Submitted to: American Agricultural Economics Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Manure from open unsurfaced cattle feedyards in the Southern Great Plains produces increased concentrations and emission rates of odor when wet and dust (particulate matter, PM) when dry. Basic approaches to mitigate both odor and dust events include: frequent manure harvesting from feedpens, and optimum surface moisture management. The former includes removal of surface manure during the cattle feeding interval with precision harvestin equipment to prevent either pulverization of large amounts of dry manure and/or saturation and ensuing prolonged drying times following rainfall events or snow storms. In addition to maintaining uniform pen drainage to avert mud and speed surface drying after rainfall, the latter includes stocking rate adjustment when necessary to either increase or decrease effective moisture excretion per unit area from the 6 gal/day/1000 lbs liveweight moisture contained in fresh feces and urine. Water applications sto pen surfaces can supplement the other approaches for dry weather conditions, especially when guided by the use of subregional weather data. These approaches may alter the design and management of conventional cattle feedyards, and have cost/return factors associated with them. Initial research by a engineering, animal science, veterinary, and agricultural economics team in the Amarillo area is exploring these approaches for air quality management for open-lot confinement systems.