INNOVATIVE ANIMAL MANURE TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENHANCED ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research
Title: Management and value optimization of livestock by-products: The North-American model
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2009
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Citation: Vanotti, M.B. 2009. Management and value optimization of livestock by-products: The North-American model [Abstract]. International Symposium on Swine Production, September 14-17, 2009, Lorca-Murcia, Spain.
New and expanding swine production facilities in North Carolina are required to use manure management systems that meet the strictest environmental performance standards in the nation. These technologies must be able to substantially remove nutrients, heavy metals, emissions of ammonia, odors, and pathogens, while remaining simple to operate and affordable. A lower-cost second-generation system was developed and installed full-scale in a 5,600-head finishing swine operation and demonstrated for two years under steady-state conditions. The on-farm system used solid-liquid separation and nitrogen and phosphorus removal processes that replaced traditional anaerobic lagoon systems with a process that produced a clean, deodorized, and disinfected effluent. The system met environmental standards at one-third the cost of the previous version. In cleaning up manure wastewater, the system removed almost 100 percent of pathogens and odor-causing components, 95 percent of total phosphorus, 97 percent of ammonia and more than 99 percent of heavy metals cooper and zinc. The new system also cut the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide — powerful greenhouse gases — by 97 percent. In addition, the system transformed the old lagoon into an aerobic reservoir that reduced 90 percent of the ammonia emissions. After processing, the nutrient-rich solids were transported off-site to a centralized composting facility that produced class A composted materials for making valuable organic plant fertilizer and plant growth media. Using the second-generation system instead of the lagoon system, the farmer sold 61,400 pounds more hogs — a 5.7 percent increase — per growing cycle. In 2008, the state of North Carolina started a statewide Lagoon Conversion Program (LCP) that provided financial support to livestock farmers who installed new manure management technologies that meet the new environmental standards for manure management. In 2009, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS EQIP) began a 5-year initiative with additional funding for North Carolina livestock farmers who participate in the conversion, which will pay for up to 90 percent of the costs involved in the installation of the cleaner technologies.