Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Air Quality Challenges

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Cattle Production

Methane is the main contributor of greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle and is largely produced from belching that naturally occurs as cattle digest feed. Other emissions occur during manure excretion and storage.
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may seem like extra work that can hurt business, but in reality best management practices for reducing GHG emissions can be economical. These practices may also have other benefits such as reducing unpleasant odors. There are two main areas where producers can reduce significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Best management practices to increase production efficiency and reduce methane produced from cattle digestion of feed can be used alongside manure management techniques.

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Timing Manure Application to Avoid Neighbor Nuisances

dry manure spreader with horizontal beaters
Roughly half of all neighbor complaints of livestock odors originate from land application of manure. A weather forecast and a little knowledge of odor dilution can be a powerful tool for keeping your neighbors happy, or at least avoiding those irate phone calls. Picking the right weather conditions for land applying manure, may not improve your popularity in the community, but it can go along way with improving your community’s acceptance of livestock systems.

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Managing Dust in Open Beef Feedlots

management is key to controlling feedlot dust
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?

irrigating manure behind feedlot
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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Ammonia Loss and Emission Reporting: Considerations for Cattle Operations

Confined beef cattle operations for more than 200 head may be subject to ammonia emissions reporting requirements under CERCLA and EPCRA.
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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