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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION OF MANURE NUTRIENTS AND ODORANT REDUCTION IN SWINE AND CATTLE CONFINEMENT FACILITIES
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
Ammonia, odor, and greenhouse gas emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations are major environmental concerns, and are creating unease between livestock producers and the rural and urban communities dependent upon livestock production. These emissions are primarily caused by the activities of the microorganisms inhabiting the livestock manure environments. The research proposed here will provide valuable information on some of the environmental parameters and controls on microbial activities responsible for ammonia, odor, and greenhouse gas emissions from cattle and swine manure; will develop methods to compare emitted odor compounds; and will provide solutions to control detrimental microbial activities. Multiple experiments will evaluate manure from diets differing in starch, fiber, crude protein, and distiller’s byproducts content and animal source in order to determine the effects that diet has on (i) odor compound production and emission, (ii) nitrogen transformation and loss, and (iii) greenhouse gas emission. A range of environmental conditions affecting dominant microbial physiologies (inactive, aerobic, and anaerobic) in multiple manure and soil incubations which vary the manure moisture content, manure to soil content, and temperature will also be conducted. Solutions to control microbial activities will involve studies to identify cost-effective, environmentally safe antimicrobial chemicals, which will inhibit production of offensive odors in stored manure. An expected secondary benefit from the use of these chemicals is a reduction of pathogens. Solutions to control ammonia emission will involve inhibition of the enzyme urease, which is responsible for creating the largest pool of ammonia in stored manure.

The work planned supports NP206, Manure and Byproduct Utilization, and specifically addresses Component 1 (Atmospheric Emissions) with emphasis in Focus Area 1 (Understanding the Biological, Chemical, and Physical Mechanisms Affecting Emissions) and Focus Area 3 (Control Technologies and Strategies for Emissions). Ultimately, producers, the rural communities impacted by manure emissions, scientists, and the general public will benefit from this program by utilizing the information on the critical control factors regulating microbial activities in manure environments to develop better management tools and technologies to reduce the environmental impact of modern livestock production.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
A vacancy currently exists, thus, most of the milestones for Objectives 1 and 2 of the Project will be on hold until a replacement is found.

Objective 1A - Manure emission chamber (Vacancy) 2006 - Collect, analyze samples 2007 - Report method

Objective 1B - Dietary fiber and emissions (Vacancy) 2006 - Analyze data, report results (Cattle - silage vs. forage) 2007 - Collect, analyze samples (Swine - alfalfa) 2008 - Collect, analyze samples (Swine - alfalfa) 2009 - Analyze data (Swine - alfalfa) 2010 - Report results (Swine - alfalfa)

Objective 1C - Dietary starch and emissions (Vacancy) 2006 - Collect, analyze samples (Cattle - high moisture corn) 2007 - Analyze data (Cattle - high moisture corn) 2008 - Report results (Cattle - high moisture corn); Collect samples (Cattle - distiller’s byproducts 2009 - Analyze samples, data (Cattle - distiller’s byproducts) 2010 - Report results (Cattle - distiller’s byproducts)

Objective 1D - Dietary nitrogen and emissions (Vacancy) 2006 - Analyze samples (Cattle - oscillating crude protein; Swine - dry skim milk) 2007 - Analyze data (Cattle - oscillating crude protein; Swine - dry skim milk) 2008 - Report results (Cattle - oscillating crude protein; Swine - dry skim milk)

Objective 2 - Feedlot surface conditions and emissions (Vacancy) 2006 - Analyze data (manure & moisture content) 2007 - Report results (manure & moisture content) 2008 - Collect, analyze samples (temperature) 2009 - Analyze data (temperature) 2010 - Report results (temperature)

Objective 3A - Alternative plant oils (Varel & Collaborators) 2006 - Collect, analyze samples 2007 - Analyze data 2008 - Report results; evaluate other additives 2009 - Report results if other additives were evaluated

Objective 3B - Combine NBPT and plant oil (Varel & Collaborators) 2006 - Collect, analyze samples 2007 – Analyze data; report results 2008 - Select additive concentrations and repeat exp. with cattle and swine manure 2009 - Report results

Objective 3C – Granule (Varel & Collaborators) 2007 - Collect samples 2008 - Analyze samples and data; evaluate other granules 2009 - Report results; analyze samples and data; collect field study samples 2010 - Analyze field study; report results

Objective 3D - Swine field study (Varel & Collaborators) 2008 - Collect swine field study samples 2009 - Analyze samples 2010 - Analyze data; report results


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
An objective measurement of odorous compound production is correlated to the human detection of odor of feedlot manure. Volatile emissions from finishing cattle manure was assessed using a volatile emission chamber developed as a portion of this CRIS (Objective 1A). In addition to analysis of emissions by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GCMS), the gaseous emissions collected from the chamber were also analyzed by a trained olfactory panel. It was determined that there was a positive correlation between the total ionizable current generated on the GCMS (an indicator of total volatiles released from manure) and the intensity of odor detected by the panel. There was also a correlation between total ionizable current and the panel assessed hedonic tone. This provides support of the volatile emission chamber as a relatively quick and inexpensive method to assess the odor of finishing cattle manure.

This accomplishment aligns with NP206, Manure and Byproduct Utilization, and specifically addresses Component 1 (Atmospheric Emissions) with emphasis in Focus Area 1 (Understanding the Biological, Chemical, and Physical Mechanisms Affecting Emissions).


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
Alternative plant oils (terpineol, plinol, and linalool) at 0.3% in cattle and swine waste slurries were effective in controlling pathogens in these wastes. They also inhibited the production of odor (volatile fatty acids) from cattle waste; however, they did not inhibit the formation of odor in swine waste. These less expensive plant oils suggest they may be useful with cattle, but not swine waste.

This accomplishment aligns with NP206, Manure and Byproduct Utilization, and specifically addresses Component 1 (Atmospheric Emissions) with emphasis in Focus Area 3 (Control Technologies and Strategies for Emissions).


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None


4d.Progress report.
None


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
The research reported is conducted under NP206, Manure and Byproduct Utilization, and specifically addresses Component 1 (Atmospheric Emissions) with emphasis in Focus Area 1 (Understanding the Biological, Chemical, and Physical Mechanisms Affecting Emissions) and Focus Area 3 (Control Technologies and Strategies for Emissions).

Laboratory and field studies in beef feedlots demonstrated that odor formation, pathogen content, and nitrogen losses can be controlled using environmentally sound antimicrobial plant oils and urease inhibitors topically applied to the waste. Urease is an enzyme that converts urea in urine into ammonia that escapes into the atmosphere. Our initial studies led us to collaborations with two companies to produce products to control emissions from beef cattle feedlots. Based upon these studies, one company is currently marketing a product, CONSERVE-N TM, which reduces ammonia and odor emissions from livestock operations. Laboratory studies this past year indicate if a plant oil such as thymol is added to the urease inhibitor, the combination of these two amendments provides a desirable effect by prolonging the activity of the urease inhibitor. This effect in manure slurries was affected by diet, with these amendments giving a more positive response in forage diets; therefore, more studies are needed with high concentrate diets.

Volatile emissions from finishing cattle manure were assessed using a volatile emission chamber. In addition to analysis of emissions by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GCMS), the gaseous emissions collected from the chamber were also analyzed by a trained olfactory panel. It was determined that there was a positive correlation between the total ionizable current generated on the GCMS (an indicator of total volatiles released from manure) and the intensity of odor detected by the panel. There was also a correlation between total ionizable current and the panel assessed hedonic tone. This provides support of the volatile emission chamber as a relatively quick and inexpensive method to assess the odor of finishing cattle manure.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Work related to use of urease inhibitors in livestock manure slurries has been transferred to livestock producers through a company which supplies this product. Work related to the emissions chamber has been presented at national and regional meetings, and published in peer-reviewed journals.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Thyme to control odor. 2006. Pork, page 22, March 2006.

Dale, Geoff. 2006. Exploring the versatility of thyme. Farm Science and Technology News, FarmCentre.com, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Posted February 17, 2006. http://www.Farmcentre.com/english/newtech/view_article.asp?id=347

McGinnis, Laura. 2005. Waste management: it’s about thyme. USDA Agriculture Research Service. http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2005/051216.htm

Smith, Troy. 2006. Reducing feedlot odor could be a matter of the right seasoning. Angus Journal.

Hovey, Art. 2005. Thyme has come – and so has oregano – to fight feedlot odor. Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper, Saturday, December 24, 2005, Lincoln, Nebraska. http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2005/12/24/local/doc43ac87e0a66b1278516892.txt.


Review Publications
Archibeque, S.L., Freetly, H.C., Ferrell, C.L. 2005. Metabolite fluxes across splanchnic tissues in response to varying dietary protein in mature ewes consuming low quality forage [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 83(Suppl. 2)90.

Miller, D.N., Woodbury, B.L. 2005. Potential nitrification activity and abundance of nitrifying bacteria in beef cattle feedlot soils [abstract]. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, November 6-10, 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah. 2005 CDROM.

Archibeque, S.L., Miller, D.N., Freetly, H.C., Ferrell, C.L. 2006. Feeding high-moisture corn instead of dry-rolled corn reduces odiferous compound production in manure of finishing beef cattle without decreasing performance. Journal of Animal Science. 84:1767-1777.

Varel, V.H., Miller, D.N., Berry, E.D. 2006. Incorporation of thymol into corncob granules for reduction of odor and pathogens in feedlot cattle waste. Journal of Animal Science. 84(2):481-487.

Archibeque, S.L., Miller, D.N., Parker, D.B., Freetly, H.C., Ferrell, C.L. 2006. Effects of feeding steam-rolled corn in lieu of dry-rolled corn on the odor of finishing beef steer manure [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science 84(Suppl. 1):154-155.

Varel, V.H., Wells, J. 2006. Influence of thymol on coliform bacteria, VFA, and methane production from pull-plug swine manure pits [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science 84(Suppl. 1):292-293.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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