Amy Millmier Schmidt - Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer

Amy Millmier Schmidt - Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer

Manure and Mulch are Teaming Up

Cedar trees are spreading into grasslands and reducing forages that support cattle grazing. The Nebraska Forest Service is promoting management practices to keep the trees from spreading outside of their usual habitat and into grasslands and areas along the banks of rivers and streams (called ‘riparian forests’). So what do cedar trees have to do with manure? Since 2015, two resourceful farmers have generously given up a few acres of their fields for UNL researchers to test various applications of mulch alone or co-mingled with cattle or swine manure.

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Lagoon Closure and Your Environmental Responsibility

Abandoned manure storages present a risk to the environment by accidental overflow or leakage due to lack of management. It is in the best interest of the environment and the property owner, who is liable for any environmental damage resulting from any discharge, whether leakage or overflow, to properly close any unused manure storage structure.

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Managing Runoff Holding Ponds During Wet Weather

When designed properly, runoff holding ponds, lagoons, and other earthen manure storage structures are sized to contain manure, process wastewater, and storm water that drain into or fall on them throughout their designed storage period. Excess precipitation, particularly chronic wet weather, can lead to concerns about storages overflowing even when they have been managed correctly.

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Soil quality impacts of agricultural and municipal biosolids applications

Soil health management refers to the preservation and improvement in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties to maximize the productive capacity of soil. Cover crops and reduced tillage are promoted for improving soil health; however, soil amendments such as application of livestock manure and municipal biosolids have received less attention as a soil health improvement practice. A literature review, funded by the North Central Region Water Network and the Soil Health Institute, was conducted to summarize and discuss results of studies reporting chemical, physical, and biological soil properties from application of livestock manure, animal by-products (i.e. compost), and municipal biosolids and to identify further research needs.

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Pig Production Environmental Sustainability Footprints

A Nebraska Extension pilot project is assisting pork producers in calculating their swine farm environmental sustainability footprints in a joint effort with the University of Minnesota Extension.

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