Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

With feedlot manure, it pays to be precise

Date:
June 2, 2011
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
The same precision farming techniques that work with crops can work with manure management on cattle feedlots, according to agricultural scientists.

ARS agricultural engineers Roger Eigenberg (left) and Bryan Woodbury are applying precision farming techniques to harvesting cattle feedlot manure, which could help feedlot operators recover valuable byproducts and possibly allow selective harvesting for fertilizer with higher nitrogen and phosphorus content.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

The same precision farming techniques that work with crops can work with manure management on cattle feedlots, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

Agricultural engineers Roger Eigenberg and Bryan Woodbury and their colleagues with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Clay Center, Neb., map the distribution of manure on the surface of feedlots and the flow of liquid manure in rain runoff.

This research could lead to both precision harvesting of manure and also precision application of manure to crop fields, while controlling nutrient losses, gas emissions, and odors.

The scientists, at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, map manure distribution by slowly towing a GPS-equipped conductivity meter over feedlot pens and cropland. The meter estimates the amount and quality of manure in various places on the feedlot surface by measuring the manure's ability to conduct electricity.

Manure contains salt from feed supplements. Salt, in solution, is an excellent conductor of electricity.

The researchers used an ARS-developed computer program, called ESAP (Electrical Conductivity Spatial Analysis Program), to choose spots on the feedlots and a nearby hayfield to sample soils, rather than sample randomly. Eigenberg and his colleagues used the program to associate high soil conductivity levels with manure solids and with the chloride in the salts found in manure.

These techniques could be used to help feedlot operators recover valuable byproducts from the feedlot surface, such as manure suitable for burning to generate steam. It could also allow selective harvesting for a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen and phosphorus content, by scraping from the "sweet spot" of the pen.

Eigenberg and Woodbury also mapped a hayfield, downslope of the Clay Center feedlot, designed to capture and use manure nutrients.

The scientists found that the liquid manure in rain runoff was being unequally distributed to the hayfield. So, they made adjustments to flow tubes, resulting in a more uniform runoff and a more effective treatment area.

Read more about this research in the May/June 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine at: www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/2011/may11//feedlot0511.htm


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "With feedlot manure, it pays to be precise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602102458.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2011, June 2). With feedlot manure, it pays to be precise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602102458.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "With feedlot manure, it pays to be precise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602102458.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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