Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Manure Nutrients, Environmental Contaminants, and Energy from Cattle and Swine Production Facilities

Location: Nutrition and Environmental Management Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Obj.1: Develop precision techniques or other methods for the characterization and harvesting of feedlot manure packs in order to maximize nutrient and energy value and minimize environmental risk. Obj.2: Determine the fate and transport of antibiotics (e.g., monensin and tetracyclines) and pathogens (e.g., E.coli O157:H7 and Salmonella and Campylobacter) in beef cattle and swine facilities. Obj.3: Quantify and characterize air emissions from beef cattle and swine facilities to evaluate and improve management practices. Obj.4: Determine the risk and benefits of using coal-ash and other industrial byproducts as a component of surfacing material for feedlot pens.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Approach 1A: Develop a system to estimate spatial nutrient and recoverable energy distribution on feedlot surfaces. 1B: Develop geospatial techniques to estimate green house gas (GHG) emissions and odor from feedlot surfaces. 1C: Develop a real-time, subsurface sensing tool that estimates combustion energy and marks areas on a feedlot pen with sufficient energy for combustion. Approach 2A. Determine the fate and transport of the antibiotics, chlortetracycline and bacitracin, and the pathogens, Salmonella and Campylobacter in a swine production facility. 2B. Determine the fate and transport of monensin and the pathogen, E. coli O157:H7, in a production-scale beef cattle feedlot. Approach 3A. Develop a database of ammonia, greenhouse gases (GHG) and particulate matter, and relevant input variables from cattle deep-bedded monoslope facilities. 3B. Use of alum on bedded pack of beef monoslope facilities to reduce ammonia volatilization. 3C. Determine dietary strategies equating a reduction in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur excretion on manure composition and subsequent reduction of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, odor, and greenhouse gas emissions from cattle manure when ethanol byproducts are fed. Approach 4A. Determine the effect of using pens surfaced with soil or coal-ash on the quality and quantity of accumulated manure removed. 4B. Determine the effects of coal-ash feedyard surfacing on the subsurface soil and runoff water quality.


3.Progress Report:
A technology for detecting contaminant movement from runoff holding ponds was developed. Systems were installed to facilitate system validation. An automated controller was developed and installed to explain contaminant movement.

Tools were developed to understand the sub-surface contaminant movement from runoff holding ponds. Geologic tools were adapted to provide information on the hydro-geological properties to develop strategies for site remediation. Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of the area within the pen, temperature and soil moisture content on emissions. Procedures were developed to conduct these studies in an environmentally controlled chamber to more closely represent field conditions.

Experiments were conducted to determine how to manage manure applied to soil as a fertilizer to reduce odor emissions. Experiments assessed the impact of tillage method, post-application irrigation and animal diet on odor emissions.

Experiments were conducted to evaluate bedding material used in deep bedded barns. Data from a series of experiments were combined to compare crop-and wood-based materials. Data is being used for an economic evaluation. A follow up study is underway to assess the impact of alum on emissions.

Two beef barns were instrumented with air quality sampling equipment and were continuously measured for 2 years. This established the first database on gas emissions from deep-bedded monoslope facilities.

A study was conducted to determine the effect of diets containing different combinations of distillers grains and high moisture corn on manure composition and odor emissions from beef manure. Nutrient balance studies on nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur were measured. Odor compounds in feces and urine from each diet were measured.

Two studies were conducted to determine the effect of feed additives in diets containing distillers grains on nutrient excretion and gas emissions. The first study looked at the effect of a feed additive that increased nutrient retention on air quality. The second study looked at a feed additive that alters intestinal microbial diversity. Both studies evaluated treatment effect on gas emissions from collected manure.

Experiments were conducted to determine odor reduction in swine manure using soybean peroxidase and calcium peroxide. The study used a continuous-flow vessel to determine the best application method, the amount of additive required, and the length of time odors were reduced.

A study was conducted to determine the optimum rate of soybean peroxidase plus two different peroxide additives for reducing swine manure odors. Experiments determined the optimum rates and effectiveness of the additives.

A study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a bioengineered yeast for expressing the horseradish peroxidase enzyme. A method was developed for assessing the enzyme activity from several yeast strains.


4.Accomplishments
1. Automated monitoring of feedlot runoff holding ponds. Leakage from feedlot runoff holding ponds can contaminate soil and groundwater. Working with the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and AgraTek LLC, ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska developed a technology for detecting leakage using resistivity arrays. Data indicates the technology is sensitive to small changes in sub-surface soil and water quality as impacted by contaminant leakage. A controller has been developed that can automate the monitoring, communicate information through a cell phone modem to a central data base and alert personnel of potential environmental risks to groundwater systems.

2. Development of near-surface site assessment tools. Movement of contaminants in soil and groundwater can be complex and difficult to predict when trying to assess environmental impact of runoff holding ponds. Common geophysical tools were modified and protocols developed by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska to assess sub-surface soil and water quality in the vicinity of a runoff holding pond. Many of these tools can be integrated in with the automated controller of the array system. These tools have been shown to provide better information for understanding this complex movement. These tools can be used to assess site historic contamination and to delineate contaminant movement.

3. Effect of the location within the pen on emissions. Greenhouse gas and odor emissions are not uniform across the pen surface. It was found by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska that the types and amount of emissions can be dependent upon where in the pen emissions are measured. It was found the material at the base of the mound is responsible for more than half of the odors being emitted. It was also found that when surface conditions have water present the types of odors that are emitted are predominantly sulfur-containing compounds. This work is designed to develop management practices that can be used to reduce odor emissions from pen surfaces.

4. Method of manure application on the types and amounts of odors emitted. Applying manure as a fertilizer is beneficial to soil quality; however, it can place offensive odors close to people. It was found by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska that incorporating the manure into the soil reduced odor emissions. Also, the addition of irrigation water following application can increase sulfur-containing odors, which can be more offensive. This information will provide producers with ways to control odor following manure application.

5. Reducing air emissions in deep-bedded beef barns. Raising beef cattle in deep-bedded barn improves animal productivity but may compromise barn air quality. Results by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska indicate the type of bedding material had an impact on overall barn air quality. Pine wood shavings emitted the lowest amount of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and greenhouse gases, while corn cobs and paper emitted the highest amount of these gases. This information will allow livestock producers to develop management practices that improve barn air quality and improve animal health and productivity.

6. Develop emissions database for cattle deep-bedded monoslope barns. Gaseous emissions from the manure pack can impact down-wind air quality as well as air quality in the barn. Results by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska demonstrate differences in particulate matter concentration between cattle deep-bedded monoslope barns and reported values for open lot feedlots. Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and greenhouse gases vary with the time of seasons and bedding management. This information allows producers to better manage inside air quality for the animals and minimize air quality impact outside the barn.

7. Effect of adding high moisture corn to diets containing high and low concentrations of wet distillers grains with solubles. Diet can affect nutrient excretion and odor production from cattle manure. Beef animals fed diets containing wet distillers grains with solubles by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska produced less intestinal methane than high moisture corn. The higher nitrogen content of the distillers grains increased nitrogen retention as a percentage of intake. This information will allow cattle producers to formulate diets that can reduce nitrogen excretion and methane emissions.

8. Odor reduction in swine manure using the soybean peroxidase and calcium peroxide. Research by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska showed that combining soybean peroxidase and calcium peroxide were effective at reducing emissions between 0 and 7 days after application. However, after day 14 odors were higher for the treated manure. This indicates that treatment will be required every 7 – 10 days to be effective.

9. Reducing odor emissions from swine lagoons. Odors from swine lagoons are causing public relation issues for the industry. ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska found that when combinations of soybean peroxidase and hydorgen peroxide were added to swine manure, certain odor compounds were reduced by 62% but other odor compounds were increased 10 times. When soybean peroxidase and calcium peroxide were added this reduction increased to 98% and maintained reduction at 92% 48 hours after application. Using this combination improved odor control.


Review Publications
Parker, D.B., Ham, J., Woodbury, B.L., Cai, L., Spiehs, M.J., Rhoades, M., Trabue, S.L., Casey, K., Todd, R.W., Cole, N.A. 2013. Standardization of flux chamber and wind tunnel flux measurements for quantifying volatile organic compound and ammonia emissions from area sources at animal feeding operations. Atmospheric Environment. 66:72-83.

Parker, D.B., Gilley, J.E., Woodbury, B.L., Kim, K., Galvin, G., Bartelt-Hunt, S.L., Li, X., Snow, D.D. 2013. Odorous VOC emissions following land application of swine manure slurry. Atmospheric Environment. 66:91-100. DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.01.001.

Spiehs, M.J., Brown Brandl, T.M., Parker, D.B., Miller, D.N., Berry, E.D., Wells, J.E. 2013. Effect of bedding materials on concentration of odorous compounds and Escherichia coli in beef cattle bedded manure packs. Journal of Environmental Quality. 42(1):65-75.

Parker, D.B., Cai, L., Kim, K., Hales, K.E., Spiehs, M.J., Woodbury, B.L., Atkin, A.L., Nickerson, K.W., Patefield, K.D. 2012. Reducing odorous VOC emissions from swine manure using soybean peroxidase and peroxides. Bioresource Technology. 124:95-104.

Hales, K.E., Cole, N.A., Varel, V.H. 2012. Effects of corn processing method and dietary inclusion of corn wet distillers grains with solubles on odor and gas production in cattle manure. Journal of Animal Science. 90:3988-4000.

Hales, K.E., Parker, D.B., Cole, N.A. 2012. Potential odorous volatile organic compound emissions from feces and urine from cattle fed corn-based diets with wet distillers grains and solubles. Atmospheric Environment. 60:292-297.

Susaya, J., Kim, K., Cho, J., Parker, D.B. 2012. The combined application of impinger system and permeation tube for the generation of volatile organic compound standard gas mixtures at varying diluent flow rate. Sensors. 12:10964-10979.

Gilley, J.E., Eigenberg, R.A., Marx, D.B., Woodbury, B.L. 2012. Nutrient losses in runoff from feedlot surfaces as affected by unconsolidated surface materials. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 67(3): 211-217.

Shelver, W.L., Varel, V.H. 2012. Development of a UHPLC-MS/MS method for the measurement of chlortetracycline degradation in swine manure. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 402:1931-1939.

Eigenberg, R.A., Woodbury, B.L. 2012. Using resistivity arrays to monitor groundwater impacts near runoff holding ponds. Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics. 17(2):103-112.

Puchala, R., Animut, G., Patra, A.K., Detweiler, G.D., Wells, J., Varel, V.H., Sahlu, T., Goetsch, A.L. 2012. Effects of different fresh-cut forages and their hays on feed intake, digestibility, heat production, and ruminal methane emission by Boer x Spanish goats. Journal of Animal Science. 90(8):2754-2762.

Akdeniz, N., Jacobson, L.D., Hetchler, B.P., Bereznicki, S.D., Heber, A.J., Koziel, J.A., Cai, L., Zhang, S., Parker, D.B. 2012. Odor and odorous chemical emissions from animal buildings: Part 2. Odor emissions. Transactions of the ASABE. 55(6):2335-2345.

Akdeniz, N., Jacobson, L.D., Hetchler, B.P., Bereznicki, S.D., Heber, A.J., Koziel, J.A., Cai, L., Zhang, S., Parker, D.B. 2012. Odor and odorous chemical emissions from animal buildings: part 4-correlations between sensory and chemical measurements. Transactions of the ASABE. 55(6):2347-2356.

Jo, S., Kim, K., Shon, Z., Parker, D.B. 2012. Identification of control parameters for the sulfur gas storability with bag sampling methods. Analytica Chimica Acta. 738:51-58.

Parker, D.B., Koziel, J.A., Cai, L., Jacobson, L.D., Akdeniz, N., Bereznicki, S.D., Lim, T., Caraway, E.A., Zhang, S., Hoff, S.J., Heber, A.J., Heathcote, K.Y., Hetchler, B.P. 2012. Odor and odorous chemical emissions from animal buildings: Part 6.Odor activity value. Transactions of the ASABE. 55(6):2357-2368.

Bereznicki, S.D., Heber, A.J., Akdeniz, N., Jacobson, L.D., Hetchler, B.P., Heathcote, K.Y., Hoff, S.J., Koziel, J.A., Cai, L., Zhang, S., Parker, D.B., Caraway, E.A., Lim, T.T., Cortus, E.L., Jacko, R.B. 2012. Odor and odorous chemical emissions from animal buildings: part 1 - project overview, collection methods, and quality control. Transactions of the ASABE. 55(6):2325-2334.

Woodbury, B.L., Eigenberg, R.A., Parker, D.B., Spiehs, M.J. 2013. Effect of pond ash on pen surface properties. Transactions of the ASABE. 56(2):769-775.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page