EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT AND USE OF ANIMAL MANURE TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit
Project Number: 6445-12630-003-00
Start Date: Nov 09, 2005
End Date: Sep 30, 2010
Increase the current effort to develop and evaluate management practices and treatment technologies that reduce air emissions of ammonia and odor causing compounds from animal production operations, manure storage areas, and field application sites. The overall goal of the research project formulated in a real partnership between ARS and Western Kentucky University (WKU) is to conduct cost effective and problem solving research associated with animal waste management. The research will evaluate management practices and treatment strategies that protect water quality, reduce atmospheric emissions, and control pathogens at the animal production facilities, manure storage areas, and field application sites, particularly for the unique karst topography. This Project is a unique situation in the sense that non-ARS scientists from a university are included in a research project to conduct research under the same National Program. Hence, to achieve the ultimate goal of this project, the integration and coordination of scientific expertise of the scientists from ARS and WKU are required within and across all objectives. The objectives and related specific sub-objectives are organized according to the three major components (Nutrient, Emission, and Pathogen) of the National Program 206, which mostly apply to this project. The specific objectives for the next 5 years are:
Objective 1: Develop management practices and decision tools for long-term use of animal manure as an alternative source of fertilizer for forages and row crops with regard to the following factors: Impacts on crop yield, nutrient loading, availability and uptake, application rate and timing, tillage, methods of application, soil quality, and soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions.
Objective 2: Determine if nutrient loading from agricultural watersheds in karst terrain is a function of physical watershed characteristics.
Objective 3: Reduce odiferous emissions by developing innovative molecular-based methods to identify and quantify microorganisms and biological activities responsible for production of odorous compounds in livestock wastes.
Objective 4: Develop new analytical approaches to quantify gases (e.g. methane, H2S), volatile odor compounds (e.g. p-cresol, skatole, and other VOCs) and evaluate treatment technologies for odor abatement at animal production facilities and manure-applied fields.
Objective 5: Employ molecular-based methods to improve detection, quantification, and evaluation of transport, and survival of pathogens including Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 from animal manure. Also, compare survival of these pathogens with indicator organisms through a series of laboratory and watershed studies.
This research project was conceived as a cooperative/partnership and comprehensive research program between USDA-ARS Animal Waste Management Research Unit (AWMRU) and Western Kentucky University (WKU). The research is designed to utilize the scientific expertise and facilities of both institutions to conduct problem-solving research related to the animal waste management in Kentucky and the Southeastern US. The research effort will be multi-disciplinary and multifaceted in support of decision making and systems development. Research focuses will be on all three components (Nutrient, Atmospheric Emission, and Pathogens) of the National Program 206. State-of-the-art laboratories and equipments exist at both AWMRU and WKU, which can be accessed by the scientists. Main instruments include: ICP, GC-MS, Lachat, C/N Analyzer, Real time PCR, etc.