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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
2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1 - Determine the influences of diet composition on odor compound, nitrogen, and greenhouse gas emission from manure in beef cattle and swine confinement facilities. Objective 2 - Define the beef cattle feedlot surface conditions affecting microbial activities that minimize the environmental impact of animal manure. Objective 3 - Develop strategies and technologies to reduce ammonia and odor emissions from beef cattle and swine confinement facilities


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1 - The hypothesis to be tested is starch, nonstarch carbohydrate, and protein excretion in manure differ by diet, and these compounds are differentially utilized by microorganisms to produce malodorous compounds, ammonia, and greenhouse gases. Multiple experiments will evaluate swine and cattle manure from diets differing in starch, fiber, and crude protein contents from diverse feed sources in order to determine the effects that diet has on.
1)odor compound production and emission,.
2)nitrogen transformation and loss, and.
3)greenhouse gas emission. Manure slurries and soil/manure mixtures mimicking feedlot surfaces will be incubated over time at ambient temperature and analyzed for microbial fermentation products including straight and branched chain volatile fatty acids, aromatic, sulfur-containing, and nitrogenous compounds, alcohols, and the greenhouse gases-methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide. Follow-up field studies will seek to validate results from the laboratory by monitoring the production and emission of compounds of concern from the production environment. Objective 2 - The hypothesis to be tested is moisture content, the ratio of manure to soil, and the temperature of the feedlot surface are the dominant factors that contribute to an anaerobic microbial environment on the feedlot surface, which produces more offensive odor compounds, enhances detrimental nitrogen transformations, and contributes to greater greenhouse gas production than an inactive or aerobic microbial state. The approach will be to evaluate 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. Conditions favoring beneficial microbial activities (N immobilization, odor compound consumption, and nitrification/denitrification) relative to unfavorable activities (ammonia production and emission, odor compound production and accumulation, and greenhouse gas emission) will be targeted for further characterization and ultimately evaluated in field experiments. Objective 3 - The hypothesis to be tested is a combination of plant essential oils and urease inhibitors will limit microbial activities in stored cattle and swine manure that lead to odor compound production, ammonia formation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Once an effective compound, both in least cost and inhibiting properties is selected, it will be evaluated in the laboratory with a urease inhibitor for control of ammonia and odor emissions. This combination of the urease inhibitor and plant oil will also be incorporated into a granule material. The granule will be evaluated in the laboratory for effectiveness in releasing the chemicals from the granule by quantifying volatile fatty acids, urea, and ammonia in cattle manure slurries. Field studies in a cattle feedlot will be conducted with the granule containing the two chemicals. Field studies in an anaerobic deep pit swine production facility without the granule will also be conducted.


3.Progress Report
None


4.Accomplishments
4a. Combination of urease inhibitor and plant oil.

Concentrated animal feeding operations have the potential to emit unacceptable levels of ammonia nitrogen, odor, and pathogens. Two additives used in this laboratory study, a urease inhibitor, which keeps manure nitrogen in a non-volatile form (urea) as opposed to ammonia, and thymol, which kills pathogens and reduces odor, indicate thymol enhances the efficiency of the urease inhibitor. This effect is dependent upon diet of the cattle. Waste from cattle fed a 70% corn silage diet and amended with both additives retained 57% of the urea in the waste, in contrast to the waste amended only with the urease inhibitor, which retained 8% of the urea. The combination of these two additives in cattle waste offers the potential to retain nitrogen in manure, thus, increasing its fertilizer value. These two additives also reduce malodor and pathogens in the 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).

4b. Swine waste field study with thymol and urease inhibitor.

Pathogens, ammonia, odor, and greenhouse gas emissions are serious environmental concerns associated with swine production. Thymol and a urease inhibitor were added to a 33,000-liter swine production manure pit. Volatile fatty acid production, a measure of odor, was reduced 64 and 100% and methane production was reduced 78 and 93%, respectively, when 1.5 and 3.0 grams of thymol per liter of waste slurry was added. Coliform bacteria were reduced 99%. The urease inhibitor conserved urea nitrogen in the manure slurry for approximately 10 days. This study provides a simple method for producers to control odor and greenhouse gas emission from swine production facilities using deep pits. The approximate cost to treat a one-million-liter manure slurry would be $2500.

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).


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None


6.Technology Transfer

Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings4
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences5

Review Publications
Miller, D.N., Berry, E.D., Wells, J.E., Ferrell, C.L., Archibeque, S.L., Freetly, H.C. 2006. Influence of genotype and diet on steer performance, manure odor, and carriage of pathogenic and other fecal bacteria. III. Odorous compound production. Journal of Animal Science. 84:2533-2545.

Berry, E.D., Wells, J.E., Archibeque, S.L., Ferrell, C.L., Freetly, H.C., Miller, D.N. 2006. Influence of genotype and diet on steer performance, manure odor, and carriage of pathogenic and other fecal bacteria. II. Pathogenic and other fecal bacteria. Journal of Animal Science. 84:2523-2532.

Ferrell, C.L., Berry, E.D., Freetly, H.C., Miller, D.N. 2006. Influence of genotype and diet on steer performance, manure odor, and carriage of pathogenic and other fecal bacteria. I. Animal performance. Journal of Animal Science. 84:2515-2522.

Varel, V.H., Wells, J. 2007. Influence of thymol and a urease inhibitor on coliform bacteria, odor, urea, and methane from a swine production manure pit. Journal of Environmental Quality 36(3):773-779.

Varel, V.H., Wells, J., Miller, D.N. 2007. Combination of a urease inhibitor and a plant essential oil to control coliform bacteria, odour production, and ammonia loss from cattle waste. Journal of Applied Microbiology 102:472-477. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.03120.x

Cole, N.A., Brown, M.S., Varel, V.H. 2007. Beef Cattle - Manure Management. In: Bell, A.W., Pond, W.G., editors. Encyclopedia of Animal Science. Taylor and Francis, 1(1):1-4.

Archibeque, S.L., Freetly, H.C., Ferrell, C.L. 2007. Net portal and hepatic flux of nutrients in growing wethers fed high-concentrate diets with oscillating protein concentrations. Journal of Animal Science. 85(4):997-1005.

Archibeque, S.L., Freetly, H.C., Cole, N.A., Ferrell, C.L. 2007. The influence of oscillating dietary protein concentrations on finishing cattle. II. Nutrient retention and ammonia emissions. Journal of Animal Science. 85(6):1496-1503.

Archibeque, S.L., Miller, D.N., Freetly, H.C., Berry, E.D., Ferrell, C.L. 2007. The influence of oscillating dietary protein concentrations on finishing cattle. I. Feedlot performance and odorous compound production. Journal of Animal Science. 85(6):1487-1495.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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