1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The overall goal of the research project which is formulated as a real partnership between ARS and Western Kentucky University (WKU) is to conduct cost effective and problem solving research associated with animal waste management. The research will evaluate management practices and treatment strategies that protect water quality, reduce atmospheric emissions, and control pathogens at the animal production facilities, manure storage areas, and field application sites, particularly for the karst topography. This Project Plan is a unique situation in the sense that non-ARS scientists from WKU are included on an in-house project to conduct research under the NP 214. The objectives and related specific sub-objectives for the next 5 years are organized according to the Components (Nutrient, Emission, Pathogen, and Byproduct) of the NP 214, which mostly apply to this project as follows: 1) develop improved best management practices, application technologies, and decision support systems for poultry and livestock manure used in crop production; 2) develop methods to identify and quantify emissions, from poultry, dairy and swine rearing operations and manure applied lands; 3) reduce ammonia, odors, microorganisms and particulate emissions from dairy, swine and poultry operations through the use of treatment systems (e.g. biofilters and scrubbers) and innovative management practices; 4) perform runoff and leaching experiments on a variety of soils amended with dairy, swine, or poultry manures infected with Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni), Salmonella sp. or Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and compare observed transport with that observed for common indicator organisms such as E. coli, enterococci, and Bacteriodes; and 5) use molecular-based methodologies to quantify the occurrence of pathogens and evaluate new methods to inhibit their survival and transport in soil, water, and waste treatment systems.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
This in-house project was conceived as a cooperative/partnership and comprehensive research program between USDA-ARS Animal Waste Management Research Unit (AWMRU) and Western Kentucky University (WKU). The project is designed to utilize the scientific expertise and facilities of both institutions to conduct problem-solving research related to animal waste management in Kentucky and the southeastern U.S. The research effort will be multi-disciplinary and multifaceted in support of decision making and systems development. Research focuses will be on all four components (Nutrient, Atmospheric Emission, Pathogens, and By-products) of the National Program 214. In lieu of repeatedly stating the equipment used for analysis, please note that the state-of-the-art laboratories and equipments exist at both AWMRU and WKU, which can be accessed by the scientists including land at the WKU research station. Main instruments include: ICP, GC-MS, 2 GCs, Latchet, 2 C/N Analyzers, IC, HPLC, Real-time PCR, etc.
3. Progress Report:
This project plan under several objectives/sub-objectives investigates environmental problems related to the improper use of animal manure and agricultural waste in relation to nutrients, pathogens, greenhouse gases (GHGs), odor-causing compounds, dust and sediment associated with animal production facilities and manure application sites. Research also determines best management practices (BMPs) for crop production on land receiving agricultural waste with regard to crop management and soil types particularly in this unique “karst topography” region. Following are research related activities for the past year: Completed the 2nd year of a study to evaluate the survival of naturally occurring pathogens (Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica) and indicator organisms (Escherichia coli [E. coli], enterococci) in applied poultry litter or dairy manure. A new collaboration was established with the University of Kentucky evaluating the transport of E. coli strains with different adhesion properties through karst systems. The National Pork Board Research has provided funding to investigate the effects of manure application rate and timing on transport of antibiotic resistant bacteria through soils. Gas quality and dissolved gases in anaerobic digesters are being studied. Concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide in the biogas produced by anaerobic digestion of swine waste and other agricultural wastes are quantified in conjunction with those of dissolved methane, carbon dioxide and bicarbonate in wastewater. Initiated a study to quantify antibiotics in swine manure. Four antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline, chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline) that are commonly added to swine feed to prevent disease and promote weight gain are being studied to determine their concentrations at all stages of swine production from birth to slaughter. Also, ARS scientists at Bowling Green, KY, initiated collaboration with ARS scientists in Lincoln, NE, to optimize methods and procedures for extracting and amplifying antibiotic resistant (AR) bacteria and their genes in agricultural matrices. An ARS scientist at Bowling Green, KY, has developed assays to target 5 different groups of AR genes (tetracyclines, sulfonamides, erythromycin, ampicillin and streptomycins). ARS scientists in Bowling Green deployed the ambient ion monitor method (AIM) to detect gas and particle phase amines and gas phase sulfur compounds at a swine facility in Kentucky. Also, Smog chamber experiments on amines were conducted in collaboration with the University of California at Riverside. The swine manure composting study is still underway; also measuring the ammonia and greenhouse gases from swine manure compost systems to see the effect of management on the potential emissions. Research is being conducted in collaboration with researchers at eight major universities to compare and evaluate accuracy of phosphorus indices from 10 states using water quality monitoring data collected in multiple watersheds using and predictions of P loss from these watersheds using fate-and-transport models.
Bolster, C.H., Vadas, P.A., Sharpley, A.N., Lory, J.A. 2012. Using a phosphorus loss model to evaluate and improve phosphorus indices. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41(6):1758-1766.