Environmental Stewardship

PIG How-To's

How-to maintain a manure storage system

Publish Date: 10/20/2014

Properly designed and operated manure management systems prevent manure from overflowing or discharging from a facility, and allow for timely nutrient application for vegetative growth. Whether the manure is stored in a lagoon, earthen structure, tank or deep pit, similar principles exist to maintaining a sound manure storage structure. Frequent evaluation of the system and preventative maintenance reduce the risk of costly structural and/or environmental issues down the road.


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Factsheets

Ambient Air Quality Regulations that Impact Swine Operations

Publish Date: 10/20/2014

Agricultural air quality is a hot topic around the country. Increasing interest in air quality regulation of farms is the result of many changes, including the trend toward larger farms having greater concentrations of animals, and increased knowledge and awareness of air emissions from livestock sources. This document provides background on current air quality regulations, why they were implemented, what swine operations are affected, and how to comply, when necessary. Indoor air quality will not be directly discussed here, but readers should understand that indoor air quality and outdoor air quality are related, and the level of indoor air quality is not necessarily indicative of emission levels.


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PIG How-To's

Safe Disposal of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals

Publish Date: 05/15/2013

Pharmaceutical compounds are increasingly being detected at low levels in ground and surface waters. Although environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals measured to date are far lower than the intended therapeutic doses, there is concern that the potential exists for these chemicals to have an adverse impact on aquatic life and human health. Disposal of pharmaceutical compounds is becoming a complex environmental issue. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), little is known about the potential health effects to humans or aquatic organisms exposed to the low levels of most of the chemicals or mixtures commonly found in their studies. But the safety and health of the environment is directly affected by the disposal method, so it is important that we all be responsible when disposing of these products. Presently, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) does not offer specific guidelines for disposal of pharmaceutical waste, but they do offer an educational video on the subject, available by visiting www.avma.org and searching “drug disposal”.


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Factsheets

Vegetative Environmental Buffers for Odor Mitigation

Publish Date: 05/21/2013

An odor mitigation technology that is drawing a lot of attention in Midwestern livestock producing states is the strategic use of shelterbelts – purposefully planted trees and shrubs arranged in linear patterns around production facilities; a technical term for this technology is Vegetative Environmental Buffers or VEBs. Research suggests that VEBs can play an important, incremental low-cost role in bio-physically and socially mitigating odor.


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Factsheets

What Every Pork Producer Should Know about Anaerobic Digestion

Publish Date: 06/18/2013

You may have heard it is impossible to digest swine manure. This is not true. Swine farmers can enjoy all the benefits provided by anaerobic digestion. They just have to work a little harder than other livestock producers to get them. The problem is hog farmers like to handle pig manure as a liquid. The extra water added to manure means digesters on swine farms are larger than those on other farms such as dairies. We can overcome this challenge by using specially designed digesters, scraping rather than flushing manure, or adding a high-energy co-digestion product to the waste stream.


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Factsheets

Science of Smell Part 2 : Understanding the Generation and Chemistry of Odors

Publish Date: 11/27/2012

Odor chemistry is complex and still poorly understood. More than 75 odorous compounds, in varying proportions, have been identified in livestock manures. Knowing the chemical basis of odors derived from animal manure is helpful to understand how odor develops and what can be done to design and manage manure systems and avoid nuisance complaints.


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Factsheets

Science of Smell Part 3 : Measurement and Detection of Odors from Swine Operations

Publish Date: 11/27/2012

As perceived by humans, odors have five basic properties that can be quantified: 1) intensity, 2) degree of offensiveness, 3) character, 4) frequency, and 5) duration, all of which contribute to the neighbor’s attitude towards the odor as well as the pig production generating the odor. It is generally accepted that the extent of objection and reaction to odor by neighbors is highly variable. The reaction can be based on previous experience, relationship to the odor-producing enterprise and the sensitivity of the individual. Weather (temperature, humidity, wind direction) affects the volatility of compounds, preventing or enhancing movement into the gaseous phase where an odor can be dispersed downwind.


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Factsheets

Science of Smell Part 1 : Perception and Physiological Responses to Odors

Publish Date: 11/27/2012

Olfaction, the sense of smell, is the least understood of the five human senses. This, among other factors, makes the task of reducing livestock odors a considerable challenge. This factsheet explains the terminology used to describe odorants and odor, how the human olfactory system works, and how humans respond to odor.


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PIG How-To's

Controlling Odors from Swine Operations

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Odors from swine operations can come from live animals, manure, dead animals and spoiled feed. The odors emitted are from the anaerobic breakdown of organic matter and proteins from these sources.


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PIG How-To's

Maximizing the Value of Swine Manure

Publish Date: 04/17/2012

Swine manure is a valuable by-product of the swine operation that can be utilized as a fertilizer resource. By conserving the nutrient value of the manure generated by the swine operation, less money can be spent on commercial fertilizer and there is a potential to market manure to local crop producers.


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