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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OPTIMIZING FORAGE-BASED COW-CALF OPERATIONS TO IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY OF BEEF CATTLE AGRICULTURE AND WATER QUALITY PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT Title: Evaluation of environmental contract adjustment to pig production in Pinhal River Sub-basin

Authors
item Palhares, Julio -
item Guidoni, Antonio Luis -
item Steinmetz, Ricardo -
item Mulinari, Magda Regina -
item SIGUA, GILBERT

Submitted to: Ambiente & Aqua, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 24, 2011
Publication Date: January 9, 2012
Citation: Palhares, J.C., Guidoni, A., Steinmetz, R.L., Mulinari, M., Sigua, G.C. 2012. Evaluation of environmental contract adjustment to pig production in Pinhal River Sub-basin. Ambiente & Aqua – An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science. 6(3):86-97.

Interpretive Summary: Brazil is one of the greatest animal producers in the world. Studies from various international organizations concluded that in the next ten years the country would be the greatest animal producer. Brazil has environmental legislation that control agriculture, livestock, water, soil, and forest, but few farms have environmental licenses or permits to operate. To promote profitable production without harming the environment, one of the first things to do is to legalize farming operations. Environmental management proposed by ECA improved water quality through the years. The main management that contributed to it was recovery of riparian zones that occurred in the second part of the period, between Years 2 and 3. However, Pinhal River still has water quality problems related to total phosphorus concentration and presence of coliforms and salmonella. To change this situation, actions to preserve riparian zones and others related to manure management must continue. Farms do not have treatment systems to animal wastes and use nutrient balance to fertilize agricultural areas, change it is very important to reduce the organic pollutants on the river. All farmers must be involved in these actions. Only in this way, water quality will be improved and environmental condition of sub-basin will be sustainable.

Technical Abstract: In 2001, staff and scientists of Embrapa Swine and Poultry Research Center carried out a diagnosis in Alto Uruguai Basin on the number of pig producers with environmental permit. At that time, 95% of farms did not have permission and only 5% of these farms had the proper permission to operate. Because of this situation, a volunteer environmental contract adjustment (ECA) for pig production was established. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of ECA in improving the water quality in a sub-basin with pig farmers that signed the adjustment. The evaluation occurred in Pinhal River sub-basin that is located in Concordia, west part of Santa Catarina State. The monitoring of water parameters occurred in eight sites of the river during three years (2006-2009). To assess whether the ECA was efficient, Brazilian Water Act was used. The average annual concentration of TSS in 2007 was 130.2 mg/L, 137.0 mg/L in 2008, and 99.8 mg/L in 2009. Turbidity showed the same trend as TSS: Year 136.6 NTU; Year 2, 44.4 NTU; and Year 3, 14.9 NTU. Concentrations of nitrate and TP decreased from 2006 to 2009: nitrate from 1.8 to 1.5 mg/L NO3-N; TP from 0.3 to 0.1mg/L, respectively. The same trends occurred for fecal coliforms and E. coli. Pinhal River has water quality problems related to total phosphorus concentration and presence of coliforms and salmonella. These results can help the government, farmers and society to establish environmentally sound and sustainable programs for pig production.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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