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.

Ammonia Loss and Emission Reporting: Considerations for Cattle Operations

A resource reality of cattle production is that only 10-30% of the nitrogen (N) that is consumed (i.e. fed protein) is utilized by animals for growth, reproduction, milk production, and maintenance needs. Unused N is excreted, primarily in urine. While livestock production is not the only source of N, producers should recognize that agriculture is clearly the dominant contributor of N to the environment on regional and national scales, and animal manure is a key source along with commercial fertilizer. In April of 2017, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA would have to require animal feeding operations to report ammonia emissions. EPA expects to receive a court mandate on January 22, 2018, enforcing its ruling and opening livestock and poultry operations to consideration under CERCLA/EPCRA.

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Manure Management Training Offered In-Person, Online

The workshops and online course are designed to help farmers increase the economic value of manure and to understand and implement the nutrient management planning requirements of Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality regulations. Topics covered include: updates on manure management regulations, value of manure as a fertilizer and soil amendment, biosecurity on livestock operations, and more. Anyone currently using manure or considering adding manure to their cropping system fertility program is encouraged to participate.

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What is the Economic Value of Manure?

Manure has value. That value may result from improvements in soil quality, increases in yield, and replacement of commercial nutrient required for crop production. This article will focus on the economic benefits of manure.

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Manure Impact on Erosion and Runoff

This article reviews the value that results from changes to soil’s physical characteristics. Charles Wortmann and Dan Walters, faculty with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln monitored soil erosion, runoff, and phosphorus (P) loss from replicated field plots over three cropping seasons immediately after manure application and four subsequent years when no manure was applied. Significant erosion and runoff benefits were observed for sites receiving animal manures.

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Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

Manure increases formation of larger and more stable soil aggregates. Several benefits result for fields fertilized by manure compared to commercial fertilizer including reduced runoff and soil erosion and increased water infiltration leading to greater drought tolerance.

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