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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Chapter 9.5: Electromagnetic induction to manage cattle feedlot waste

item Eigenberg, Roger
item Woodbury, Bryan

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/22/2009
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Citation: Eigenberg, R.A., Woodbury, B.L. 2011. Chapter 9.5: Electromagnetic induction to manage cattle feedlot waste. In: Turk, A.S., Hocaoglu, A.K., Vertiy, A.A., editors. Subsurface Sensing. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 637-640.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This book chapter summarizes results of waste management research that utilized electromagnetic induction (EMI) tools for the purposes of: 1) collection of solid waste from feedlot surfaces to be utilized by crops 2) control and utilization of nutrient laden liquid runoff, and 3) feedlot surface management to reduce nutrient losses. The work described was all conducted at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), Clay Center, NE (40°32’ N, 98°09’ W, altitude of 609 m). A four year study of a research cornfield concluded that apparent soil conductivity, ECa, as measured by EMI clearly identified effects of manure, compost, fertilizer, and cover crop on ECa values. Sequential measurements of profile-weighted ECa effectively identified the dynamic changes in available soil N, as affected by animal manure and commercial anhydrous ammonia fertilizer treatments during the corn growing season. The book chapter includes results from a study that utilizes a vegetative treatment area (VTA) to manage precipitation runoff from a beef cattle feedlot. Soil conductivity (ECa) maps clearly showed salt distributions resulting from the feedlot runoff. These maps were useful in the management and operation of the VTA. Surveys of cattle feedlots demonstrated that manure nutrient accumulations can be identified. Regression analysis ECa is highly correlated with volatile solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus (R2=0.92, 0.91, and 0.93 respectively). Maps illustrating zones of manure nutrient accumulation could be used to direct pen cleaning efforts. Electromagnetic soil conductivity maps have demonstrated utility in management of cattle feedlot wastes.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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