Whether manure is a resource or a pollutant is determined by how that manure is managed, according to Dr. Daniel Andersen, assistant professor in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department at Iowa State University.
Andersen was the guest presenter for the March ILF webinar. He shared his expertise on management and treatment of manure—an ancient fertilizer in today’s agricultural systems.
According to the Iowa DNR, Iowa is home to over 11 million farm animals in about 9,500 animal operations large enough to require a manure management plan. These animals produce a lot of manure, yet Iowa is nutrient deficient when considering manure fertilizer alone. In fact, very few counties in the state are at, or near, capacity for nutrients from manure. This indicates that Iowa has the capacity to increase animal production to meet increasing meat demands and utilize the nutrients in the generated manure. In the webinar, Andersen emphasized the fundamentals of manure nutrient management and highlighted some of the emerging technologies in management and application.
You can also keep up with Dr. Andersen on Twitter @DrManure and his blog, The Manure Scoop.