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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378578

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Opportunities to implement manureshed management in the Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania swine industry

item MEINEN, ROBERT - Pennsylvania State University
item Spiegal, Sheri
item Kleinman, Peter
item Flynn, Kyle
item Goslee, Sarah
item MIKESELL, ROBERT - Pennsylvania State University
item Church, Clinton
item Bryant, Ray
item Boggess, Mark

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2022
Publication Date: 3/3/2022
Citation: Meinen, R.J., Spiegal, S.A., Kleinman, P.J., Flynn, K.C., Goslee, S.C., Mikesell, R.E., Church, C., Bryant, R.B., Boggess, M.V. 2022. Opportunities to implement manureshed management in the Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania swine industry. Journal of Environmental Quality. 51(4):510-520.

Interpretive Summary: The manureshed is a new concept aimed at confronting sustainability challenges facing livestock and crop production by promoting manure management practices that recycle manure resources between these systems. Because the US swine industry is vertically integrated, it offers the potential to coordinate the sustainable recycling of animal manure in crop production systems. Scientists from Penn State University and USDA found opportunities and challenges in achieving manureshed management within the swine industry.

Technical Abstract: The U.S. swine industry is diverse, but opportunities exist to strategically improve manure management, especially given much of the industry's vertical integration. We investigate opportunities for improving manureshed management, using swine production examples in Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania as a lens into historical trends and the current range of management conditions. Manure management reflects regional differences and the specialized nature of hog farms, resulting in a large range of land bases required to assimilate manure generated by these operations. Selected representative farm scenarios were evaluated on an annual basis; farm-level manuresheds were largest for Pennsylvania sow farms and smallest for North Carolina nursery farms. Compared with nitrogen-based manuresheds, phosphorus-based manuresheds were up to 12.5 times larger. Technology advancements are needed to promote export of concentrated nutrients, especially phosphorus, from existing “source” manuresheds to suitable croplands. The industry is dynamic, as revealed by historical analysis of the siting of hog barns in Pennsylvania, which are currently trending toward the north and west where there is greater isolation to prevent the spread of disease and a larger land base to assimilate manure. Industry expansion should focus on locating animals in nutrient “sink” areas.