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Animal Waste Management Research

Investigators
Sistani, Karamat
Institutions
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
Start date
2003
End date
2005
Objective
Research objectives are to investigate, develop, and evaluate management practices and treatment technologies that protect water quality, reduce air emissions, and control pathogens at animal production facilities, manure storage areas, and field application sites. This research is curative, exploratory, and protective. Conduct solution-oriented research that aid farmers in solving problems associated with animal waste in an environmentally sound manner considering the unique problems associated with karst topography in Kentucky and elsewhere. Specifically, quantify the environmentally important nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and other elements fluxes and transformation in soil, water, and air as a result of long-term land application of animal manure. Quantify changes taking place in soil chemical, physical, and biological characteristics resulting from long-term application of animal manure. In the animal facilities, gas losses of nutrients which impact air quality and fertilizer value are modified through management and assessed for newer animal production systems. The potential for water pollution is measured for row crops and forage management, soil types and animal manure fertilization in watersheds for karst topography.
More information
APPROACH: Research approach will focus on the major manure management issues such as: excess nutrient of soil and water; atmospheric emissions of ammonia, particulates, volatile organic compounds (odor), hydrogen sulfide, and greenhouse gases; and pathogenic microorganisms and pharmaceutically active compounds. Specifically, determine the impacts of animal manure nutrient quality, quantity of application, and timing of application on row crops or forage productivity, on rates of nutrient removal in grain or harvested hay, on accumulation of excess nutrients in soil, and on nutrient mobility in the soil. Determine soil quality characteristics, nutrient speciation, mineralization rates, and soil nutrient balances and imbalances with long term fertilization with animal manure. Determine emissions from animal production operations; develop and test management practices for emissions reduction; develop process models to predict emissions, and develop tools to predict dispersion of emissions. Determine the water quality of runoff and subsurface water with animal manure applications to watersheds and pasture botanical changes with and without animal grazing on three soil types. With regard to pathogens research, detect pathogens in complex matrices; assess pathogen survival under a range of conditions; predict and control transport and dissemination; develop cost-effective treatment technologies; and assess risks associated with manure pathogens.

PROGRESS: 2003/06 TO 2005/11
1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter? Animal manure generated annually in the US contains more than 8.5 million tons of nitrogen and 3.5 million tons of phosphorus and many other plant nutrients. However, manure in general is underutilized as a nutrient source for row crops such as corn and cotton production. Significant environmental impacts can also occur if manure is improperly managed at the production site and when applied to land. Animal agriculture has also been the focus of much attention as a potential source of pathogenic microorganisms associated with live animal, food- and water-borne diseases. The problem of malodorous compound emissions from farms and rearing facilities are two-fold: reliable quantification of malodorous compounds from these facilities is needed, as are practices and techniques for odor abatement. Therefore, animal manure if not properly managed becomes a liability rather than a sustainable on-farm resource. There is now a critical need for development of the rational bases for land application of animal manure that results in sustained crops and pastures production and alleviates contamination of water, air, and soil resources from excessive nutrients, atmospheric emission, and pathogens. Nutrient management planning is a tool to address these issues. Maintaining an environmentally sound and sustainable livestock production in regard to hazards from manure nutrients, atmospheric emissions, and pathogens is critical to the economic viability of agriculture in Kentucky, the Southeast, and the nation. This challenge creates an opportunity to develop new, biological, physical, and chemical treatments via a systems approach to solving problems facing livestock and poultry industries. The research under this newly established research project, 6445-12630- 001-00D, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will address several components of the NP 206, Manure and Byproduct Utilization Action Plan, specifically, Problem Areas 3 (products 1, 2, and 5) and 4 (products 1, 2, and 3) (Nutrient); Problem Areas 1, 2, and 3 (Emission); and Problem Areas 2a and 2b (Pathogen). This research also contributes to research activities related to NP 201, Water Quality and Management and NP 202, Soil Resource Management.

2. List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan. This is a newly established Location with new research project 6445-12630- 001-00D. The first project plan is still being reviewed by OSQR, however, research related to all components of NP 206 (Nutrients, Emission, and Pathogen) in relation to our project plan are ongoing. Many peer-reviewed publications and scientific presentations listed in this report are the indicators of progress for the past year.

3a List the milestones that were scheduled to be addressed in FY 2005. For each milestone, indicate the status: fully met, substantially met, or not met. If not met, why. 1. New research project will start in September 2005. Milestone Not Met Other

3b List the milestones that you expect to address over the next 3 years (FY 2006, 2007, and 2008). What do you expect to accomplish, year by year, over the next 3 years under each milestone?
2006: 1. Establish field plots, collect background soil samples, begin manure application (objective 1).
2. Collect soil samples to 120 cm depth; complete analyses of all soil and plant tissue samples collected in the previous season. Continue research on banding experiment (objective 1).
3. Locate sampling sites; install and test sampling equipment; conduct dye tracing experiments at Cave Spring Caverns to determine groundwater catchments (objective 2).
4. Develop and optimize QRT-PCR reactions for target groups (objective 3).
5. Identify adsorbents that have superior performance for the collection of malodorous compounds from air samples for use in passive dosimeters. Also, determine the effects of added NO3 to agricultural wastewater in regards to the levels of malodorous compounds. Complete studies on solid- phase extraction techniques for the quantification of malodors in water (objective 4).
6. Characterize community; develop primer/probes for QRT-PCR (objective 5) .

2007: 1. Harvest yield, collect soil for incubation and column studies, conduct chemical analyses of soil, plant, and manure samples (objective 1). Repeat activities of year 1; data evaluation, presentation, and publications (objective 1).
2. Continue dye tracing experiments at Cave Spring Caverns; collect base flow water samples at Logsdon River (objective 2). Field studies, quantification and correlation to biochemical emissions (objective 3).
3. Evaluate the effects of added iron to remediation of odors in agricultural wastewater and start field studies on the quantification of odors in air using passive dosimeters (objective 4).
4. Bench scale and field tests to examine survival (objective 5).

2008: 1. Finish soil characterization and incubation studies, continue column experiment, present results, publication (objective 1).
2. write manuscripts from banding and incorporation studies; test subsurface banding on a farm-scale in cooperation with state extension service (objective 1).
3. Continue base flow sampling at Logsdon, Collect storm event data at Logsdon River, and begin sampling waterfalls at Cave Springs Caverns (objective 2).
4. Continue field studies, scientific publications/presentations (objective 3).
5. Complete studies on the effects of added nitrate and iron on the remediation of odors in agricultural wastewater and determine if humates and other quinone containing substances can enhance utilization of iron by waste bacteria (objective 4).
6. Scientific publications, presentations on incidence/survival of Campylobacter (objective 5).

4b List other significant accomplishments, if any. Completion of the new temporary facilities to accommodate Labs. and Office spaces for the Unit. Hiring 3 SY's and other support staff.

6. What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end- user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products? Information related to the use of animal manure particularly poultry litter and best management practices were outlined and disseminated during the local field days. Information on the animal manure utilization for forages (bermudagrass and ryegrass) and row crops (cotton, corn, and soybeans) and in the area of emission, odor, and water quality have been published in scientific outlets, also available for incorporation into states nutrient management guidelines (USDA-NRCS codes 590 and 633), and utilization by the county extension agents, and USDA-NRCS district conservationists. In the current climate of awareness of air and water quality issues, the technology has unlimited durability. The greatest constraint to adaptation is the lack of adequate site specific and on- farm data for the sound scientific recommendation of a particular management practice.

7. List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below). Read, J.J., Sistani, K.R., Brink, G.E., Rowe, D.E. 2004. Forage yield and plant reflectance in annual ryegrass fertilized with poultry litter. Agron. Abstract. Sistani, K.R., Rowe, D.E., Johnson, J.R., Tewolde, H. 2004. Supplemental nitrogen effect on broiler-litter fertilized cotton. Agron. Abstract. Tewolde, H., Sistani, K. R., Rowe, D.E., Adeli, A. Lack of Incorporation Reduces Benefits of Poultry Litter Applied to No-Till Cotton. Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences. January 4-7. New Orleans, LA. 2005. Shalamar, Tewolde, H., Way, T, Sistani, K. R., Rowe, D.E. Cotton. Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences. January 4-7. New Orleans, LA. 2005. Loughrin, J.H., Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B. Reduction of Malodorous Compounds in a Swine Waste Treatment System Without Lagoon. ASA/SSSA/CSSA Annual Meetings. Oct 31-Nov 4, 2004. Loughrin, J.H., Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B. Evaluation of an Advanced Waste Treatment System for Reduction of Malodorous Compounds from Swine Waste. Thirty-first Mississippi Water Resources Conference. Jackson, MS. April 26-27, 2005. Cook, K.L., Britt, J.A., Pike, A. 2005. Evaluation of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis survival in the environment. Poster presented at the 2005 Conference on Gastrointestinal Function. April 12, 2005. Chicago, IL. Participated in a field day organized by Kentucky University, Department of Agriculture on July 29, 2005 in Princeton KY. The benefit of animal manure application and management on pasture and row crops were discussed with farmers, and extension agents.

PROGRESS: 2003/10/01 TO 2004/09/30
1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? What does it matter? Economics of scale have driven the trend toward large, confined animal- feeding operations for beef, dairy, swine, and poultry that generate large quantities of animal manure. In the U.S., total animal manure production generates annually over 8 million tons of nitrogen (N) and 2.5 million tons of phosphorus (P), significant quantities of other plant- required nutrients, and organic carbon. Nutrient buildup in soil after long-term manure application is a concern. The problem being resolved is related to improper and long-term animal manure applications to the same land area, which results in the buildup and imbalances of nutrients in the soil, which may cause environmental problems. Development of management practices that address manure-plant-soil interactions are potential solutions to this problem. Objectives are to conduct research on manure nutrients particularly (P) and (N) in regard to their transformations and cycling in soils and plant uptake by forages and row crops. Also evaluate the impact of manure application dates, rates, and cropping systems on soil and water qualities. The U.S. broiler industry produced more than 13 billion broilers in 2002 according to Georgia Agricultural Statistics Services. The seriousness of the issues is related to the generation of quantity of broiler manure and its safe disposal. Obviously return of the manure to land completes a natural recycling process. However, poultry producers face many regulatory issues and environmental challenges associated with the human pathogens, Federal Clean Water Act. Of 1972, and Clean Air Act of 1997. More recently, the potential impact of nutrients such as P on water quality has heightened public awareness. Nutrient management planning is a tool to address these issues. The research under this newly established CRIS 6445-12630-001-00D in will address several components of the NP 206 "Manure and Byproduct Utilization" Action Plan, specifically, Focus Areas 3 and 4 (Nutrient); Focus Areas 1 and 3 (Emission); and Focus Area 1 and 2a (Pathogen). This research also support research activities related to NP 201 "Water Quality and Management" and NP 202 "Soil Resource Management".

2. List the milestones (indicators of progress) from your Project Plan. 1) Completed in depth soil, plant, and manure analysis related to research projects on bermudagrass, ryegrass, and cotton crop. 2) Established small field plots in Bowling Green, KY, to study the impact of animal manure on soil quality. 3) Soil fertility and soil nutrient dynamics were studied for bermudagrass and cotton crop. 4) Winter covercrop effects on soil nutrients continue and some phases have been completed.

3. Milestones: This project is new, but is presently in NP206 peer review process. Milestones are being developed. Seven presentations were made in scientific meetings and local activities. Ten scientific publications were developed from the completed projects.

4. What were the most significant accomplishments this past year? A. The year-round dynamics and transformation of major plant nutrients in broiler litter were investigated in a field study on different cultivars of bermudagrass. Results impacted those management practices that use broiler litter as the sole source of fertilizer on forages. B. The ability of poultry litter to provide optimum nitrogen and other required plant nutrients for mono-culture cotton and soil fertility improvement was investigated. Results had an immediate economic and agronomic impact on many cotton farmers in the region that use poultry litter as an alternative source of fertilizer with regard to the rate of litter application an the nitrogen use efficiency, particularly in a no- till system. C. On-farm research confirmed findings of previous season's findings that cotton that received 2 ton litter per acre plus about 50% of the typical farm-standard nitrogen fertilization with conventional fertilizers performed as good as or better than the full farm-standard fertilization. Cotton fertilized with the farm standard rate appeared distinctly darker green than any other treatment, but this distinction did not translate to yield. The farm-standard fertilization included about 100 to 120 lbs N/ acre, 30 to 60 lbs P2O5/acre, and 60 to 120 lbs K2O/acre. D. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Publications: None.

5. Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact. 12 months: Complete or continue research at state experiment stations or farmers' lands to determine best application rate, timing, and application methods of animal manure for forages and row crops production. New research programs will be established to address the air quality (gas emission) and pathogens related to animal manure at the animal production facilities and field application sites. 24 months: modify on-farm research to test long-term residual effect of continuous litter application for forages and row crops. Continue research on gas emission and pathogens related to animal manure production, handling, and utilization. 36 months: Complete research at state experiment stations testing best application methods of litter for forages and row crops and identify methods that can be recommended to farmers. New technologies, methods, and guidelines will be developed from research accomplishments related to the quantification, reduction or elimination of odorous gas and pathogens from animal manure.

6. What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end- user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products? Information related to the use of animal manure particularly poultry litter and best management practices were outlined during field day at Western Kentucky University research farm in Bowling Green. Information on the broiler manure utilization for forages and row crops have been published in scientific outlets and been available to be incorporated into states nutrient management guidelines (USDA-NRCS codes 590 and 633), and be used by County Extension Agents and USDA-NRCS District Conservationists. In the current climate of awareness of air and water quality issues, the technology have unlimited durability. The greatest constraint to adaptation is the lack of adequate site specific and on- farm data for the recommendation of sound scientific recommendation of a particular management practice.

7. List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. Sistani, K.R., Brink, G.E., A. Adeli, H. Tewolde, and D.E. Rowe. 2003. Soil Nutrient Dynamic from Broiler Litter Application to Bermudagrass. Agron. Abstract. Tewolde, H., K.R. Sistani, D.E. Rowe, A. Adeli, J.R. Johnson, and S.L. McGowen. 2003. Chlorophyll index and lint yield of cotton grown with poultry litter and conventional fertilizers. Agron. Abstract. Rowe, D.E., K.R. Sistani, and G.E. Brink. 2003. Fertilization and Irrigation of Bermudagrass on High Phosphorus Soil. Agron. Abstract. Adeli, A., F.M. El Balaa, D. E. Rowe, P.R. Owens, and K. R. Sistani. 2003. Effects of rainfall frequency and timing on runoff nutrient dynamics from soil amended with broiler litter. Agron. Abstract. McLaughlin, M.R., K.R. Sistani, T.E. Fairbrother, and D.E. Rowe. 2003. Nutrient uptake by cool-season annuals and over seeded bermudagrass fertilized with swine lagoon effluent. Agron. Abstract. Igbal, J., H. Tewolde, D. E. Rowe, K.R. Sistani, and J. J. Read. 2003. Applilcation of multi-spectral aerial imagery in estimating growth of cotton fertilized with poultry litter and inorganic nitrogen. Agron. Abstracts. Participated in a field day organized by Western Kentucky University, Department of Agriculture on July 24, 2004 in Bowling Green, KY. The benefit of broiler litter application on pasture and row crops were discussed with farmers, and extension agents.

PROGRESS: 2002/10/01 TO 2003/09/30
1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it? The problem being resolved is related to improper and long-term animal manure applications to the same land area, which results in the buildup and imbalances of nutrients in the soil, which may cause environmental problems. Development of management practices that address manure-plant- soil interactions is the potential solution to this problem. Incumbent conducts research on manure nutrients, particularly phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) in regard to their transformations and cycling in soils and plant uptake by forages and row crops. Also evaluates the impact of manure application dates, rates, and cropping systems on soil and water qualities.

2. How serious is the problem? Why does it matter? The U.S. broiler industry produced more than 13 billion broilers in 2002 according to Georgia Agricultural Statistics Services. The seriousness of the issues is related to the generation of quantity of broiler manure and its safe disposal. Obviously return of the manure to land completes a natural recycling process. However, poultry producers face many regulatory issues and environmental challenges associated with the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972 and Clean Air Act of 1997. More recently, the potential impact of nutrients such as P on water quality has heightened public awareness. Nutrient management planning is a tool to address these issues.

3. How does it relate to the National Program(s) and National Program Component(s) to which it has been assigned? The problem directly relates to the National Program for Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, and Manure and Byproduct Utilization (206).

4. What were the most significant accomplishments this past year? Characterization of poultry house management and practices involved in handling the poultry manure are very critical, because it will improve the accuracy of the manure nutrient quantification and recommendation for land application. The problem was addressed by characterizing two poultry- house management practices. The incumbent conceived and executed the study, data were collected and analyzed, and results were interpreted with regard to current literature and published in scientific journals. The results provide on-farm site specific information that will impact producers and nutrient planners in relation to broiler cake application rate and timing.

5. Describe the major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact. The major accomplishments over the life of the project include the formation of cooperative relationships with broiler producers that resulted in the establishment of on-farm experiments, evaluating their management practices and determining the nutrient composition of different manure as a by-product of different management systems. Ultimately, the results will help poultry producers with regard to reducing potential nonpoint source pollution of ground and surface water.

6. What do you expect to accomplish, year by year, over the next 3 years? In collaboration with the scientists from ARS Mississippi State location and Western Kentucky University, new experiments will be established in MS and KY to study the impact of broiler manure on row crops (cotton and corn), and forages. The incumbent's interests and role in these studies are to quantify the long-term effects of broiler manure application as an alternative to chemical fertilizers on soil physical, chemical, biological, and nutrient imbalances, which may affect plant growth and with potential environmental implications.

7. What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end- user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products? Information on the broiler manure house cleaning management practices has been incorporated into state nutrient management guidelines (USDA-NRCS Code 633), and will be used by county extension agents and USDA-NRCS district conservationists. In the current climate of awareness of water quality issues, the technology has unlimited durability. The greatest constraint to adaptation is the lack of adequate site-specific and on-farm data for a sound scientific recommendation of a particular management practice; also the producer's need for increasing the pasture productivity using litter as the sole fertilizer source.

8. List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: This does not replace your peer-reviewed publications listed below). Participated in a Field Day organized by Western Kentucky University, Department of Agriculture, on July 24, 2003, in Bowling Green, KY. The benefits of broiler litter application on pasture and row crops were discussed with farmers, and extension agents.

Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
Project number
6445-12630-001-00D
Accession number
407353
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Campylobacter
Policy and Planning