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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Research Project #431282

Research Project: Developing Safe, Efficient and Environmentally Sound Management Practices for the Use of Animal Manure

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research

Project Number: 5040-12630-006-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 19, 2016
End Date: Jul 18, 2021

Obj 1: Enhance the benefits of using animal manure as means of improving soil productivity for longterm production systems. 1.1 Improve soil health/quality through a longterm mngmnt practice involving animal manure, cover crop, & crop rotation. 1.2 Determine if poultry litter application timing (fall/spring) & cover crop (cover crop/no cover crop) affects on corn N use efficiency & yield. 1.3 Develop improved models for describing phosphorus cycling in soils amended with animal manure. 1.4 Develop an energy-efficient & cost-effective method of capturing ammonia from animal facilities & subsequent usage as fertilizer. 1.5 Evaluate poultry litter application on the incidence of Clostridium botulinum in haylage forage harvest systems & stand persistence. 1.6 Improve sustainability through a management strategy using cover crop grazing & animal manure to improve soil quality & fertility while increasing grain & livestock production. 1.7 Combining a multi-proxy investigation of agricultural contaminant transport in Karst groundwater systems & informal education to improve stewardship & best management practices. Obj 2: Develop strategies for managing the survival & transport of antibiotics, pathogens & indicator species through agroecosystems. 2.1 Determine whether biochar-amended sand filters are an effective management practice for removing pathogenic & indicator microorganisms from tile drainage waters. 2.2 Characterize persistence and transmission of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance (AR) genes, AR mobile genetic elements and AR bacteria through agro-ecosystems. 2.3 Determine factors controlling adhesion & survival of manure-borne pathogens in manured soils & on crops & identify mitigation strategies. 2.4 Develop of methods for measuring antibiotics in agricultural samples & the correlation of the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. 2.5 Develop a strategy for rapid detection & deletion of antibiotic resistance genes using DNA-binding domain based nucleases. Obj 3: Assess gaseous & particulate matter emissions resulting from animal prod. facil. & manure application sites. 3.1 Develop methods for the determination of VOC that contribute to malodorous emissions from field applied manures & use these methods to compare emissions from different manure application methods to field crops. 3.2 Obtain field measurements of the temporal variability of gas & particulate matter emissions. 3.3 Determine the fate of atmospheric N and sulfur emissions from agricultural systems. 3.4 Measure & model the fates of VOCs, PM, & GHGs from agricultural systems. 3.5 Model the chemical partitioning of N compounds between gas & particulate phase. Obj 4: Improve production efficiency & emissions management of renewable bioenergy production systems using technologies such as anaerobic digesters. 4.1 Investigate biogas production and substrate utilization of poultry litter & use microaeration to improve biogas production. 4.2 Optimize anaerobic digestion of poultry wastes to reduce emissions & obtain bioenergy for sustainability. 4.3 Develop novel & cost-effective composite alginate filter materials to capture ammonia, GHG, odors from livestock prod. facil.

This project was conceived as a cooperative/partnership and comprehensive research program between ARS and Cooperator. 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. Through a series of innovative, cooperative research experiments at the animal production facilities and manure application sites, we will investigate manure microbial and nutrient losses as gas and through runoff water and odorous compounds from land and animal production sites. We will also determine levels of these compounds/contaminants in manure, application sites, and loading rates in agroecosystems. We will also investigate and find solutions to the environmental and agronomic problems such as nutrients, pathogens, greenhouse gases (GHGs), ammonia, odor-causing VOCs, particulates, dust, and sediment associated with animal production facilities and manure application lands. This will be accomplished based on new knowledge gained through the multidisciplinary approaches and the expertise of the scientists at this location through basic and applied research in the laboratory and in real farming sites and animal production environments. We will use the research results and develop best management practices (BMPs) for crop production on land receiving animal manure with regard to manure application timing, rate, nutrient, and loss of hazardous compounds within the agroecosystem of the unique “karst topography” common to this region. The research effort will be multi-disciplinary and multifaceted in support of decision making and systems development. Information generated from this research will be integrated into regional and national databases and statistical models to contribute towards improved environmental quality, sustainability, and economic viability of farms.