Animal Manure Management

Agricultural Production Animal Manure Management

Animal Manure Management

Recycling local manure nutrients before purchasing fertilizer is key to protecting the environment. Manure can be an economic “Win”, due to its fertility value, and a soil quality “Win”, due to its organic matter.  But it can also be a community risk, due to odors and pathogens. Our live educational programs, online courses, and resources provide science-based information on economically viable, environmentally sound manure handling systems that also comply with all regulations.

Composted cattle manure is NOT detrimental to sugar beet production

beet harvester used in the research at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center
In sugar beet production, most farmers do not have an option of manure as an alternative N source since N availability from manure can occur too late in the season and affect sugar quality. Composted cattle manure as different as it is from fresh manure might be a viable alternative N source for sugar beet production.

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Emergency Disposal of Livestock Carcasses

compost pile construction schematic
Five methods are approved for the routine disposal of livestock carcasses in Nebraska: composting, burial, incineration, rendering and land-filling. In an emergency situation – such as when livestock losses occur due to extreme weather or another non-disease related event – these five options still exist, but may not be suitable in all situations. The feasibility of carcass disposal via incineration, rendering or land-filling will depend on existing infrastructure or resources and, therefore, will not be discussed here. Acceptable processes for emergency composting and burial of livestock carcasses are described here.

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Emergency Holding Pond Management During Wet Weather

Managing an open lot runoff holding pond during wet weather requires vigilance in monitoring and managing pond levels.
Many areas of Nebraska have experienced higher than normal precipitation events recently, with some areas receiving rainfall that far exceeded a 25-year, 24-hour storm event. This abnormally wet weather pattern has caused drainage and flooding issues in some parts of the state. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and Nebraska Extension would like to remind producers and landowners to be vigilant in monitoring lagoon and runoff holding pond levels.

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When is Movement of Manure Considered a “Manure Transfer”?

tractor hauling manure in tank
If you are an owner or employee on a permitted animal feeding operation, you know very well that maintaining complete and accurate manure management records is necessary to comply with your nutrient management plan (NMP). While you may have enough land within your operation to utilize all manure nutrients produced, it is quite common for manure to be transported from a livestock operation where it was produced to a neighboring crop farm for land application.

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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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