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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Manure Management Strategies to Improve Air and Water Quality

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Project Number: 6226-63000-003-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Aug 01, 2010
End Date: Jul 31, 2015

Objective:
1) Determine the factors that affect P transformations and transport in soil, water and manure. 1A. Utilize P runoff from 25 small watersheds to validate the Arkansas P index. 2) Determine the long-term impacts of grazing management and treating manure with alum on nutrient and water transport processes and air emissions. 2A. Determine the long-term effects of overgrazing, rotational grazing, haying, and buffer strips on nutrient and sediment runoff from pastures. 2B. Determine the long-term effects of treating poultry litter with alum on NH3 emissions, soil chemistry, P runoff and leaching, and forage yields. 3) Develop and evaluate best management practices to reduce non-point P pollution from poultry litter application on pasture land. 3A. Compare nutrient runoff and hydrology from small watershed fertilized with poultry litter using three different methods. 4) Determine ammonia emission rates from poultry litter and develop best management practices to control ammonia volatilization. 4A. Determine the effect of in-house composting of poultry litter on emissions of ammonia and greenhouse gases. 4B. Determine the efficacy of an NH3 scrubber on reducing the emissions of dust and NH3 from poultry houses. 4C. Determine the effect of alum additions to broiler litter on emissions of NH3, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and dust. 5) Determine the sources and loss pathways of bacterial pathogens associated with animal manures and develop cost-effective best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate pathogen runoff. 5A. Measure pathogen and indicator organisms in runoff from 25 small watersheds fertilized with manure or biosolids. 5B. Determine the impact of BMPs on pathogen runoff from poultry litter. 6) Evaluate the risks and benefits of agricultural applications of municipal wastes (biosolids and water treatment residuals) and develop formulations and application methods that enhance the value of these resources while reducing negative environmental impacts.

Approach:
Both long-term and short-term studies will be conducted. Two 20-year studies will be conducted to determine the long-term impacts of poultry litter, alum-treated litter, and ammonium nitrate on soil chemistry, nutrient runoff, and forage production. A long-term study (13 years) will also be conducted on the impacts of various pasture management strategies (overgrazing, rotational grazing, haying, etc.) on pasture hydrology, nutrient runoff, soil erosion, and forage production. Another long-term study (7 years) will be conducted to determine the effects of pasture renovation and litter incorporation on P runoff, ammonia emissions and forage yields. Pathogen runoff will also be evaluated from both small plots and at the field scale. Ammonia emissions will also be measured from commercial broiler houses using various management practices. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop cost-effective best management practices (BMPs) for poultry manure management which improve air and water quality.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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