Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers fly a kite for manure recycling

01.12.2008
Researchers at North Wyke Research, and Lancaster and Exeter universities, have come up with an advice system to help farmers recycle manure safely and avoid polluting watercourses.

Organisms such as E coli may be present in animal manure and can pose a serious threat to human health. Irrigated crops are sometimes contaminated, shellfisheries can be vulnerable and bathing waters may be under threat, with subsequent effects for tourism.

This is particularly true in South West England, with its dairy industry and large numbers of summer visitors, and where some public beaches have failed to meet the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive. These are some of the reasons that led the team to focus on the Taw catchment of North Devon as a study area in this project, which is part of the UK Research Councils’ Rural Economy and Land Use Programme.

The interdisciplinary team of natural and social scientists, assessed the risk of water contamination at 77 farms, taking into account factors such as grazing
livestock and topography, and surveyed farmers to assess their knowledge about risk and find out how they managed manure on the farm.

They also monitored microbial water quality at fixed locations over several seasons.

The project has identified four factors that affect the level of risk:

•Accumulated microbial burden to land (eg how manure is applied and deposited, stocking density)

•Landscape transfer potential (eg the topography of the land, whether there are slopes, streams and so on)

•Infrastructure (eg how the manure is stored, whether there is hard standing)

•Social and economic obstacles (eg whether the farmer has had training about risk, whether he can afford to invest in infrastructure)

The team then constructed a model framework that shows the levels of risk in these four areas, expressed graphically as a “kite” shape. The colour shows the overall level of risk from green representing “low risk” to red representing “high risk.” The shape demonstrates where risk is highest. This provides a useful tool for farm advisers working with farmers, as reducing the risk reduces the shape of the kite.

Dr Dave Chadwick from North Wyke who led the project explained: “The project covered a lot of areas, including public perception of the risks involved, so it was very wide-ranging.

“Our examination of microbial evidence threw up some unexpected results. We found that untreated sewage from the farmhouse was a significant factor in the total microbial load in quite a few cases, and how and when manure is applied also has an effect. Some practices may have unintended consequences.

“Injecting slurry, for example, does reduce ammonia emissions, which is the intention, but also favours survival of organisms.

“So how can an individual farmer reduce the risk of polluting watercourses? The kite model is designed to help. It shows whether the farm is high risk, and how the farmer can apply his efforts most effectively and at least cost. So we expect it to be a particularly useful tool for farm advisers.”

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme’s Policy and Practice Note no 4 “Safe recycling of livestock manures” may be downloaded from http://www.relu.ac.uk/news/policy%20and%20practice%20notes/Chadwick%20PP4.pdf or hard copies obtained from relu@ncl.ac.uk.

Anne Liddon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk
http://www.relu.ac.uk/news/researchers%20fly%20kite%20for%20manure%20recycling%20with%20header.doc

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

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: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses

13.12.2017 | Information Technology

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure

13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart

13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>