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.

Fate of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and genes in manure storage

Manure storage and its application on crop land may contribute a form of environmental contamination: antimicrobial resistant bacteria. These bacteria in manure are perceived to cause diseases in humans through environmental contamination. However, a recent study in University of Nebraska-Lincoln feedlots near Mead, Nebraska concluded that long-term manure storage as static stockpiles has the advantage of inactivating antimicrobial resistant bacteria, and it has potential to reduce antimicrobial resistance genes.

Read More

Sharing Animal Agriculture's Sustainability Story

Animal agriculture often endures criticism from neighbors and consumers relative to sustainability. But when it comes to management of carbon and nutrients, animal agriculture has a positive story to share. Many environmental and sustainability organizations promote the importance of a “circular economy” for increasing sustainability. Those engaged with Nebraska agriculture should help our neighbors and consumers recognize agriculture’s long term practice of implementing this circular economy. This article will help introduce agriculture’s circular economy for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), carbon (C), and other nutrients and messages you might share with neighbors and consumers about the Nebraska Advantage for sustainability.

Read More

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Cattle Operations through Diet

Agriculture in the United States provides a contribution to greenhouse gases, accounting for 9% of total emissions (US EPA). Animal agriculture is a large contributor. In beef production, both cow-calf operations and feedlots produce these gases. By implementing simple changes in cattle’s diet, though, there are several ways to reduce the number of these greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More

Manure Management Strategies for Limiting Antibiotic Runoff

It is important that farmers and agriculturalists to implement practices to reduce the runoff of antibiotics. This article helps recognize existing conservation practices one has already implemented that are limiting these risks and additional options that may be considered.

Read More

Tolkien Teaches Ag: Lessons from Organic Fertilizer Production

On a brisk April day, I was traveling with a group of adventurers through the wilds of the Minnesota country side. We came upon a steep embankment and climbed it so that we might see what lay beyond. When I reached the top, and the crowd around me had parted, I thought for a moment I might suddenly have traded places with Samwise Gamgee, hobbit, because I was gazing out onto a field of what reminded me very much of the steaming slag pits of Mordor.  However, rather than an apocalyptic hell-scape I was instead looking at a premier example of sustainable agriculture.

Read More

Pages

Sign up for updates from UNL Water

Sign Up Here