Use of cationic polymers to reduce pathogen levels during dairy manure separation

(View original article)  Various separation technologies are used to deal with the enormous amounts of animal waste that large livestock operations generate. When the recycled waste stream is land applied, it is essential to lower the pathogen load to safeguard the health of livestock and humans. We investigated whether cationic polymers, used as a flocculent in the solid/liquid separation process, could reduce the pathogen indicator load in the animal waste stream. The effects of low charge density cationic polyacrylamide (CPAM) and high charge density cationic polydicyandiamide (PDCD) were… Read More →

Particulate Matter: What Is It and Why Does It Matter to Agriculture?

Particulate matter (PM) is the term applied to dust and other small particles that are suspended in the air. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates PM as a pollutant because it can cause health problems when inhaled. There are two categories of PM— coarse and fine. Coarse PM, typically found near roadways and dusty industries, is made up of particles larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter. Fine PM, found in smoke and haze, is made up of particles 2.5 micrometers in diameter and… Read More →

Composting Large Animal Carcasses

Livestock producers and large-animal veterinarians face a growing problem in rural Texas—what to do with dead animals. Rendering services are getting more expensive and harder to come by, and just leaving carcasses to predators and the forces of nature is not acceptable. So what are the options? Except for poultry, you can bury dead animals as long as you do not pollute ground or surface water. Incineration, biodigestion and chemical digestion are other disposal methods, but they are expensive, complicated or both. Composting is a simple, low-cost disposal… Read More →

Manure to Energy: Understanding Processes, Principles and Jargon

Today the spotlight in the United States is on the increasing world demand for energy and the high cost of oil and natural gas. This has heightened interest in alternative and renewable energy sources, such as bio fuels, forests, wind, solar and animal manure. While demand for hydrocarbon energy (energy from crude oil, natural gas and coal) will continue to rise, renewable energy will become more important in the coming years. This publication uses the following figure as a simple illustration of potential sources of energy from biomass,… Read More →

Calibration of Poultry Litter Applicators

Poultry litter has been used for many years in Texas as an alternative to commercial fertilizer. The poultry litter not only has the N (nitrogen), P (phosphorus), K (potassium) benefits, but it adds organic matter and all other essential nutrients to the soil. Proper precautions must be taken in order to prevent contamination of groundwater and runoff, while regulating soil P and N levels.