Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sustainable Systems for Managing Manure from Dairy Cows

Authors
item Lefcourt, Alan
item Daughtry, Craig
item Glenn, Barbara
item Lu, Yao
item McConnell, Laura
item Meisinger, John
item Millner, Patricia
item Reeves Iii, James
item Sikora, Lawrence
item Wright, Robert

Submitted to: 1997 Southeast Sustainable Animal Waste Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 11, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Recently, a program to investigate methods for optimizing the economic return and reducing the environmental impact of dairy manure management in urban environments was established at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The program is based on a whole farm concept with an emphasis on nitrogen cycling. For the cow, dietary grain and forage sources will be examined in terms of nitrogen recovery during digestion, movement to milk, and excretion. Possible feed additives, including additives to stabilize nitrogen in manure, will be investigated. An environmental chamber will be used to quantify ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane losses from dairy barns. Effects of ambient conditions, management routines such as scrapping and additives such as urease inhibitors will be investigated. Odorous compounds in the exhaust gases will be quantified using chemical procedures Cocomposting of dairy manures with urban residues will be examined with the egoals of reducing volatile nitrogen loss and production of a value-added product. Quick tests to assess plant availability of nutrients will be developed to allow farmers to better utilize manures as fertilizers. Mobile wind tunnels and micro-meteorological methods are being used to measure gaseous losses and release of odorous compounds from fields. Of specific interest are ammonia losses related to: climate, manure composition, period of incorporation, and implements of incorporation. In addition, forage cropping systems will be examined. To examine the economic and practical viability of site specific management of crops, spatial variability of crop growth, yields, and nutrient run-off will be measured. The economic feasibility of management system will be examined in terms of farm income and environmental impact. The work should benefit dairy farmers.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page