Animal Manure Management

Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Animal Manure Management

Recycling local manure nutrients before purchasing fertilizer is key to protecting the environment. Manure can be an economic “Win”, due to its fertility value, and a soil quality “Win”, due to its organic matter.  But it can also be a community risk, due to odors and pathogens. Our live educational programs, online courses, and resources provide science-based information on economically viable, environmentally sound manure handling systems that also comply with all regulations.

Pathogens and Organic Matter

Pathogens, typically microbes (e.g., bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi) or parasitic worms, are organisms capable of causing infection or disease in other organisms, including humans, wild and domestic animals, and plants. Several pathogens naturally occur in livestock and poultry manure and under certain circumstances may pose a risk to human health.

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Contaminant Pathways

Water quality can be degraded by contaminants contained in manure, from water used at milking centers, from silage leachate, and from open lot runoff. These potential pollutants typically follow one or more possible pathways to water.

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Understanding Water Quality Issues

Manure contains four primary contaminants that impact water quality: nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria and other pathogens, and organic matter.

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Environmental Planning

Large animal feeding operations (AFO's) must follow regulations to protect water quality and preserve the environment. Smaller operations can help the environment as well. Livestock Producer Environmental Assistance Project (LPEAP) works with small farms to implement appropriate technologies and best management practices designed to protect water resources and our environment.

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Evaluating Soil Health

Soil health is defined as the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. Typically, soil health includes three types of soil characteristics: biological, physical, and chemical. Although sometimes used interchangeably, soil quality generally refers to soil chemical and physical properties.

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