Systems Approach in Waste/Odor Management

URBANA - A systems and design component of a $6 million, five-year swine odor and waste management research project has yielded several recommendations for producers, said Gay Miller, a University of Illinois professor of veterinary pathobiology who led that component.
calendar icon 29 October 2003
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"Our component served as an integrating and field-testing unit for the work done in other components of the project," Miller explained. "Research findings from these other projects were incorporated and used either directly or indirectly in our work."

The research was funded by the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR). The final reports of Miller and other researchers associated with the multi-university interdisciplinary project will be part of the U of I's Dec. 11-12 Pork Industry Conference to be held in Champaign. Those interested in learning more about or attending the conference should contact Gilbert Hollis at (217) 333-0013, [email protected] .

Miller's work included land application considerations in managing swine manure, on-farm surveys to examine air quality differences between deep-pit and shallow-pit finishing buildings, modeling projects, an odor emission and control technologies workshop, and UI-TERM (U of I Teams for Environmental Response and Mitigation), a program designed to assist swine producers faced with environmental pollution or nuisance complaints.

"With UI-TERM, a producer can request a team to visit his or her farm; the team works with the producer to develop strategies and solutions for these problems," Miller said. "While solving the farm's immediate pollution problem was a primary goal, a team was selected to address other areas of concern to the producer, for example, facility engineering, animal health, nutrition, or economics."

The systems design and management component reached five main conclusions, she noted.

"Manure management plans can be developed by producers in order to achieve full economic value from nutrients in swine manure," she said. "Second, if producers take this strategy, they should understand that full use of manure nutrients requires a much larger land area than a cost-minimizing disposal strategy typical of many current operations.

"Third, deep-pit systems have lower odor concentrations in air emitted even after accounting for pig inventory, dustiness, barn cleanliness, problems with dunging, and temperature; but as manure depth in the building increases, so does odor, such that odor in these buildings will exceed shallow-pit systems if there is enough manure depth. Fourth, nutrient requirement estimation may be the most profitable way in terms of nutritional approaches to reduce nutrient excretion. And, finally, the UI-TERM program can assist swine producers facing environmental pollution or nuisance complaints."

Source: ACES News - 28th October 2003

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