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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Research Project #431148

Research Project: Sustainable Management and Byproduct Utilization of Manure Nutrients and Environmental Contaminants from Beef and Swine Production Facilities

Location: Livestock Bio-Systems

Project Number: 3040-63000-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 13, 2016
End Date: Jul 12, 2021

Objective 1: Determine the impact of meat animal dietary changes on manure and the environment. Sub-objective 1A: Determine if a moderate and aggressive implant strategy with and without ß-agonists reduces odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and GHG production from fresh and stored beef manure (Spiehs). • Sub-objective 1B: Determine if the addition of ferric citrate to beef feedlot diets reduces nutrient excretion, GHG, and odorous VOCs from fresh and stored beef manure (Spiehs). • Sub-objective 1C: Determine if the addition of an ionophore to improve feed efficiency reduces odorous VOCs and GHG production from fresh and stored beef manure (Spiehs). Objective 2: Develop practices for reducing environmental impacts of nutrients, pharmaceutical residues, gaseous emissions and other agricultural waste on soil and air quality through improved manure management and control systems. • Sub-objective 2A: Conduct a series of laboratory studies to determine the impact of within pen spatial location and climatic conditions on GHG and odorous VOCs emissions from beef feedlot pen surfaces and the effectiveness of surface amendments as a mitigant (Woodbury and Spiehs). • Sub-objective 2B: Evaluate the use of electromagnetic induction (EMI) and response surface sampling design (RSSD) as tools for predicting emission spatial variability on commercial-sized pen surfaces (Woodbury). • Sub-objective 2C: Evaluate the addition of surface amendment on commercial-sized pens for reducing odorous VOCs and GHG emissions (Woodbury and Spiehs). • Sub-objective 2D: Determine occurrence of antimicrobial resistance following land application of cattle manure to agricultural soils (Spiehs and Woodbury). • Sub-objective 2E: Determine residual steroid and ß-agonist concentrations in feces and urine of beef cattle administered a moderate and aggressive implant strategy with and without ß-agonists (Spiehs). Objective 3: Develop measurement technologies for manure contaminants that can be used for conducting field-scale fate and transport studies in crop and pasture systems. Sub-objective 3A: Develop techniques and analysis software protocols that will enable the wide-spread use of resistivity array (RA) technology by pond managers as an early-warning system for detecting unintended sub-surface discharge (Woodbury and Eigenberg). • Sub-objective 3B: Develop techniques for tracking and mapping the 2-dimentional transport of antimicrobial residues in crop and hay fields (Woodbury and Eigenberg). • Sub-objective 3C: Determine the effectiveness of flocculation for removing excreted veterinarian pharmaceuticals from beef runoff wastewater and swine-manure lagoon water (Woodbury and Spiehs).

Concentrated animal feeding operations are a source of environmental concerns, and are creating unease between livestock producers and the rural and urban communities, dependent upon livestock production. The organic, inorganic, pathogenic, and pharmaceutical residues in manure are potential sources for contamination of soil, surface and groundwater, and air quality. The multifaceted, integrated research proposed here will provide valuable information for managing the impact of manure on the environment. This work is centered on beef production and the pen surface since it is where manure is most concentrated and management can have the greatest impact. The approach begins at the pen surface by examining inputs such as diets. Experiments will investigate how inputs such as feed additives and pharmaceutical supplements alter the nutrient composition of beef manure and resulting air quality. Next, a series of experiments are planned to better understand how emission characteristics vary based on the spatial location within the pen. In addition to the spatial component, a series of studies will continue developing a database of the impact climatic conditions have on the types and amounts of emissions from pen surfaces. It is anticipated this information will provide insight for the development of precision pen surface management practices for improved environmental control. Additional experiments will examine the transport and fate of antimicrobials and nutrients through commercial-sized beef production systems. Successful completion of this work will benefit livestock producers by helping them apply best management practices and equipping them to be good stewards for sustainable agriculture.