Livestock and the environment
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Livestock and the Environment. Johanna Davis. Agricultural Concerns. Federal & State Environmental Laws Endangered Species Act. B. Environmental Problems of Livestock Production. 1. Changes in Livestock Production. Trend toward larger livestock operations

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Livestock and the Environment

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Livestock and the Environment

Johanna Davis


Agricultural Concerns

  • Federal & State Environmental Laws

  • Endangered Species Act


B. Environmental Problems of Livestock Production


1. Changes in Livestock Production

  • Trend toward larger livestock operations

  • Use of large livestock confinement systems such as feedlots


2. Changing Environment of Agriculture

  • Migration of city dwellers to agricultural areas.

    • Why?

      • Escape problems of city life

      • Attracted to recreational developments


Changing Environment of Agriculture, cont

  • Attitudes

    • Find odors offensive

    • Unaware of byproducts of livestock production


3. Livestock Waste Disposal Concerns

  • Communities share the cost of waste disposal in cities

    • Cost of facility – several million dollars

    • Cost to individual in city - $100 to $200


Livestock Waste Disposal Concerns, cont

  • Individuals responsible for cost for livestock enterprises

    • 200,000 hens, 1,200 head of cattle in a feedlot, 10,500 hogs may produce as much waste as 20,000 people.


C. Agricultural Disposal Systems

  • Must be part of the total management plan

  • Must be affordable

  • Must meet the expectations of the non farming people who live nearby

  • Must meet environmental regulations


D. Federal Regulations

  • Federal Water Quality Act of 1965

  • Refuse Act of 1899

  • Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965

  • Federal Clean Air Act


E. State Regulations

  • Most states have some type of environmental protection agency

  • Enforce State & Federal regulations

  • Nuisance Laws

    • May include odors, dust, chemicals, water pollution, animal noises, carcass disposal, etc


F. Water Pollutants

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • EPA monitors

    • Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)

    • Fecal Coliform

    • Fecal Streptococcus

    • Suspended Solids

    • Phosphorus

    • Ammonia


G. Handling Livestock Wastes

  • Objective is to control

  • Prevent surface & groundwater pollution

  • other Nuisances

  • Odors

  • Dust

  • Flies

  • Rodents


Handling Livestock Wastes, cont.

  • Amount of Manure Produced

    • Species

    • Age of Animal

    • Ration Fed


Handling Livestock Wastes, cont.

  • Fertilizer Usage– Nutrient Content Factors

    • Length of time in storage

    • Method of treatment

    • Amount and type of bedding used

    • Amount of dilution by water entering the system


F. Manure Handling Systems

  • Factors to consider

    • EPA Regulations

    • Kind of Animal Being Raised

    • Kind of Housing and Management

    • Size and Type of Operation

    • Climate

    • Characteristics of Operation


Manure Handling Systems, cont.

  • Classification of Facilities

    • Confined

      • Open Lot

      • Lot and Shelter

      • Enclosed Shelter

    • Unconfined

      • Pasture

      • Range


Manure Handling Systems, cont.

  • Types of Systems

    • Liquid

      • Pits

      • Lagoon

      • Storage Basins

    • Solid


G. Determining the Amount of Livestock Waste to Apply on the Land


Determining the Amount of Livestock Waste to Apply on the Land

  • Agronomic Nitrogen Rate

    • Available Nitrogen per unit of yield necessary to produce a given crop

    • Varies with species

    • Varies with ration fed

    • Varies with method of collection and storage

  • Phosphorus Requirements


H. Disposing of Manure

  • Spread on land

    • All solid systems

    • All liquid systems except lagoons

  • Valuable as fertilizers


Disposing of Manure, cont.

  • Environmental Considerations

    • Must be incorporated or injected in the soils

    • Do not apply to frozen or snow cover land

    • Do not apply immediately before or after a rainstorm to to saturated land


. Disposing of Manure, cont.

  • Do not apply to grass waterways

  • Do not apply within 200 feet of surface waters or within 150 feet of a well

  • Reduce the amount applied if there is a high water table present or if soil is highly permeable


I. Preventing Feedlot Runoff

  • Diversion – prevent surface water from entering

  • Drainage – channel runoff from feedlot


Preventing Feedlot Runoff, cont

  • Debris basins – catch run off from pens

  • Holding ponds – temporary storage for runoff

  • Disposal – collect and use for irrigation or allow to evaporate


J. Gases and Odors from Livestock Wastes

  • Caused by anaerobic bacteria breaking down the organic components

    • Occurs when no Oxygen is present


Gases and Odors from Livestock Wastes, cont

  • Gases dangerous to people and livestock in poorly ventilated or confinement areas

  • Odors may cause neighbors to take legal action against the farmer


Gases and Odors from Livestock Wastes, cont

  • Control Methods

    • Reduced by mixing air with manure

    • Mix manure in soil as soon as possible after hauling/spreading


Gases and Odors from Livestock Wastes, cont

  • Chemical and Bacterial culture

    • Masking agents

      • Cover up odors

    • Counteractants

      • Attempt to neutralize odors


Gases and Odors from Livestock Wastes, cont

Chemical and Bacterial culture, cont

  • Deodorants

    • Chemicals that kill the bacteria that cause odor

  • Digestive deodorants

    • Create a digestive process to eliminate odor


K. Disposal of Dead Animals

  • Responsibility of owner

  • Many states require within 24 to 48 hrs

  • Done so as not to cause health hazard

    • Diseases may spread to other animals/humans

    • Treat any dead animal as though diseased

    • Eliminate environmental threats


Disposal of Dead Animals, cont

  • Transport in a covered, metal, leak proof vehicle

  • Approved Methods

    • Licensed disposal plant

    • Burying

    • Disposal pits

    • Burning

    • Composting


F. Livestock Laws

  • Animal Trespass

    • Owner Liability

      • Damage to property

    • Estray

      • Domestic Animal of Unknown ownership running at large

    • Land owner may retain possession until compensated (varies by states)


Livestock Laws, cont

  • Animals On Highways

    • May cause traffic accidents

    • Owner Liability

      • Usually negligence must be proven


Revised 2/1/2001


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