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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Implementation of a Mass Balance Approach to Predicting Nutrient Fate of Manure from Beef Cattle Feedlots

item Eigenberg, Roger
item Korthals, Rodney - OSBORNE IND., KANSAS
item Nienaber, John
item Hahn, G - ARS, RETIRED

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 16, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This report describes a computer program that allows the user to account for the movement of nitrogen and phosphorus (two components of animal waste with contamination potential) in a typical livestock feedlot production facility. The manure handling methods are considered, with the likelihood of loss from the facility being predicted, as the manure is moved from the surface of the feedlot through storage and treatment to the eventual application to the land.

Technical Abstract: Livestock waste management decisions involve inputs from animal nutrition, animal physiology, soil science, meteorology, systems engineering, and environmental engineering disciplines. Each discipline contributes to the complete picture of a waste management system, but none provides a comprehensive description of the waste management problem. Many of the processes are not completely understood and there is a great deal of variability under real world conditions. Useful management decisions may not require sophisticated modeling of each process or even most of the processes, but providing general values and trends to the producer and other potential users gives insight of the overall operation with opportunity to adjust as needed. This paper considers the task of a generalized waste management framework that tracks the fate of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) based on the SCS Agricultural Waste Management Handbook (Krider et al., 1992). A model has been implemented using Visual Basic (Microsoft Corp.) to provide a convenient user interface. Discussion is based on a cattle feedlot waste management system but the component analysis process would apply to other species as well. The system described here is implemented in code and yet accommodates refinements as information becomes available.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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