Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Settling Dust Around Feed Yards a Matter of Management

07.07.2005


Cattle move, dirt stirs, dust rises – it’s an inevitable part of the livestock industry.



But it’s something feedlot management and researchers are working to minimize and control.

The Texas Beef Cattle Air Quality Emphasis, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service as a part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, is a partnership with Texas A&M University and Texas Cattle Feeders Association. "We believe in our industry and want to be more progressive, to be better stewards," said Kevin Bunch at the Bar G Feedyard near Hereford during a recent tour by the Agricultural Air Quality Task Force. "We have procedures and policies in place that are doable and we want to present these things to the legislature, so they see we are doing the things that should be done," Bunch said.


At Bar G, he said, dust is managed through frequent manure removal, as well as a sprinkler system. Greg Sokora, a conservation service civil engineer from Lubbock, said the sprinkler system is designed to put out one-eighth inch of water per day across the yard. The system takes 2.5 hours to make a complete cycle through the yard, spending six minutes per pen. It rotates across the yard throughout the day, except for a short period in the afternoon, he said.

Computer controlled and based on golf course irrigation, the solid-set sprinkler system pumps 2,100 gallons per minute with 80-90 pounds per square inch of pressure at the nozzles, Sokora said. Four such systems were installed in feed yards last year. This year is the first for monitoring and logging how much water is needed to keep the manure packed and somewhere between 20 and 30 percent moisture, he said.

Meteorological conditions – wind speed, temperature and moisture – are figured into the system, Sokora said, because "our water is very precious. As a general rule, we’re going to stay as close to the dry side as we can." The system should help keep odors down and can be used to help control flies by putting insecticides in with the water, he said.

Dr. Brent Auvermann, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station associate professor of agricultural engineering in Amarillo, said corn at its peak water usage takes more than one-half inch of water per day. Comparatively, cool season data this year shows the sprinkler systems require less than one-quarter inch per day to replace evaporation from the feedlot surface, he said. The solid-set sprinkler systems are one method of dust control; however, feed yard operators have found no one solution is right for every location.

Older yards that sprawl along the topography of the land are difficult to retrofit with solid-set sprinkler systems, Auvermann said. A water curtain is an option for these yards where dust control may be critical, he said. A pilot-scale water curtain designed for a Hereford-area feed yard uses about the same amount of water, or less, as a sprinkler system to suppress dust at the corral boundary. Spraying about 1-2 gallons per minute per foot, the 270-foot long, 43-foot high booms put out 300-320 gallons per minute of water each evening. That’s when dust concentrations are highest and atmospheric conditions are stable, he said.

The prototype’s effectiveness is being tested using monitors and samplers downwind, with initial results showing about a 40 percent reduction in dust concentrations, Auvermann said. It is not advantageous to operate the water curtain in the afternoon when there is too much turbulence in the air or after midnight when the cattle activity drops off, Auvermann said. In feed yards where the water is not available or sprinkler systems have not been installed, frequent manure harvesting is the key to dust control, he said.

For years, university agricultural engineers in Texas have advocated "harvesting manure" as a measure of dust control. Harvesting manure means scraping the pens in a way that will yield better quality manure, reduce mud, dust and odor, and improve pen drainage. Manure harvesting scrapes the loose mixture of manure and dirt on top, but does not disturb the compacted layer underneath, Auvermann said. The goal is to leave a hard, smooth uniform and well-drained pen, he said.

Most beef feedlots conduct at least one annual pen cleaning, but the environmental incentive plan requires yards to make three manure harvests per year in order to qualify for cost-share payments, Sokora said.

Ben Weinheimer, Texas Cattle Feeders Association regulation manager in Amarillo, said for 20 years the industry has been sponsoring research to get to this point and is now working to build these programs.

"We’re making big progress as far as dust control," Weinheimer said.

Dr. Brent Auvermann | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ag.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>