sealPurdue News

January 21, 2003

Extension publications guide livestock waste use, disposal

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Anymore, what comes out of farm animals is almost as closely monitored as what goes in.

Environmental regulations dealing with livestock waste have evolved rapidly in recent years. Farmers who wish to stay current on governmental guidelines when handling manure can get the information they need in a new series of publications developed jointly by Purdue and Michigan State universities.

The 12 publications in the "Best Environmental Management Practices: Farm Animal Production" series address everything from nutrition management to keeping non-farm neighbors happy.

The dozen publications are packaged together as Purdue Extension publication No. ID-312. A package of 12 is free, with additional packages available for $1 each. Producers also can access the materials on the Internet.

The pamphlet-style publications are designed for brisk reading, said Don Jones, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service livestock housing and manure management specialist.

"Farmers are certainly busy people, and they're inundated with things that they need to read," said Jones, who co-authored six of the publications. "We tried our best to simplify these publications and use images where we could. The publications are intended to be very quick reads. All of them are four-panel foldouts on legal size paper, printed front and back."

Although small in size and brief in text, the publications don't scrimp on important details, Jones said.

"The 12 topics are fairly comprehensive," he said. "They deal with where manure is going to be applied and selecting a field to apply it on.

"One publication deals with identifying fields that are good for applying manure. Another deals with useful odor control practices for the farmstead. Then there are publications that address disposal of farm medical wastes and handling animal mortality management on the farm. We also have one that covers feeding strategies that can lower nitrogen and phosphorous content in manure."

The dozen publications and their Purdue Extension publication numbers include:

• "Land Application Records and Sampling," ID-300.

• "Emergency Action Planning for Livestock Operations," ID-301.

• "Mortality Management," ID-302.

• "Inspecting Your Confined Feeding Operation," ID-303.

• "Feeding Strategies to Lower N&P in Manure," ID-304.

• "Building Good Neighbor Relationships," ID-305.

• "Veterinarian Waste Disposal Options," ID-306.

• "Manure Nutrient Recycling," ID-307.

• "Environmentally Sensitive Field Characteristics," ID-308.

• "Manure Applicator Calibration," ID-309.

• "Odor Control Options for Confined Feeding," ID-310.

• "Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning," ID-311.

Sixteen Extension specialists from Purdue and Michigan State wrote or provided content for the publications. Specialists from Purdue's School of Agriculture represented the departments of Animal Sciences and Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine also contributed.

The Purdue-Michigan State partnership came about when both universities applied for a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to produce livestock waste publications. Both universities' projects were similar enough that the USDA suggested the two schools work together on a single set of materials applicable to both states.

"We feel that we've done that with these publications," Jones said. "There are differences in terminologies and regulations, for example, from state to state, and that was a bit of a challenge. But we've tried to make the compromises needed in order for these publications to be meaningful for farmers in Indiana and Michigan."

Specialists gleaned information from many sources, including the "Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Project," a nationwide waste management publication series coordinated by the University of Nebraska and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Purdue-Michigan State publications are available at county offices of Purdue Extension and online. Purdue also intends to make them available at county fairs, the Indiana State Fair and agricultural trade shows, Jones said.

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415,

Source: Don Jones, (765) 494-1178,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Related Web sites:
Purdue University Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Purdue University Department of Animal Sciences
Michigan State University Extension

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