1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objectives of this cooperative research project: 1) Determine spatial distributions, concentrations and types of mineral nutrients and microbes in swine lagoon effluent as affected by environment and lagoon management. 2) Determine the influence of environmental factors and agronomic practices on the fate and transport of lagoon mineral nutrients and microbes to water, soil and plants following land application of swine lagoon effluent.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Work will be done on cooperator farms located in Lowndes, Chickasaw, and Clay Counties, Mississippi. ARS researchers will work with cooperator farm managers in establishment and maintenance of multi-year on farm experiments designed to identify, quantify and determine the fate and transport of nutrients and microbes and to generate data and new information to improve effluent and crop management practices. ARS researchers will work with cooperator farm managers to collect swine lagoon effluent, soil, and crop plant samples from cooperator farms. Samples will be transported to ARS Waste Management and Forage Research Unit laboratories at Mississippi State, Mississippi for nutrient and microbial analyses.
3. Progress Report
Manure samples were collected from lagoons on farms, comprising sow, nursery, and finisher operations. Levels of fertilizer nutrients and human and animal pathogenic bacteria were characterized and baselines formed for studying spatial and temporal differences. Based on nutrient and bacterial levels, a single lagoon was selected for further spatial and temporal distribution research and sample collections begun. Spray field soils with long-term histories of swine lagoon effluent fertilization were sampled for nutrients and the presence of bacterial human pathogens and fecal indicators. Aerosol samples from effluent application sites were collected. Preliminary study of nutrient and bacterial levels from on-farm mortality composting was begun. Samples for all studies were analyzed to characterize physical properties, nutrient levels and for the presence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and other bacteria. Summary results from the lagoon study were compiled as individual farm and lagoon reports for the cooperator’s information and forwarding to respective growers. The ADODR monitored this project by discussions with the principal scientist involved in the research.