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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #258892

Title: Producer benefits using Terra Blue treatment technology: Increased pig productivity, expansion, and carbon credits

item Vanotti, Matias

Submitted to: Poultry Waste Management Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2010
Publication Date: 10/27/2010
Citation: Vanotti, M.B. 2010. Producer benefits using Terra Blue treatment technology: Increased pig productivity, expansion, and carbon credits. In: Proceedings of the 2010 National Poultry Waste Management Symposium, October 26-28, 2010, Greensboro, North Carolina. 2010 CDROM. 7 pp.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The State of North Carolina and USDA NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program started a statewide Lagoon Conversion Program (LCP) that provides financial support to livestock farmers installing Environmentally Superior Technology (EST) for manure management. A second generation treatment system for swine waste was demonstrated that achieved high treatment performance of an EST, yet it is much more economical than earlier versions. A U.S. Patent 7,674,379 was issued in 2010. The new technology is being commercialized by Terra Blue Inc., of Clinton, North Carolina. The system used solid-liquid separation and nitrogen and phosphorus removal processes that replaced traditional anaerobic lagoons with a system that produces a clean, deodorized, and disinfected effluent. It was the first system certified by the State of North Carolina as an EST due to its efficacy in reducing problems of ammonia emissions, excess nitrogen and phosphorus, pathogens, odors, and heavy metals. The revamped system met EST standards at one-third the cost of the previous version. In cleaning up manure wastewater, the system removed almost 100 percent of pathogens and odor-causing components, 95 percent of total phosphorus, 97 percent of ammonia, and more than 99 percent of heavy metals copper and zinc. The new system also cut emissions of methane and nitrous oxide—powerful greenhouse gases—by 97 percent. This technology was featured as an example of five carbon-reducung technologies that can quickly create green jobs in America in the report “Manufacturing Climate Solutions: Carbon-Reducing Technologies and U.S. Jobs.” Animal health and production also benefited: swine daily weight gain increased 6.1%, feed conversion improved 5.1%, and animal mortality decreased 47%. Using the second-generation system instead of the lagoon system, the farmer sold 61,400 pounds more hogs –a 5.8% increase- per growing cycle. Due to the reduced environmental footprint of the innovative animal waste management system, farmers in North Carolina are allowed to expand the operation, about twice the pigs in the same land.