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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Research Project #440922

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

Location: Livestock Bio-Systems

Project Number: 3040-63000-002-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jul 13, 2021
End Date: Jul 12, 2026

Objective 1: Develop pen surface amendments and treatment practices for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) to reduce emissions to the environment, including greenhouse gases (GHG) and odors. Sub-objective 1.A: Determine the effect of climatic conditions on GHG and odor emission from beef feedlot pen surfaces from various geographical locations. Sub-objective 1.B: Evaluate the addition of feedlot surface amendment(s) in lab-scale studies to reduce emission of GHG and odorous compounds from beef feedlot pen surfaces from various geographical locations. Sub-objective 1.C: Evaluate the validity of using electromagnetic induction surveys to predict and mitigate spatially variable feedlot surface GHG and odor emissions. Sub-objective 1.D: Determine seasonal and annual ammonia transport and dry deposition from beef confinement facilities in and around the livestock facility. Sub-objective 1.E: Determine NH3 and H2S emissions from swine finishing barns and manure storage based on feed inputs. Sub-objective 1.F: Continue developing treatment methods for removing certain antimicrobials from wastewater and expand the efficacy of this process for additional pharmaceutically active compounds. Objective 2: Quantify how long-term manure additions to soil alter soil health as measured by chemical, physical, and biological properties.

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) cause environmental concerns because of the organic, inorganic, pathogenic, and pharmaceutical residues sometimes found in manure and their potential as sources for contamination of soil, surface and groundwater, and air quality. The multifaceted, integrated research proposed herein will provide valuable information for managing the impact of manure on the environment. This work focuses on beef and swine production with an emphasis at the pen because that is where manure is most concentrated, and where management can have a significant impact. A series of experiments are planned to better understand how emission characteristics vary based on climatic conditions and geographical location within the U.S. of open-lot beef pen surface material (PSM). Effects of spatial location within the pen will also be examined. It is anticipated this information will provide insight for the development of precision pen surface management practices for improved environmental control, including the use of pen surface amendments. Nitrogen deposition surrounding the beef feedlot, and the effect of dietary inputs on nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) outputs from a swine facility will contribute towards larger efforts to model air emissions from livestock production facilities. Additional experiments will develop methods to remove antibiotics and other pharmaceutical compounds in beef, swine, and dairy wastewater prior to land application. The removal of antibiotics and other pharmaceutical compounds will mitigate the potential spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment. Finally, the impacts of manure application as a fertilizer amendment will be examined to better characterize the benefits for improving sustainability of soils for crop production. The unique resources and scientific expertise at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) will enable successful completion of this plan.