Publish Date: October 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.
Publish Date: May 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”.
Publish Date: April 13, 2012
Sound animal health and housing practices help to minimize mortality. However, there will always be a need to dispose of mortality. Rendering, composting, incineration, sanitary landfills, burial, and disposal pits are commonly available as options . Composting is an attractive option because it is an environmentally friendly disposal method that captures the nutrient value of the mortality and organic amendments. Since composting usually takes place on the farm as the mortality occurs, the bio-security concerns associated with storing and transporting carcasses are greatly reduced. When properly managed, composting will generate few, if any, objectionable odors. However, as with any management practice, an understanding of the underlying principles, proper design, and proper management are required for successful results.
Publish Date: April 9, 2010
Pork producers that have facilities with odor problems or want to be proactive in management approaches to prevent odors have a variety of options. Some of these options are easily implemented, while others are more of a challenge. The cost and benefit of any approach should be carefully considered before implementation.
Publish Date: September 24, 2007
The Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) concept has been developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to address conservation planning for animal feeding operations. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that CNMPs address the requirements of the Nutrient Management Plan necessary for the maintenance of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit . National USDA policy states that animal feeding operations should have a CNMP to be eligible to receive certain cost-share funding, such as Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) assistance. In 2002, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (Farm Bill) increased the amount of conservation program funds available to animal feeding operations, and introduced the mechanism for using certified Technical Service Providers (TSP) as a source of technical assistance for producers. Producers can contact a TSP, request the development of a CNMP and then potentially be reimbursed for a TSP’s services with conservation program funds, depending on fund availability in their state.