Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 2004
Publication Date: January 6, 2005
Citation: Berry, E.D., Woodbury, B.L., Nienaber, J.A., Eigenberg, R.A. 2005. Occurrence and fate of bacterial pathogens in a passive beef feedlot runoff control-vegetative treatment system. In: Proceedings of the Symposium on the State of the Science Animal Manure and Waste Management, January 5-7, 2005, San Antonio, Texas. 2005 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Research is needed for the development and validation of affordable, effective, and sustainable manure treatment processes for livestock producers. While pathogen reduction from manures and CAFO discharges currently is not being regulated, the issue of pathogens may be addressed in the future. Therefore, data regarding the risks and solutions are needed for informed future decisions. We currently are examining the occurrence and persistence of bacterial pathogens in an alternative beef feedlot runoff control-vegetative treatment system (Woodbury et al. 2003. Trans. ASAE 46(6):1525-1530). Runoff from feedlot pen surfaces is collected in a flat-bottom basin which provides temporary liquid storage and accumulates solids. When adequate volume is attained, the liquid fraction is discharged from the basin into a 6 ha vegetative treatment area (VTA) of bromegrass which is harvested as hay. Samples analyzed include manure from the pens, liquid and solids from the basin, and soil and hay from the VTA. Basin discharge can introduce both pathogens and generic E. coli into the VTA. Without additional inputs from the basin, isolation frequencies of E. coli O157 and Campylobacter spp. from VTA soils decrease over time. Similarly, levels of generic E. coli in soil initially decrease rapidly, but lower residual populations may persist for long periods. The isolation of generic E. coli from fresh-cut hay from regions of the VTA that received runoff (3/15 vs. 0/15 control samples) indicates some risk for contamination. E. coli O157 was isolated from only one of 30 treatment samples prior to baling. Neither pathogen was recovered from hay following baling.