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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Kimberly, Idaho » Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342399

Research Project: Improving Management Practices for Irrigated Western Cropping and Dairy Systems to Contribute to Sustainability and Improve Air Quality

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Effects of dairy manure storage conditions on the survival of E. coli O157:H7 and listeria

Author
item Biswas, S - University Of California
item Niu, M - University Of California
item Pandey, P - University Of California
item Appuhamy, J.a.d.r.n. - Iowa State University
item Leytem, April
item Kebreab, E - University Of California
item Dungan, Robert - Rob

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2017
Publication Date: 1/16/2018
Citation: Biswas, S., Niu, M., Pandey, P., Appuhamy, J., Leytem, A.B., Kebreab, E., Dungan, R.S. 2018. Effects of dairy manure storage conditions on the survival of E. coli O157:H7 and listeria. Journal of Environmental Quality. 47:185-189. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.06.0224.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.06.0224

Interpretive Summary: Manure generated by dairy cows is regularly applied to crop fields as a solid or liquid. In this study, three manure storage techniques (i.e., static, turned, and slurry) were evaluated to understand the survival patterns of two potentially pathogenic bacteria, E.coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. To replicate common farm manure storage techniques, solid manure was stacked as static piles without turning or as piles with periodic turning. The liquid manure (feces, urine, and water) was stored as slurry in small reservoirs. The level of E.coli and Listeria in the manure samples were determined for 29 weeks using culture-based techniques. Results showed that there was an initial reduction in bacteria levels in the first month of study; however, E. coli and Listeria managed to survive in the solid manure piles over the six months. In slurry samples, E.coli was not detected after 3.5 months but Listeria survived until the end of experiment with relatively lower concentrations compared to the solid manure piles. Ambient weather and pile size were identified as the main reasons for bacteria survival during the course of the experiment. The outcome of this study is important in terms of understanding pathogen survival in manure piles and slurries prior to their application to crop fields.

Technical Abstract: Dairy manure is regularly applied to crop fields as a solid or liquid to improve the soil nutrient status. However, pathogens may survive during manure storage and enter the environment during application. In this study, three storage practices were evaluated to understand the survival patterns of E.coli O157:H7 and Listeria spp. in dairy manure using a culture-based approach. To replicate common farm manure storage techniques, solid manure was stacked as piles with periodic turning or as static piles without turning, while liquid manure (feces, urine, and water) was stored as a slurry in small tanks to simulate lagoon conditions. The E. coli and Listeria levels in the manure samples were determined for 29 weeks. Results showed that there was an initial reduction in bacteria levels in the first month; however, both E. coli and Listeria managed to survive in the solid manure piles for the full study period. In slurry samples, E.coli was not detected after 14 weeks, but Listeria survived until the end of the experiment at relatively lower levels compared to the solid manure piles. Ambient weather and pile size were identified as the main reasons for bacteria survival during the course of the experiment. The outcome of this study is important in terms of understanding pathogen survival in manure piles and slurries prior to their application to crop fields.