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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Bowling Green, Kentucky » Food Animal Environmental Systems Research » Research » Research Project #441096

Research Project: Developing Agronomically and Environmentally Beneficial Management Practices to Increase the Sustainability and Safety of Animal Manure Utilization

Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research

Project Number: 5040-12630-007-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 19, 2021
End Date: Jul 18, 2026

Obj 1: Improve utilization of animal manure and manure byproducts, such as biochar and hydrochar, to increase soil health and agricultural productivity, and protect the environment. 1.1 To evaluate the use of biochars and hydrochars for reducing phosphorus release from high P soils. 1.2 Application of biochar over the bedding materials inside the poultry house to reduce ammonia emission and improving the quality of the resulting poultry litter for crop production. 1.3 Evaluate biochar effects on composting cattle manure to mitigate carryover effects of pyridine herbicide. 1.4 Develop a sustainable management practice using poultry litter and cover crop for maximum nutrient use efficiency under a corn production system. Obj 2: Quantify, characterize, and develop strategies to reduce atmospheric emissions, including gases, particulate matter, and other emissions of concern, from animal production facilities and manure application sites. 2.1 Evaluate the fate of atmospheric emissions from agricultural systems. 2.2 Characterize the spatial and temporal profiles of nitrogen in the gas and particle phase from agricultural emissions. 2.3 Model the physical processes that are responsible for the production of atmospheric aerosols from farm waste compounds. 2.4 Reduce malodors characteristic of animal wastes by the use of high sugar containing agricultural by-products. 2.5 Develop novel and cost-effective nano-filtration materials to capture ammonia, GHG, and odors from livestock production facilities. Obj 3: Develop mathematical models and evaluate practices for managing and treating manure to obtain clean bioenergy; reduce gaseous emissions; minimize losses of nutrients, estrogens, hormones, and other compounds of concern; and control the survival and transport of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistant bacteria, and foodborne pathogens. 3.1 Evaluation and optimization of naturally occurring enzymes to improve anaerobic digestion of recalcitrant livestock wastes to reduce emissions and obtain bioenergy for sustainability. 3.2 Use of sound to enhance biogas production and reduce sludge from animal production facilities. 3.3 Investigate effects of supplemental ionophores on animal performance, manure nutrient composition, and soil chemical and biological characteristics of cattle grazing tall fescue or cool-season annuals. 3.4 Quantifying estrogens and their sulfonated conjugates originating from dairy practices. 3.5 Develop, calibrate, and evaluate field-scale fate and transport models for describing P loss from agricultural fields in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). 3.6 Modeling transport, fate, and risk management of nitrate and common and emerging pathogens in agriculturally-impacted groundwater systems. 3.7 Characterize the epidemiology, serotype distribution and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in broiler production system. 3.8 Determine the prevalence and resistance genes of extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBLs) producing Escherichia coli in broiler production system.

A significant challenge facing U.S. agriculture is how to safely and sustainably manage the more than one billion tons of animal manure produced annually. Our research is directed at optimizing methods of manure application, storage, and treatment to improve agricultural productivity while protecting the environment and human health. Our research will investigate the use of poultry litter for improving crop yield and soil health. We will evaluate novel methods for using biochar to reduce phosphorus release from soils to protect water quality, to reduce ammonia levels in poultry houses, and to reduce the release of pesticides from composted manure. To protect air quality we will characterize and identify formation processes of ammonia, amine, and aerosol emissions from agricultural facilities; develop treatment technologies for reducing emissions from livestock production facilities; develop cost-effective nano-filtration materials to capture ammonia, greenhouse gases, and odors from livestock production facilities; and evaluate the use of acoustic technology to reduce gas emissions from anaerobic digestors. We will identify enzymes to optimize biogas production from recalcitrant livestock wastes, test whether manure nutrient composition can be modified by feeding ionospheres to cattle, and study the fate of estrogens following anaerobic digestion of dairy cattle waste. Our research will test the accuracy of field-scale models for predicting phosphorus loss from tile-drained agricultural fields. We will investigate the transport of bacteria in karst topography. Finally, our research will help protect human health by defining the epidemiology and antimicrobial susceptibility of major Salmonella serotypes circulating in broiler production systems and the prevalence of extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing E. coli in broiler production. Results will be disseminated to the public through fact sheets, web-accessible models, stakeholder meetings, and publications in scientific journals and will benefit the general public by providing much needed information for developing more effective strategies for sustainably managing animal manure.