Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recycling Manure Safely To Avoid Polluting Rivers and Streams

Date:
December 4, 2008
Source:
University, Newcastle
Summary:
Researchers have come up with an advice system to help farmers recycle manure safely and avoid polluting watercourses.

Researchers at North Wyke Research, and Lancaster and Exeter universities, have come up with an advice system to help farmers recycle manure safely and avoid polluting watercourses.

Organisms such as E coli may be present in animal manure and can pose a serious threat to human health. Irrigated crops are sometimes contaminated, shellfisheries can be vulnerable and bathing waters may be under threat, with subsequent effects for tourism.

This is particularly true in South West England, with its dairy industry and large numbers of summer visitors, and where some public beaches have failed to meet the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive. These are some of the reasons that led the team to focus on the Taw catchment of North Devon as a study area in this project, which is part of the UK Research Councils’ Rural Economy and Land Use Programme.

The interdisciplinary team of natural and social scientists, assessed the risk of water contamination at 77 farms, taking into account factors such as grazing

livestock and topography, and surveyed farmers to assess their knowledge about risk and find out how they managed manure on the farm.

They also monitored microbial water quality at fixed locations over several seasons.

The project has identified four factors that affect the level of risk:

  • Accumulated microbial burden to land (eg how manure is applied and deposited, stocking density)
  • Landscape transfer potential (eg the topography of the land, whether there are slopes, streams and so on)
  • Infrastructure (eg how the manure is stored, whether there is hard standing)
  • Social and economic obstacles (eg whether the farmer has had training about risk, whether he can afford to invest in infrastructure)

The team then constructed a model framework that shows the levels of risk in these four areas, expressed graphically as a “kite” shape. The colour shows the overall level of risk from green representing “low risk” to red representing “high risk.” The shape demonstrates where risk is highest. This provides a useful tool for farm advisers working with farmers, as reducing the risk reduces the shape of the kite.

Dr Dave Chadwick from North Wyke who led the project explained: “The project covered a lot of areas, including public perception of the risks involved, so it was very wide-ranging.

“Our examination of microbial evidence threw up some unexpected results. We found that untreated sewage from the farmhouse was a significant factor in the total microbial load in quite a few cases, and how and when manure is applied also has an effect. Some practices may have unintended consequences.

“Injecting slurry, for example, does reduce ammonia emissions, which is the intention, but also favours survival of organisms.

“So how can an individual farmer reduce the risk of polluting watercourses? The kite model is designed to help. It shows whether the farm is high risk, and how the farmer can apply his efforts most effectively and at least cost. So we expect it to be a particularly useful tool for farm advisers.”

The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme’s Policy and Practice Note no 4 “Safe recycling of livestock manures” may be downloaded from http://www.relu.ac.uk/news/policy%20and%20practice%20notes/Chadwick%20PP4.pdf.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University, Newcastle. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University, Newcastle. "Recycling Manure Safely To Avoid Polluting Rivers and Streams." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081128082941.htm>.
University, Newcastle. (2008, December 4). Recycling Manure Safely To Avoid Polluting Rivers and Streams. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081128082941.htm
University, Newcastle. "Recycling Manure Safely To Avoid Polluting Rivers and Streams." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081128082941.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 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