low in 2004 and 2016 to be viable for litter brokerage contracts. Even during years with high fertilizer prices (2008 and 2012) turkey brooder litter was rarely brokered since it was so dry. Such dry, low-density manure that was mostly pine shavings further reduced the amount of litter and fertilizer value that could be fit into a typical trailer.
  • Layer manure consistently had lower value per ton as compared to broiler and turkey grow-out litter. The lower value was due to the much higher moisture content which diluted the nutrient value of the manure. Layer litter was a viable brokerage option, but not for long haul distances.

Value of Poultry Manure Applied to Fields with Sufficient P2O5

A common situation is when soil-test results indicate that a field has sufficient P2O5 in the soil for not only the crop to be grown immediately, but also for the next crop in the rotation (soybeans for example). In such cases, the P2O5 in poultry manure has no value, and only the N and K2O in the manure can be used as a fertilizer substitute. The results for this situation are provided in Table 5.

Table 5. Variation in the value of various types of poultry manure ($/ton) based on N and K2O prices. It was assumed that soil-test indicate that no P2O5 was needed.
Year Broiler (MC = 24%) Layer (MC = 47%) Turkey Grow-out (MC = 26%) Turkey Brooder (MC = 14%)
2004 19.95* 10.80* 16.05* 10.50*
2008 49.59 26.02 38.39 24.40
2010 43.13 22.45* 33.06 20.85*
2012 53.58 27.84 40.98 25.80
2016 29.45 15.53* 22.94* 14.65*
* denotes values are two low to be part of a viable brokerage contract with typical brokerage prices being in the range of $20 to $25 per ton of manure.

The results indicated that when the N price was $0.30/lb and K2O averaged $0.15/lb in 2004 the value of poultry manure was too low to be moved at contact prices of $20 to $25 per ton. Also, at prices associated with 2008, 2010, and 2012 the value of broiler and turkey grow-out litter ranged from $33 to $54 per ton. Layer and turkey brooder litter were poor to marginal values for brokerage contacts when the P2O5 was not needed over the entire range of fertilizer prices.

Comparing the results for 2008 for broiler litter indicates that if P2O5 was not needed the value fell from $107.01/ton to $49.59/ton. That is, the value of the litter was reduced by 54%. The year with the next highest value, 2012, eliminating the need for P2O5 reduced the litter value by 47%. Large drops in litter value can also be observed for other types of poultry manure by comparing the values in Tables 4 and 5. These results indicate that the P2O5 contained in poultry manure is one of the largest sources of value.

Value of Poultry Manure as Only a Source of Nitrogen

The analysis was performed again to reflect the value of poultry manure if nitrogen is the only major nutrient needed based on soil-test results. The results given in Table 6 clearly show that nitrogen alone never provided enough value to support brokerage contracts.

Table 6. Variation in the value of various types of poultry manure ($/ton) when nitrogen is the only nutrient needed based on soil-test results.
Year Broiler (MC = 24%) Layer (MC = 47%) Turkey Grow-out (MC = 26%) Turkey Brooder (MC = 14%)
2004 11.40* 6.90* 10.50* 7.50*
2008 22.80* 13.80* 21.00* 15.00*
2010 18.62* 11.27* 17.15* 12.25*
2012 22.80* 13.80* 21.00* 15.00*
2016 14.06* 8.51* 12.95* 9.25*
* denotes values are two low to be part of a viable brokerage contract with typical brokerage prices being in the range of $20 to $25 per ton of manure.

Results for a Four-House Broiler Farm

The previous results demonstrated that high litter nutrient contents combined with strong fertilizer prices yielded litter values that were much greater than the amount paid to litter brokers. The results also demonstrated that P2O5 was one of the key contributors to litter value.  The results of the analysis were applied to a four-house broiler farm to more clearly demonstrate the practical implications. Fertilizer prices from January 2019 in central South Carolina were also added to the analysis. The key assumptions and results are provided in Table 7.

Table 7. Application of analysis results to a 4-house broiler farm. Building size = 50 ft x 500 ft, litter production was assumed to be 580 tons/year (145 tons/house/yr) with a price of $10/ton paid to the broiler producer ($5800/year).
Year N Price ($/lb) P2O5 Price ($/lb) K2O Price ($/lb) Litter Value ($/ton) Value of 580 tons of litter ($/Year) Value from N (%) Value from P2O5 (%) Value From K2O (%) Loss to Producer ($/Year)
2004 0.30 0.29 0.15 39.09 22,672 29 49 22 16,872*
2008 0.60 0.87 0.47 107.01 62,066 21 54 25 56,266
2010 0.49 0.55 0.43 79.43 46,069 23 46 31 40,269
2012 0.60 0.72 0.54 101.1 58,638 23 47 30 52,838
2016 0.37 0.26 0.27 46.61 27,034 30 37 33 21,234
2019** 0.38 0.54 0.31 67.75 39,295 21 53 26 33,495
* The price paid to a broiler producer in a brokerage contract ranges from 0 to $15/ton of litter. A value of $10 /ton of litter is common. The loss was calculated as:  (litter value ($/ton) – $5800).
** Prices from central South Carolina obtained in January 2019.

The results indicate that the total value of litter on a four house farms that produces 580 tons of litter per year varied from $22,672 per year in 2004 to a maximum of $62,066 per year in 2008. Currently, the value in January 2019 was estimated to be $39,295/year.  In every year, the P2O5 contained in the litter contributed the most to the litter value. This contrasts with the common assumption that the high P2O5 content in litter is a problem as compared to nitrogen. The results point out that the most value can be obtained from litter by giving phosphorous use the priority in manure management. Assuming that the broiler producer was consistently paid $10/ton of litter by the broker the annual litter income was only $5800 per year. If the producer had integrated broiler production with crop production using a rotation that would realize all the fertilizer value in the litter the total litter value would have served to improve profitability of the cropping enterprise. If the producer relied on brokerage as the sole manure management strategy then the annual loss to the producer ranged from $16,872 to $56,266 per year depending on fertilizer prices.

What these results also point to, but do not quantify, is the variation in risk. Producers who built farms using brokerage as the sole manure management plan during the years of high fertilizer prices gave away litter that was worth 3.9 to 10.7 times more than they were paid. They also have incurred a great risk since brokerage contracts typically last only one year, and crop producers who once were happy to purchase brokered litter are no longer consistent customers.  Such producers are forced to quickly find other litter use alternatives often in areas where agricultural and forest land may not be close to the farm. Building broiler barns relying on annual brokerage contracts as the sole manure management option has been shown to be short sighted, and has a low probability of being economically or environmentally sustainable. Co-locating poultry production with some sort of profitable plant production enterprise that can use all of the fertilizer value in the litter is preferred. The next most viable alternative may be to use litter to produce high-quality compost for high volume, consistent markets.

What have we learned?

It was found that the value of poultry manure as a complete fertilizer (N,P,K) varied from $18.91 to $107.01 per ton depending of component prices (N, P, K), moisture content, and the amount of bedding used. If the receiving fields did not require phosphorous, based on soil test, the realized value ranged from $10.50 to $49.59 per ton. Finally, if soil-test indicate that N was the only major nutrient needed the value decreased to $7.50 to $22.80 per ton. During the same time frame, brokerage prices ranged from $20 to $50 per ton depending on haul distance and spreading service. However, most brokerage contracts were based on $20 to $25 per ton of manure.  Several practical observations were made from the results:

  1. Brokerage of litter may only be a viable alternative when the receiving cropland needs a complete fertilizer and when the N, P, and K contents of the manure are not diluted by water or bedding.
  2. Manure brokerage is not economically sustainable if N is the only major nutrient needed by the receiving cropland.
  3. Integrated farms that can use the manure produced by the poultry barns to fertilize their own cropland have the potential to reduce the legal and economic risk to the execution of a manure nutrient management plan.
  4. Poultry farms that currently rely on litter brokerage as the only manure management plan are losing customers and need to look at other alternatives that provide a less risky and sustainable use for the mature produced.
  5. Analysis of the impact of fluctuations in fertilizer price on litter produced from four broiler houses indicated that the full value of the litter ranged from $22,672 to $62,066 per year. The P2O5 contained in the litter accounted for the majority of the fertilizer value (37% to 54%). As a result, complete utilization of litter phosphorous in a crop rotation is the key to realizing the maximum value from litter.

Author

John P. Chastain, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Mechanization & Business Program, Clemson University, 245 McAdams Hall, Clemson, SC 29634-0312
jchstn@clemson.edu 

Sources of Additional Information

Chastain, J.P., J.J. Camberato, and P. Skewes. (2001). Poultry Manure Production and Nutrient Content. Chapter 3B in Confined Animal Manure Managers Certification Program Manual: Poultry Version, Clemson University Extension, Clemson SC, pp 3b-1 to 3b-17. Available at: https://www.clemson.edu/extension/camm/manuals/poultry_toc.html

DTN (2016). Fertilizer Trends: Prices Remain Steady, Mostly Lower from Oct. Available at: http://agfax.com/2016/11/16/dtn-fertilizer-trends-prices-remain-steady-mostly-lower-from-oct/.

USDA-ERS (2103), Fertilizer Use and Price. Available at: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/fertilizer-use-and-price/

USDA-SC (2016). Dept of Ag Market News, South Carolina Crop Production Report Dec. 8.

Zublena, J.P., J.V. Baird, and J.P. Lilly. (1997). SoilFacts: Nutrient Content of Fertilizer and Organic Materials (AG-439-18).

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Clemson Extension Confined Animal Manure Managers Program.

 

 

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. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Feed Manipulation, Manure Treatment and Sustainable Poultry Production

This study examined the effects of different treatments of poultry faecal matter on potential greenhouse gas emission and its field application and also evaluated dietary manipulation of protein on the physico-chemical quality of broiler faeces and response of these qualities to 1.5% alum (Aluminium sulphate) treatment during storage.

Poultry litters were randomly assigned to four treatments: salt solution, alum, air exclusion and the control (untreated). Chicks were allotted to corn-soy diets for 42d. The diets were 22 and 20% CP with methionine + lysine content balance and, 22 and 20% CP diets with 110% NRC recommendation of methionine and lysine.

Alum treated faeces had higher (p<0.05) nitrogen retention than other treatments. Treated faecal samples retained more moisture (p < 0.05) than control. The pH tended to be acidic in treated samples (alum, 6.03, p<0.05) and alkaline in the control (7.37, p<0.05). Mean faecal temperature was lower for alum treated faecal samples (28.58oC, p<0.05) and highest for air-tight (29.4oC, p<0.05). Nitrogen depletion rate was significant lower (p<0.05) in alum treated faecal samples. Post-storage, samples treated with alum increased substantially (≥ 46.51%) in total microbial count, while total viable count was lower (p>0.05; 2.83×106 cfu/ml) in air-tight treatment. Maize seeds planted on alum, air-excluded and control litter soils had average germination percentage range of 65–75%, 54–75% and 74-75%, respectively. In Sorghum plots, GP was 99%, and 89%, respectively for alum and air-tight treated soil 2WAP. Average maize height 21DAP was 48 cm and 23 cm for alum and air-tight treatment, respectively. Salt treated faecal samples did not support germination. Faecal pH of broiler fed low protein diets was acidic (4.76-4.80) while treatment with alum (1.5%) led to further reduction in pH (4.78 to 4.58) faecal nitrogen and organic matter compared with control faeces in a 7 days storage. Faecal minerals were generally lower. In conclusion, feeding low level of dietary protein with or without methionine and lysine supplementation in excess of requirement is a suitable mitigation for nitrogen emission and mineral excretion in broiler production. Alum treated poultry litter will mitigate further nitrogen loss in storage because it lowered nitrogen depletion rate, pH, weight, temperature and supports potential agronomic field application index.

On-farm Demonstration of the application of these results to assist farmers to produce poultry sustainably.

Further reading

https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=NZGTKC8AAAAJ#d=gs_md_cita-d&u=%2Fcitations%3Fview_op%3Dview_citation%26hl%3Den%26user%3DNZGTKC8AAAAJ%26citation_for_view%3DNZGTKC8AAAAJ%3AW7OEmFMy1HYC%26tzom%3D-60  

*BOLU, Steven Abiodun, ADERIBIGBE, Simeon Adedeji  OLAWALE, Simon, Malomo, G. A., Olutade, S.G and Suleiman, Z.G. Department of Animal Production, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author: Department of Animal Production, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
Email: bolusao2002@yahoo.co.uk Phone: +234 8060240049

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. 2019. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth. Minneapolis, MN. April 22-26, 2019. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

USDA-NRCS and the National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) for Livestock and Poultry Operations

Proceedings Home | W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose

The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool (NAQSAT) was developed as a first-of-its-kind tool to help producers and their advisors assess the impact of management on air emissions from livestock and poultry operations and identify areas for potential improvement related to those air emissions.

What did we do?

In 2007, several land-grant universities, with leadership from Michigan State University, began developing NAQSAT under a USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). The initial tool included beef, dairy, swine, and poultry operations. A subsequent CIG project, with leadership from Colorado State University, made several enhancements to the tool, including adding horses to the species list. In 2015, USDA-NRCS officially adopted NAQSAT as an approved tool for evaluating air quality resource concerns at livestock and poultry operations. USDA-NRCS also contracted with Florida A&M University in 2015 to provide several regional training workshops on NAQSAT to NRCS employees. Six training workshops have been completed to date (Raleigh, NC; Modesto, CA; Elizabethtown, PA; Lincoln, NE; Richmond, VA; and Yakima, WA) with assistance from multiple NAQSAT development partners. Additionally, USDA-NRCS revised its comprehensive nutrient management plan (CNMP) policy in October 2015 to make the evaluation of air quality resource concerns mandatory as part of CNMP development.

Snippet from website of the National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool

Group photo of team in field

Zwicke in class lecturing

Zwicke and group in animal housing facility

What have we learned?

NAQSAT has proven to be a useful tool for bench-marking the air emissions impacts of current management on confinement-based livestock and poultry operations. In the training sessions, students have been able to complete NAQSAT runs on-site with the producer or producer representative via tablet or smartphone technologies. Further classroom discussion has helped to better understand the questions and answers and how the NAQSAT results can feed into the USDA-NRCS conservation planning process. Several needed enhancements and upgrades to the tool have been identified in order to more closely align the output of the tool to USDA-NRCS conservation planning needs. NAQSAT has also proven to be useful for evaluating the air quality resource concern status of an operation in relation to the CNMP development process.

Future Plans

It is anticipated that the identified needed enhancements and upgrades will be completed as funding for further NAQSAT development becomes available. Additionally, as use of NAQSAT by USDA-NRCS and our conservation planning and CNMP development partners expands, additional training and experience-building opportunities will be needed. The NAQSAT development team has great geographic coverage to assist in these additional opportunities.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Greg Zwicke, Air Quality Engineer – Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Team, USDA-NRCS

Corresponding author email

greg.zwicke@ftc.usda.gov

Other authors

Greg Johnson, Air Quality and Atmospheric Change Team Leader, USDA-NRCS; Jeff Porter, Animal Nutrient and Manure Management Team Leader, USDA-NRCS; Sandy Means, Agricultural Engineer – Animal Nutrient and Manure Management Team, USDA-NRCS

Additional information

naqsat.tamu.edu

https://lpelc.org/naqsat-for-swine-and-poultry

https://lpelc.org/naqsat-for-beef-and-dairy/

Acknowledgements

C.E. Meadows Endowment, Michigan State University

Colorado Livestock Association

Colorado State University

Florida A&M University

Iowa Turkey Federation

Iowa Pork Producers

Iowa Pork Industry Center

Iowa State University

Iowa State University Experiment Station

Kansas State University

Michigan Milk Producers Association

Michigan Pork Producers Association

Michigan State University

Michigan State University Extension

National Pork Board

Nebraska Environmental Trust

Oregon State University

Penn State University

Purdue University

Texas A&M University

University of California, Davis

University of Georgia

University of Georgia Department of Poultry Science

University of Idaho

University of Maryland

University of Maryland Department of Animal and Avian Sciences

University of Minnesota

University of Missouri

University of Nebraska

USDA-ARS

Virginia Tech University

Washington State University

Western United Dairymen

Whatcom County (WA) Conservation District

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.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling Efficiency in US Food Supply Chains – A National Mass-Balance Approach


Proceedings Home | W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose 

Assessing and improving the sustainability of livestock production systems is essential to secure future food production. Crop-livestock production systems continue to impact nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles with repercussions for human health (e.g. secondary particle formation due to ammonia emission and drinking water contamination by nitrate) and the environment (e.g. eutrophication of lakes and coastal waters and exacerbation of hypoxic zones). Additionally, P is a limited resource, and sustaining an adequate P supply is a major emerging challenge. To develop strategies for a more sustainable use of N and P, it is essential to have a quantitative understanding of the flows and stocks of N and P within the society. In this study, we developed detailed national N and P budgets to assess nutrient cycling efficiency in US (livestock) food supply chains, to identify hotspots of nutrient loss and to indicate opportunities for improvement!

What did we do? 

1. National nutrient mass-balance

A mass-balance framework was developed to quantify nutrient flows within the US. In this framework, the national US system is represented by 9 major sectors are relevant in terms of nutrient flows: mining (relevant for P only), industrial production, agriculture, food & feed processing industry, retail, households and other consumers, energy and transport, humans, and waste treatment. These sectors can exist of several sub-sectors. For example, the agricultural sector consists of several secondary sub-systems including pasture, agricultural soil, livestock and manure management (WMS – waste management system).

Different livestock categories can have distinct environmental impacts and nutrient use efficiencies (e.g. (Hou et al. 2016), (Eshel et al. 2014), (Herrero et al. 2013)), we therefore distinguish six livestock categories (dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry (meat), poultry (layers), sheep, hogs) and

 their associated food commodities (dairy products, beef from dairy cattle, beef, poultry, eggs, lamb, pork).

For each sub-system, we identify and quantify major flows to and from this compartment. All flows are expressed in a common unit, i.e. metric kiloton N per year (kt N/yr) for nitrogen and metric kiloton P per year (kt P/yr) for phosphorus. Quantified flows include nutrient related emissions to the environment and waste flows.

At present, the waste sectors and environmental compartment are outside the system boundaries, that is, we quantify flows to these compartments, but we do not attempt to balance these sectors. We do, however, keep track of the exact chemical species (e.g. emission of N2O-N to air instead of N to air) emitted as far as possible. The municipal waste treatment (MSW) and municipal waste water treatment (WWTP) are treated in more detail: major flows from and to these compartments are quantified. These sub-sectors are treated in more detail because of their role in nutrient recycling through e.g. sewage sludge application on agricultural soils.

Data were collected in priority from national statistics (e.g. USDA NASS for livestock population) and peer-reviewed literature, and were supplemented with information from industrial reports and extension files if needed. If available, data were collected for the years 2009 to 2012 and averaged, when unavailable, we collected data for the closest year.

2. Scenario analysis

In the scenario analysis, we test the opportunity for dairy livestock production systems to contribute to a more efficient nutrient use through anaerobic co-digestion of dairy manure and organic food waste. Recently, Informa Economics assessed the national

 market potential of anaerobic digester products for the dairy industry (Informa Economics 2013). Next to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, anaerobic co-digestion of dairy manure and organic food waste can contribute to improve nutrient cycling efficiency (Informa Economics 2013). Dairy manure contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can be used as a natural crop fertilizer, if recuperated from manure. Presently, non-farm organic substrates such as food waste are typically disposed of in landfills, which causes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also results in a permanent removal of valuable nutrients from the food supply chain (Informa Economics 2013). By anaerobic co-digestion, a part of the nutrien! ts contai ned in dairy manure and food waste can be recovered. These nutrients can be used to fertilize crops and substitute synthetic fertilizer application. In the scenario analysis, we test to what extent anaerobic co-digestion of dairy manure and food waste can contribute to improve nutrient cycling efficiency, particularly by substituting synthetic fertilizers. We develop the scenario based on data provided in the InformaEconomics report.

What have we learned? 

In general, our results show that livestock production is the least efficient part of the total food supply chain with large losses associated with manure management and manure and fertilizer application to crops. In absolute terms, the contribution of the household stage to total and N and P losses from the system is small, approximately 5 and 7% for N and P, respectively. However, households ‘waste’ a relatively large percentage of purchased products, (e.g. 16% and 18% of N and P in dairy products end up as food waste), which presents an opportunity for improvement. A scenario was developed to test to what extent anaerobic co-digestion of dairy manure and food waste can contribute to improving nutrient cycling efficiency on a national scale. Results suggest that 22% and 63% of N and P applied as synthetic fertilizer could potentially be avoided in dairy food supply chains by large scale implementation of anaerobic co-digestion o! f manure and food waste.

Future Plans     

Future research plans include a further development of scenarios that are known to reduce nutrient losses at the farm scale and to assess the impact of these scenarios on national nutrient flows and losses.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation        

Karin Veltman, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Corresponding author email    

veltmank@umich.edu

Other authors    

Carolyn Mattick, Phd, Olivier Jolliet, Prof., Andrew Henderson, PhD.

Additional information                

Additional information can be obtained from the corresponding author: Karin Veltman, veltmank@umich.edu

Acknowledgements       

The authors wish to thank Ying Wang for her scientific support, particularly for her contribution in developing the anaerobic co-digestion scenario.

This work was financially supported by the US Dairy Research Institute.

 

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.

Talking Climate with Animal Agriculture Advisers


Proceedings Home W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose             

The Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate (AACC) project was established to leverage limited Extension expertise across the country in climate change mitigation and adaptation, with the goal of building capacity among Extension professionals and other livestock advisers to address climate change issues.

What did we do? 

The Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate project team created a suite of educational programs and products to build capacity across the United States. Key products of the project:

  • Online courses: 363 participants registered with a 35% completion rate (Whitefield et al., JOE, 2016)
  • National and regional symposia and workshops: 11 face-to-face conferences with approximately 1,350 attendees.
  • Website: Over 5,900 users with over 21,100 total views. Project videos have received nearly 8,900 views.
  • Social media: AACC weekly blog (990 subscribers); daily Southeast Climate Blog (38,506 site visits); regional newsletters (627 subscribers); Facebook & Twitter (280 followers)
  • Ready-to-use videos, slide sets, and fact sheets
  • Educational programming: 390 presentations at local, regional, and international meetings
  • Collaboration with 14 related research and education projects

What have we learned? 

A survey was sent out to participants in any of the project efforts, in the third year of the project and again in year five. Overall, participants found the project resources valuable, particularly the project website, the online course, and regional meetings. We surveyed two key measures: abilities and motivations. Overall, 60% or more of respondents report being able or very able to address all eight capabilities after their participation in the AACC program. A sizeable increase in respondent motivation (motivated or very motivated) existed after participation in the program, particularly for helping producers take steps to address climate change, informing others about greenhouse gases emitted by agriculture, answering client questions, and adding new information to programs or curriculum.

The first challenge in building capacity in Extension professionals was finding key communication methods to engage them. Two key strategies identified were to: 1) start programming with a discussion of historical trends and agricultural impacts, as locally relevant as available, and 2) start the discussion around adaptation rather than mitigation. Seeing the changes that are already apparent in the climatic record and how agriculture has adapted in the past and is adapting to more recent weather variability and climatic changes often were excellent discussion starters.

Another challenge was that many were comfortable with the science, but were unsure how to effectively communicate that science with the sometimes controversial discussions that surround climate change. This prompted us to include climate science communication in most of the professional development opportunities, which were then consistently rated as one of the most valuable topics.

Future Plans    

The project funding ended on March 31, 2017. All project materials will continue to be available on the LPELC webpage.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation        

Crystal Powers, Extension Engineer, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Corresponding author email    

cpowers2@unl.edu

Other authors   

Rick Stowell, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Additional information

lpelc.org/animal-agriculture-and-climate-change

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the project team:

Rick Stowell, Crystal Powers, and Jill Heemstra, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Mark Risse, Pam Knox, and Gary Hawkins, University of Georgia

Larry Jacobson and David Schmidt, University of Minnesota

Saqib Mukhtar, University of Florida

David Smith, Texas A&M University

Joe Harrison and Liz Whitefield, Washington State University

Curt Gooch and Jennifer Pronto, Cornell University

This project was supported by Agricultural and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant No. 2011-67003-30206 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

 

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.

Comprehensive Physiochemical Characterization of Poultry Litter: A First Step Towards Manure Management Plans in Argentina


Proceedings Home W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose 

For the last decade, Argentinian CAFO’s have been increasing in number and size. Poultry farming showed remarkable growth and brought to light the absence of litter and nutrient management plans. Land application of poultry litter is the most common practice, but there is insufficient data to support recommended agronomic rates of application.

In this study, we developed the first comprehensive physiochemical characterization of poultry litter to accurately state average nutrient concentrations and data variability to support development of future litter best management practices. Simultaneously, we estimated the crop fertilization potential of poultry litter in Entre Rios Province.

What did we do? 

Entre Rios Province contributes 51% of total Argentinian broiler production, holding over 2,600 chicken farms. Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture Industry contacted integrated broiler farmers, which all seemed to share a modern production protocol related to housing conditions, feed ration, and bedding management, and who were willing to participate in the sampling project. A sampling protocol was written following recognized literature sources (Zhang and Hamilton) and hands-on training sessions were developed with producers in charge of poultry litter sampling. A total of 55 broiler farms were sampled with 3 replicates per farm.

The following parameters were selected for analysis: organic matter, total nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen, organic nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper, electrical conductivity, pH and moisture content. Analytical procedures were stated with a certified local lab following recommended methods for manure analysis. A survey was also conducted at each sampling farm to assess variability on bedding age and material.

What have we learned? 

The average stocking density was 11.3 chickens/m2. The number of flocks grown on the litter before house cleaning ranged from 1 to 11 with an average of 4.7. However, 47.3% of the farms’ litter had less than 5 flocks while 52.7% presented 5 or more flocks. There was no significant correlation between the physiochemical parameters measured and bird density, nor with the number of flocks raised on the litter.

Table 1. Litter Type

Litter Type Farms (%)
Woodchips 50.91
Rice hulls 23.64
Woodchips + rice hulls 21.82
Peanut hulls  3.63

While total nitrogen (TN) and phosphorus means were comparable to normal values reported in U.S. literature (Britton and Bullard; Zhang et al.), the variability of data was significant. Table 2 shows a summary of the most relevant analytical results obtained.

Table 2. Physical and Chemical Average Litter Composition (Dry Basis). SEM*: Standard Error of the Mean

  Mean SEM* St. Deviation C.V. (%)
Organic matter (%) 79.13 0.62 4.61 5.82
Total nitrogen (%) 2.96 0.05 0.38 12.86
Phosphorus (%) 0.97 0.04 0.30 30.83
Sodium (%) 0.41 0.02 0.16 39.42
Electrical conductivity (mmhos/cm) 8.63 0.49 3.66 42.48
pH (I.U.) 7.56 0.04 0.31 4.07
Moisture content (%) 31.50 0.63 4.65 14.78

The coefficients of variation were especially high for phosphorus, sodium and electrical conductivity. This could be a critical factor governing poultry litter land application rates that promote neither phosphorus loss via surface runoff nor buildup of salts or sodium in the soil profile.

Raising over 359 million chickens annually, broiler litter value in Entre Rios Province would surpass 51 million dollars if it were fully used as commercial fertilizer substitute. Based upon the average nutrient content, 51,100 tons of nitrogen, 17,100 tons of phosphorus and 23,600 tons of potassium would be available; enough to fertilize 349,000 hectares of corn based upon crop nitrogen requirements whilst a plan based upon phosphorus would supply 629,000 hectares. Other critical factors like storage duration of litter outdoors, land application method, and the availability of litter nitrogen will impact the final calculation of plant available nitrogen (PAN), which is generally assumed to be 50% of TN when surface applied (Chastain et al.). Entre Rios farmers sow around 245,000 hectares of corn annually, hence 71% of the planted area could potentially be fully nitrogen fertilized using broiler litter instead of commercial fertilizer.

These results showed that while there is strong potential for litter land application at agronomic rates in Entre Rios, individual litter samples properly taken and analyzed are still needed to sustain environmentally sound nutrient management plans due to the large variability of the analytical results.

Future Plans    

The information presented will be utilized as input data for developing draft Broiler Farms’ Nutrient Management Plans that will serve as a model for other Argentinian CAFO. Currently, laboratory results from Buenos Aires Province hen farms are being analyzed.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation        

Roberto Maisonnave, President at AmbientAgro – International Environmental Consulting

Corresponding author email   

robermaison@hotmail.com

Other authors   

Karina Lamelas, Director of Poultry and Swine Production at Ministry of Agriculture (Argentina). Gisela Mair, Ministry of Agriculture (Argentina). Norberto Rodriguez, Ministry of Agricultrue and University of Tres de Febrero (Argentina).

Additional information 

Britton, J. and G. Bullard. 1998 Summary of Poultry Litter Samples in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. CR-8214.

J. Chastain, J. Camberato and P. Skewes. Poultry manure production and nutrient content. Poultry Training Manual. Clemson University. http://www.clemson.edu/extension/camm/manuals/poultry_toc.html

Maisonnave, R.; Lamelas, K. y G. Mair. Buenas prácticas de manejo y utilización de cama de pollo y guano. Ministerio de Agroindustria de la Nación Argentina. 2016.

Zhang, H. and D. Hamilton. Sampling animal manure. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. PSS-2248.

Zhang, H.; Hamilton, D. and J. Payne. Using Poultry Litter as Fertilizer. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. PSS-2246.

Acknowledgements       

Dr. Jorge Dillon and Ing. José Noriega (SENASA)

Ing. Agr. Juan Martin Gange and Lic. Corina Bernigaud (INTA)

Ing. Agr. Alan Nielsen and M. Vet. Juan Nehuén Rossi (Granja Tres Arroyos)

Lic. Pablo Marsó (Las Camelias)

Sra. Nancy Dotto (Soychú)

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


Proceedings Home W2W Home w2w17 logo

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.

Manure Management Technology Selection Guidance

Proceedings Home W2W Home w2w17 logo

Purpose

Manure is an inevitable by-product of livestock production. Traditionally, manure has been land applied for the nutrient value in crop production and improved soil quality.With livestock operations getting larger and, in many cases, concentrating in certain areas of the country, it is becoming more difficult to balance manure applications to plant uptake needs. In many places, this imbalance has led to over-application of nutrients with increased potential for surface water, ground water and air quality impairments. No two livestock operations are identical and manure management technologies are generally quite expensive, so it is important to choose the right technology for a specific livestock operation. Information is provided to assist planners and landowners in selecting the right technology to appropriately address the associated manure management concerns.

What did we do?

As with developing a good conservation plan, knowledge of manure management technologies can help landowners and operators best address resource concerns related to animal manure management. There are so many things to consider when looking at selecting various manure treatment technologies to make sure that it will function properly within an operation. From a technology standpoint, users must understand the different applications related to physical, chemical, and biological unit processes which can greatly assist an operator in choosing the most appropriate technology. By having a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of these technologies, better decisions can be made to address the manure-related resource concerns and help landowners:

• Install conservation practices to address and avoid soil erosion, water and air quality issues.

• In the use of innovative technologies that will reduce excess manure volume and nutrients and provide value-added products.

• In the use of cover crops and rotational cropping systems to uptake nutrients at a rate more closely related to those from applied animal manures.

• In the use of local manure to provide nutrients for locally grown crops and, when possible, discourage the importation of externally produced feed products.

• When excess manure can no longer be applied to local land, to select options that make feasible the transport of manure nutrients to regions where nutrients are needed.

• Better understand the benefits and limitations of the various manure management technologies.

Picture of holding tank

Complete-Mix Anaerobic Digester – option to reduce odors and pathogens; potential energy production

Picture of mechanical equipment

Gasification (pyrolysis) system – for reduced odors; pathogen destruction; volume reduction; potential energy production.

Picture of field

Windrow composting – reduce pathogens; volume reduction

Picture of Flottweg separation technology

Centrifuge separation system – multiple material streams; potential nutrient
partitioning.

What have we learned?

• There are several options for addressing manure distribution and application management issues. There is no silver bullet.

• Each livestock operation will need to be evaluated separately, because there is no single alternative which will address all manure management issues and concerns.

• Option selections are dependent on a number of factors such as: landowner objectives, manure consistency, land availability, nutrient loads, and available markets.

• Several alternatives may need to be combined to meet the desired outcome.

• Soil erosion, water and air quality concerns also need to be addressed when dealing with manure management issues.

• Most options require significant financial investment.

Future Plans

Work with technology providers and others to further evaluate technologies and update information as necessary. Incorporate findings into NRCS handbooks and fact sheets for use by staff and landowners in selecting the best technology for particular livestock operations.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Jeffrey P. Porter, P.E.; National Animal Manure and Nutrient Management Team Leader USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

Corresponding author email

jeffrey.porter@gnb.usda.gov

Other authors

Darren Hickman, P.E., National Geospatial Center of Excellence Director USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; John Davis, National Nutrient Management Specialist USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, retired

Additional information

References

USDA-NRCS Handbooks – Title 210, Part 651 – Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook

USDA-NRCS Handbooks – Title 210, Part 637 – Environmental Engineering, Chapter 4 – Solid-liquid Separation Alternatives for Manure Handling and Treatment (soon to be published)

Webinars

Evaluation of Manure Management Systems – http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/evaluation-of-manure-management-systems/?searchterm=animal waste

Use of Solid-Liquid Separation Alternatives for Manure Handling and Treatment – http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/use-of-solid-liquid-separation-alternatives-for-manure-handling-and-treatment/?searchterm=animal waste

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.