Submitted to: Organic and Inorganic Amendment to Alleviate Soil Nutrient Imbalance
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2000
Publication Date: 6/1/2002
Interpretive Summary: Because of economics, the farms producing poultry or swine for meat are concentrated in relatively small areas of the U.S. The manure or waste materials from this animal production is usually applied to pastures or hay fields, but because these farms are near each other, the same fields have been used for many years. The detrimental effect has been accumulation of nutrients from the manure to high levels that loss to streams or to ground water has been increasing. The Waste Management and Forage Research Unit (WM&FRU) of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service is researching the modification of handling and production of the waste from the animal for safer disposal. Since there is no "silver bullet" for elimination of the health risk, this research is both complex and comprehensive. Researcher will develop waste handling systems which effectively reduce the health risk, which are economically reasonable so do not destroy the farmer or the industry, and which is managerially reasonable for the farmer.
Technical Abstract: Waste materials generated from production of poultry and swine for meat has usually been applied to hay fields or pastures. After years of application, the nutrients from the animal waste have accumulated in these fields and may contribute to nutrient pollution of surface runoff and the aquifer. This is a problem which is multi-faceted because of different farming systems, different managements of the pastures, difference in the soils for each farm, and differences in the climate at production areas across the South. Research personnel in the USDA, Agricultural Research Service's Waste Management and Forage Research Unit at Mississippi State, MS are reducing the risk of pollution by development of best management procedures from the creation of the animal manure to the final elimination of the manure nutrients as a hazard to the environment. This research can be classified as curative when it reduces the concentrations of nutrients in the soil to which the waste has been applied. It is classified as exploratory when alternative treatments or uses are developed for the waste. The research is classified as protective when concentrations or forms of nutrients in the waste are modified to reduce the health hazard. In a multitude of studies researchers incrementally reduce the health risk of waste disposal. Success of research results in development of systems which are effective, economically reasonable, and managerially realistic for the farmer.