Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Waste Management: It's About Thyme

Date:
December 30, 2005
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A 1,000-head cattle feedlot produces about 146 to 175 tons of wet manure every week—a problematic figure for feedlot operators and their neighbors. Despite its benefits as a natural fertilizer, manure is a source of pathogens and odor. Fortunately, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are developing a method to reduce manure’s negative properties. All they need is a little thyme.

Oregano plants were the botanical source for the odor- and pathogen-reducing thyme oil used in the study.
Credit: Image courtesy J.S. Peterson, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

A 1,000-head cattle feedlot produces about 146 to 175 tons of wet manure every week—a problematic figure for feedlot operators and their neighbors. Despite its benefits as a natural fertilizer, manure is a source of pathogens and odor. Fortunately, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are developing a method to reduce manure’s negative properties. All they need is a little thyme.

Thymol is the active component in thyme oil, which can be extracted from a variety of plants, such as thyme and oregano. Because of its pleasant odor and natural antiseptic properties, thymol appears in a variety of products, including mouthwash and throat lozenges. ARS microbiologists Elaine Berry, Vince Varel and Jim Wells discovered that its qualities can also benefit feedlots. When applied to cattle feedlot soil in slow-release granules, thymol reduced concentrations of odor-causing volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and pathogens like coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli. Berry, Varel and Wells work in the ARS Nutrition Research Unit, part of the agency’s Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb.

The researchers observed even more prolonged effects in swine facilities, which might be due to the pits some swine operators employ to collect and store manure. The enclosed systems could retain more thymol than the cattle feedlots, increasing its effectiveness.

The scientists also tested less expensive compounds in the lab, including terpineol, linalool, plinol and geraniol. Most promoted reduction of VFAs and pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. Linalool was nearly as effective as thymol in the lab, but when subjected to field studies in the feedlot, thymol outperformed it. This may have been due to dry weather conditions during the test period, the researchers speculate. They plan to conduct more tests in the spring, when feedlot conditions will more closely resemble the slurries in which the compounds were initially tested.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief in-house scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Waste Management: It's About Thyme." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051216184545.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2005, December 30). Waste Management: It's About Thyme. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051216184545.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Waste Management: It's About Thyme." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051216184545.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins