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

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   S Karmakar, C Laguë, J Agnew, H Landry

For centuries, livestock manure has been utilized as an invaluable soil amendment and fertilizer for crops. The continuing growth of the livestock industry in both developed and developing countries coupled with the implementation of more rigorous environmental regulations and protocols are increasing the importance of appropriate manure management systems and practices. A systematic approach to manure management must involve the identification and evaluation of criteria that are necessary for the design and selection of optimal manure management systems. The purpose of such a decision-making process is to analyze the system parameters and to recommend site specific and need-based parameters that result into an optimized manure management strategy. In this article, efforts have been made to identify decision-making criteria related to manure management practices. Decision-support tools for manure management systems have also been reviewed. Not surprisingly, environmental considerations have been found to top the list of the most important manure management criteria. Most of the existing decision-support tools are based on very specific aspects, such as nutrient management. The need to develop whole-farm decision-support tools that address all the major components of manure management systems, such as collection, storage, treatment, and land application, has been identified. Integrated decision support systems (DSS) should be an important part of management approach to identify the suitable system (liquid, semi-solid or solid manure management, composting, bio-energy production) of manure management.

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