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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 283-316 in Animal Agriculture and the Environment: National Center for Manure and Animal Waste Management White Papers. J. M. Rice, D. F. Caldwell, F. J. Humenik, eds. 2006. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASABE.  .(doi:10.13031/2013.20257)
Authors:   L. M. Risse, M. L. Cabrera, A. J. Franzluebbers, J. W. Gaskin, J. E. Gilley, R. Killorn, D. E. Radcliffe, W. E. Tollner, H. Zhang

The concentration of animal production systems has increased efficiency and improved overall economic return for animal producers. This concentration, along with the advent of commercial fertilizers, has led to a change in the way animal producers view manure. Manure, once valued as a resource by farmers, is now treated as a waste. Air and water quality concerns that arise primarily from the under-utilization or inefficient use of manure contribute to these changing views. However, when properly used, manure is a resource and should be regulated as such. In the United States, the USDA/EPA Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations outlines how animal feeding operations should be regulated and acknowledges that land application at proper agronomic rates is the preferred use for manures. However, many limitations such as water quality concerns, uncertainty in manure nutrient availability, high transportation costs, and odor concerns cause some to question land application. This paper documents the benefits of land application of manure, discusses limitations that hinder greater manure utilization, and outlines research and extension needs for improving manure utilization.

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