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The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center external link, a National Facilitation Project of the NIFA National Integrated Water Quality Program, and The National Center for Manure & Animal Waste Management external link, funded by the USDA Fund for Rural America, are important projects helping USDA address this issue.

Alternative Uses of Manure

Alternative technologies and uses for manure need to be developed and tested in order to prevent nutrients and pathogens from entering ground and surface waters. Research within NIFA and the Land Grant System are developing and assessing alternative uses of manure to protect and improve water quality.

Accomplishments:
poultry litter compost applied to hillside* University of Georgia researchers are exploring the use of poultry litter compost in controlling runoff and soil erosion (Risse et al., 2003). Early results indicate that a treatment consisting of a mixture of poultry litter compost and ground wood waste produced lower soil and nutrient losses and greater vegetative growth than any of the other treatments.

*A study by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service researched poultry litter as an economical and safe source of protein, minerals, and energy for beef cattle.

* Researchers at Texas A&M University are working to develop a co-firing technology for coal and broiler litter to generate power external link. They have found that broiler litter is a lower quality fuel than coal, but the use of litter with coal in a 90:10 blend results in similar fuel costs as compared to coal and reduction in the fouling potential as compared to pure litter. Research is continuing to assess fouling and corrosion potential along with combustion efficiencies of these fuels.

stand of loblolly pine* A research project with support from Clemson University Extension examined the water quality impacts and tree growth benefits associated with annual and one-time fertilization of commercial loblolly pine plantations external link using irrigated swine lagoon effluent and surface applied poultry litter. They found significant increases in wood value with both types of applications (Chastain et al. 2003; ASAE Meeting Paper No. 032157).

Example:
* A new research project at Louisiana State University is looking to develop beneficial uses of poultry litter in forest fertilization external link.

The intent of this page is not to catalogue all activities but rather to indicate the types of research activities in the Animal Waste Management theme across the U.S.