Future Solutions: Addressing the Problems of Environment and Swine Production

Environmental quality will continue to be a major concern for swine producers because of the perception that all swine operations pose an environmental risk. There are an array of potential solutions that have been proposed to reduce environmental problems including regulation and voluntary adoption of best management practices. This perception that all swine operations pose an environmental risk presents a unique challenge in how future solutions are developed and implemented. It is important to understand that environmental endpoints that will be used as measure of the success of any programs will include surface and ground water quality, air quality, and soil nutrient status. These endpoints are considered to be at risk when management practices lead to a situation that contributes to a load on the environment that is greater than the system can assimilate. It is also assumed that producers dont implement changes because of the cost of management practices, however, many of these modifications can be completed with changes in management and not capital equipment.