Recycling manure is an important practice, especially for large livestock producers. Manure can be used as fertilizer to aid in crop production, aiding livestock producers that grow their own feed crops.
While manure does provide a rich nutrient source for crops, it also can contribute to nutrient leaching and runoff. This can contaminate the surrounding ecosystem and lead to eutrophication of waterways. The desire for farmers to be able to recycle manure in an environmentally safe manner while providing a sufficient supply of nutrients to their crops without reducing profit, is an ongoing struggle.
Scientists at USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Penn State used computer simulated farms with the support of field research to compare the environmental impact and economic efficacy of using alternative manure application methods in farming systems. The techniques and practices being evaluated included broadcast spreading with and without incorporation by tillage, band application with soil aeration, and shallow disk injection.
By comparing predicted ammonia emissions, nitrate leaching, and phosphorus runoff losses with those measured over four years of field trials, researchers were able to accurately evaluate the model and find a good agreement. By simulating techniques that would improve the incorporation of manure, the scientist noticed reductions in ammonia emission and phosphorus runoff.
The study showed that applying manure with a shallow disk injection device allowed the lowest nutrient loss without negatively impacting the farm's profitability compared with the other techniques being studied. Band application of manure along with the use of soil aeration was less environmentally beneficial. Moreover the increased cost of production was usually greater than the overall economic benefit.
"Shallow injection of manure appears to be the best option for reducing nutrient losses to the environment. Although this additional equipment and the management required increase the cost of manure handling, the annual improvement in nutrient use can often offset this cost and in some cases may even improve farm profitability," said Al Rotz, one of the USDA-ARS scientists who conducted the study.
Results from the study were published in the March/April 2011 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality.
Research is ongoing in Pennsylvania and other locations in the mid Atlantic area to further evaluate different methods for subsurface injection of manure in both liquid and solid forms. Refinement and adoption of this manure application technique is one of many potential strategies for reducing nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Reduction in this nutrient loading is needed to help clean and improve the aquatic life in the Bay.
Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Mixed forests: ecologically and economically superior
09.05.2018 | Technische Universität München
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News