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Combo of strategies effective at mitigating manure odor

January 30, 2017  by Farmscape

January 30, 2017 – An environmental quality engineer at South Dakota State University says a combination of strategies can be used to successfully address the odor emitted from swine operations.

Odor mitigation strategies will be among the topics discussed as part of the 2017 Manitoba Swine Seminar Feb. 2 and 3 in Winnipeg, Man.

Dr. Erin Cortus, an environmental quality engineer at South Dakota State University, says in and around the area in which she works odor has become a predominant issue when it comes to citing new facilities.

“When it comes to reducing odor, one of the first places to look is at the manure,” says Dr. Cortus.


“Are there ways to alter what’s in the manure, whether that’s through maybe changing the diet so that we reduce excess nutrients going into the manure or trying to cover that manure as much as we can. Once there is odor or gasses released, can we block it, can we filter it before it leaves?”

“There are some strategies to do that. One of the strategies that we employ with South Dakota State University on some of our farms is biofilters. The air that’s exhausted from mechanically ventilated barns is passed through a bed of wood chips that supports a microbial biomass.”

“That microbial biomass consumes some of the odors and gasses in the air that’s exhausted from the barns so it’s a form of filtration but them also this biological activity reduces odor and gasses,” she adds. “That’s one strategy that we’ve had success with. Then we also can look at how can we enhance the dispersion or the mixing of the air that leaves the farm so that the concentration is decreased down wind of the facility.”

“Anything we can do to enhance that mixing of the air, pushing that air up higher into the atmosphere where it’s faster and more turbulent or some sort of filtration down wind through shelterbelts are a common example of how we can approach that.”

Dr. Cortus says odor has always been an issue but, with some large facilities in particular and with new facilities where there hasn’t been as much concentrated livestock, odor has become a hot issue.


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