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.

The Nebraska Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix

livestock building under construction
Growth in Nebraska’s livestock and poultry industries is greatly influenced by county zoning and local decision-making. Variation in policies among counties and in decisions made by county officials creates significant challenges for current and prospective livestock operations and for rural communities looking to remain vibrant and create new revenue to support local resources. The Nebraska Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix is approved for use and recently updated for continued dissemination by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

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Manure Reduces Nitrate Losses to Water in Iowa Study

poultry litter applicator
Iowa State University researchers concluded from a long-term field study that poultry manure, when applied at a rate to meet the crop nitrogen (N) requirements, can reduce nitrate loss and achieve equal or better yields in corn soybean production systems. While this research focused on nitrate (NO­3-N) loss by field-tile drains (typically placed 3 to 6 feet deep), similar trends would be anticipated in Nebraska for nitrate leaching below the crop root zone and the eventual impacts on surface and ground water quality.

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Best Application Tips for Winter Application

manure application on snow-covered soil
As we deal with frozen soils, switching to surface manure application, and the challenges of dealing with manure application during colder temperatures we need to be mindful of our application practices. While these application conditions don’t necessarily increase nutrient loss, they do increase the risk of potential loss.

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Lagoon Closure and Your Environmental Responsibility

photo of the Haskell Ag Lab's swine lagoon during the dewatering process
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 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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