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.

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 Dust in Open Beef Feedlots

Management is the key to keeping dust under control. By using some basic dust control techniques, open feedlots can prevent or minimize the problem.

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Is Manure Irrigation Risky Business?

Because of a growing concern about manure irrigation, the University of Wisconsin Extension assembled a workgroup to research the concerns. The workgroup included scientists, public health specialists, state agency experts, farmers, conservationists and others. Over the course of two years, the group gathered and studied the science of manure irrigation, which culminated in a report that contains findings, responses and recommendations. This article will review a few of their findings related to bacterial transport as well as highlight some of the reasons why a farmer might opt to apply manure via irrigation rather than other ways.

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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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Does Manure Benefit Crop Productivity? Environment?

Manure is often viewed by many as an environmental liability. However, if manure is applied at rates equal to or less than the nitrogen (N) requirement of a crop, can manure produce environmental benefits over commercial fertilizer? This was the focus of an Asian research group which summarized the results of 141 published studies from Asia, Europe, and the U.S. comparing manure substitution for fertilizer. This article summarizes the “Take Home Messages” from this research paper.

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