Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Water Quality Challenges

Manure Phosphorus and Water Quality

Chesapeake Bay experiences summer algae bloom connected with excess phosphorus.
Manure produced in animal feeding operations is a source of fertilizer that can be used to reduce our dependency on commercial fertilizers. Manure contains several essential nutrients that crops that crops rely on to grow, most notably nitrogen and phosphorus. Proper management of manure before, during, and after land application helps to slow down the contamination of our streams and reservoirs.

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Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria Within Surface Water Bodies

Vertical and horizontal transmission of resistance in bacteria (graphic source: Sonseverino et. al., 2018)
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a problem currently within public surface water bodies and will continue to challenge animal agriculture. AMR can impair our ability to use antibiotics to fight infections and other ailments. Antimicrobials make their way to our water primarily by ways of industrial waste, manure application, and aquaculture. Using responsible manure spreading practices, runoff prevention, spreading awareness, and partnering with your veterinarian for responsibly using antimicrobials can help aid in the solution.

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Water productivity in meat and milk production in the US (Part II)

graph of increases in water productivity of different animal products by partial replacement of corn and soybeans with distillers’ grains
Growth in the livestock sector has a lot of potential to benefit Nebraska economically, however it can also have negative impacts on our natural resources. To address some of these environmental impacts, the sector has been working hard to improve livestock water productivity. Recently, scientists at the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and the Department of Animal Science of the University of Nebraska, together with colleagues from the University of Twente, and the National University of Singapore worked together to estimate the changes in water productivity of animal products from 1960 to 2016.

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Water productivity in meat and milk production in the US from 1960 to 2016 (Part I)

graphs comparing livestock production to 1960 levels
Livestock production plays an important role in rural and urban economies worldwide and is a significant source of protein in humans’ diet. However, the growth of the livestock sector can have negative impacts on our natural resources; fresh water consumption, water quality deterioration due to manure nutrient losses to surface water, greenhouse gas emissions, and competition for human-edible grains are all possible consequences of food animal production. To address some of these environmental impacts of livestock production, the sector has been working hard to improve livestock productivity, feed-use efficiency of animals, crop productivity and efficiency of resource utilization in the field, and expanding the sourcing of feeds.

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Emergency use of milk as a fertilizer Q&A

Emergency use of milk as a fertilizer questions and answers.
Difficult challenges in the dairy industry such as those resulting from COVID-19 result in times when a market is not available for milk. When those occur, using milk as a crop fertilizer may provide a short-term option for gaining some value from milk. This article will answer several questions about using milk as a fertilizer.

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