Website highlights swine waste management
By Marg Land
June 10, 2008, Urbana, Ill. –
Researchers from Illinois have launched a new website to share
practical methods for handling swine waste.
June 10, 2008, Urbana, Ill. – Many of us enjoy a fresh country ham and a pork chop dinner. But, few of us relish the odor and waste that comes with swine production. In an effort to help producers and their neighbors live in harmony, researchers from Illinois State University, University of Illinois and Illinois State Water and Geological Surveys studied practical methods to handle the waste.
Information about these methods can be found on the new website Swine Waste: Economical and Environmental Treatment Alternatives (SWEETA).
Paul Walker, professor in animal sciences at Illinois State University and coordinator of the Livestock and Urban Waste management team, lead the project that included slurry separation, composting of solids, and applying waste liquids onto crop fields.
“Separation of municipal waste water into its solid and liquid components is a technology that has been used by municipal sanitation departments for decades,” explains Walker. “This technology has been adapted to economically separate liquid swine manure into its biosolid and liquid fractions.”
Walker says this systems approach allows the biosolids fraction to be composted for ultimate use as either an on-farm or off-farm soil amendment, while producing a liquid fraction with low odor, low solids and low phosphorus concentrations that can be irrigated as a nitrogen fertilizer for row crops.
“These waste handling methods are economical for livestock and grain farmers, and they are environmentally acceptable for the public,” adds Duane Friend, University of Illinois Extension natural resources educator.
The SWEETA website includes economic comparisons of using inorganic fertilizer, raw slurry and compost as a soil amendment for corn production, based on actual costs and nutrient analyses. Information regarding Illinois EPA permitting, local site approval and on-farm exemptions is also included. The website even includes information on composting horse bedding and manure.