Manure and the Environment

Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Manure and the Environment

Manure contains four primary contaminants that impact water quality: nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria and other pathogens, and organic matter. Achieving a nutrient balance will reduce potential environmental hazards often associated with animal agriculture. An annual crop nutrient management plan is needed to ensure an adequate supply of nutrients to sustain profitable crop production, and to balance nutrient inputs (including manure) with crop nutrient needs.

Tips for Winter Manure Application

snow covered manure
One of the key rules of manure management is to pump and spread manure whenever weather and field conditions allow so that you can maintain storage capacity in case of inclement weather. Unfortunately, “perfect manure application weather” is rare and seldom lasts as long as you need it to. So, if you’re heading into winter with a manure storage that hasn’t been pumped down as much as it needs to be, consider these tips when planning for application.

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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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Demystifying Poultry Manure: Best management practices for optimizing agronomic value and minimizing environmental risks

chicken
Calling all crop producers who are considering using poultry manure…and rural citizens who want to learn more about poultry manure management!

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Effects of Manure on Fish Populations

Toxic Algal Bloom
Algal blooms may occur in bodies of water with excess amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. These algal blooms are detrimental to fish populations, other animal populations, and possibly human health.

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