Location: Livestock Bio-Systems2017 Annual Report
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.
An ongoing laboratory study is being conducted on manure collected from spring- and fall-born calves to determine the impact of beta-agonists on odor production. This project addresses Objective 1: Determine the impact of meat animal dietary changes on manure and the environment. The beta-agonists increases protein accretion and reduces the nutrients in the excreted manure. Reduced nutrients in manure could alter emission characteristics. Preliminary analysis confirms the beta-agonists do alter the manure emission characteristics. A laboratory study was conducted evaluating the effect of location within a pen and climate conditions on odor emissions from feedlot pen surfaces. This project addresses 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. It was determined that 50% of the odor emissions were from the pen surface material collected near the central mound. Moisture was very important to odor production with 92% of odors produced when the pen surface was wet. Temperature significantly affected the amount of odor with over 60% of the total occurring at the 35°C treatment. This information will be used for designing field study verifying laboratory results. Additionally, this information will be used to improve pen design and maintenance practices. A field study was conducted to determine the fate of antimicrobials in beef manure following land application of beef manure. This project addresses 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. Treatments included beef manure with and without bedding, commercial fertilizer, and no fertilizer. Preliminary results determined that antimicrobial residues breakdown significantly during the one-month storage period prior to land application. We concluded that enrichment of the native antimicrobial resistant populations through nutrient deposition in the form of manure is a larger contributor to the increase in antimicrobial resistance occurrence than selective pressure due to antimicrobial use. The post-application increase in resistance is present for manures as well as commercial fertilizer. An additional study was started that examines antimicrobial resistance following land application of swine and beef manure, poultry litter, and municipal biosolids. This project addresses 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. Soil samples were collected from the fields prior to application of the respective wastes and from nearby fields that received only commercial fertilizer. Samples will be collected again after harvest to determine if antimicrobial resistance has changed during the growing season. A study was initiated to determine the impact of steroid implants on residues in livestock waste. This project addresses 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. Fecal and urine samples from fall 2016-born calves were collected and are currently being processed to determine steroid concentrations in the waste. Additional samples will be collected from the spring 2017-born calves in September of 2017. A method was developed to use global positioning data of resistivity array probe locations around the perimeter of a wastewater holding pond to calculate geometric factors to correct for non-collinear geometries. This project addresses 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. Using the position data of the probes simplifies the determination of these correction factors. These correction factors allow for improved detection of subsurface leakage from wastewater holding ponds. These correction factors will be used for developing automated software for the recently developed resistivity array technology for detecting wastewater pond leakage.
1. Mixtures of bedding material used during beef production in deep bedded barns reduced odor emissions. Emissions from animal feeding operations can negatively impact air quality. ARS researchers at Clay Center, Nebraska, determined that bedding materials containing more than 40% pine chips reduced emission of certain fatty acid odors 20 to 33% when compared to corn stover alone. The inclusion of 100% pine chips lowered certain very odorous compounds by as much as 88%. However, the production of odorous sulfur compounds increased 1.8 to 2.4 times when 100% pine chips are used. Escherichia coli bacteria were not influenced by the addition of pine chips. It was concluded that a bedding material mixture that contain 30 to 60% pine chips and 40 to 70% corn stover may be the ideal combination to reduce odor emissions from deep bedded barns. In general, odor emissions increased as the bedded packs aged, suggesting more frequent replacing of the bedding material will improve air quality in the barn.
2. Adapting resistivity arrays to meet site requirements. Leakage from wastewater storage ponds can contaminate soil and groundwater systems. A technology using linear resistivity arrays has recently been developed to detect leakage. Linear resistivity arrays have multiple site limitations preventing them from being used effectively at many locations. Bending linear array to follow the perimeter of wastewater storage ponds can improve leak detection. A method was developed by ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska, to determine correction values using the global position system location of array probes. This method was comparable with theoretically determined values. These correction values reduce site limitation associated with linear arrays, improve leak detection by monitoring multiple sides of wastewater storage ponds simultaneously.
3. Establishment of a demonstration site for evaluating wastewater leak detector in Washington State. Very few researchers, state regulatory agencies or producer groups are familiar with the new wastewater pond leak detector technology developed by ARS researchers at Clay Center, Nebraska. The technology was transferred to researchers at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, to familiarize them with its capabilities and further test it in a new application under very different geographical and geological settings. Two separate systems were designed by ARS researchers and purchased by Washington State University with funds secured from Washington Department of Agriculture. An automated controller for the leak detector was designed and installed by AgraTek, LLC, Cave Creek, Arizona. Additional features that can be added to the automated leak detector controller are being investigated through this collaborative effort to improve the technology’s capacity for greater environmental monitoring.
Parker, D.B., Hayes, M., Brown-Brandl, T.M., Woodbury, B.L., Spiehs, M.J., Koziel, J.A. 2016. Surface application of soybean peroxidase and calcium peroxide for reducing odorous VOC emissions from swine manure slurry. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 32(4):389-398.
Woodbury, B.L., Eigenberg, R.A., Franz, T.E. 2016. Development of non-collinear arrays for use near wastewater holding ponds. Journal of Environmental & Engineering Geophysics. 21(4):231-236. doi: 10.2113/JEEG21.4.231.
Ducey, T.F., Collins, J.C., Ro, K.S., Woodbury, B.L., Griffin, D. 2017. Hydrothermal carbonization of livestock mortality for the reduction of pathogens and microbially-derived DNA. Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering. 11(3):9-16.
Durso, L.M., Miller, D.N., Snow, D.D., Santin, M., Henry, C.G., Woodbury, B.L. 2016. Evaluation of fecal indicators and pathogens in a beef cattle feedlot vegetative treatment system. Journal of Environmental Quality. 46(1):169-176.