Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Digestive Physiology in Pigs
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 14, 2003
Publication Date: May 14, 2003
Citation: Kerr, B.J. 2003. Dietary manipulation to reduce environmental impact. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Digestive Physiology in Pigs. Volume 1:139-158.
Environmental groups, environmental agencies, and the general public have debated the potential environmental impact of livestock production for over 15 years. This review discusses nutritional strategies to reduce nitrogen and sulfur excretion from swine production facility in an effort to make pork production more environmentally friendly. The three natural resource components that are impacted by swine operations and their nutrient emissions include air, surface water, and ground water. Since avenues for reduction in nutrient losses from any one of these components are interrelated, the impacts on the environment in other areas are briefly discussed. In general emissions of nitrogen (ammonia), phosphorus, sulfur (hydrogen sulfide), volatile organic compounds, particulates, and pharmaceutical active compounds are of `highest' concern. Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) also included, as although these are odorless gases, so the public perception is that these are not an environmental problem, all three are linked with global change and are classified as greenhouse gasses. Reduction in any of these compounds can have short- and long-term environmental impact. The reduction of these compounds from animal manure can have a positive multiplier effect on the total excretion process such that methods to reduce each of these should be considered in diet formulation. Special attention in this review is given to the impact of dietary nitrogen, sulfur and fiber modifications on the production of malodorous gasses which cause the majority of complaints against swine production facilities.