Manure Manager

Features Regional Regulations
Research paper examines air issues, agriculture


May 9, 2011
By Council for Agricultural Science and Technology

Topics

May 9, 2011, Ames, IA –
Large livestock production facilities create air quality conditions that can
result in ominous clouds of protest or favorable breezes that bring economic
gains for the community.
May 9, 2011, Ames, IA –
Large livestock production facilities create air quality conditions that can
result in ominous clouds of protest or favorable breezes that bring economic
gains for the community.

The Council for
Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST)
recently released an issue paper
aimed at going beyond the generalizations and accusations often associated with
the air quality topic. Led by Larry Jacobson, a team of experts from six
universities examined a large amount of data and focused their information and
conclusions around the key livestock areas: swine, poultry, dairy, and beef.
The resulting paper – Air Issues Associated with Animal Agriculture: A North
American Perspective
– is valuable for stakeholders, the public, and
policymakers as they deal with the challenges inherent with something so basic
and important: air quality.

Their science-based
analyses look at a wide scope of issues including the following:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • The logistics of manure
    storage facilities
  • The U.S. Environmental
    Protection Agency efforts to monitor emissions
  • Economic implications
  • Mitigation technologies
    and management practices

Compliance to existing and
new regulations is being met through a combination of new mitigation
technologies and management practices depending on the animal species, location
of the producers, and economics of the industry. Many of these mitigation technologies
are site and specie specific, but several, such as diet manipulation, are
common to all animal species. The goal is to use science-based information to
help all stakeholders involved in animal production protect the environment and
public health in a proactive manner and avoid costly litigation to solve
nuisance suits or enforce regulations. The paper examines ways to help all
stakeholders involved in animal production as they strive to preserve resources
and maintain the quality of life.

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Dr. Larry Jacobson,
professor and Extension engineer at the University of Minnesota, chaired the
task force of notable scientists and researchers. Dr. Jacobson has been heavily
involved in air quality research, and since 2001 he has been project leader for
a six-state air emission monitoring project that measured gases, dust, and odor
from commercial pig and poultry buildings. He has also been a visiting
professor at research projects in several European countries.

The other five task force
members also have extensive experience, and the resulting issue paper gives
readers a solid base of scientific information.

The full text of Air
Issues Associated with Animal Agriculture: A North American Perspective
(Issue
Paper 47, 24 pp.) may be accessed free of charge on the CAST website at
www.cast-science.org, along with many of CAST’s other scientific publications.
The paper also is available in hard copy for a shipping/handling fee.


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