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Alum, also referred to as filter alum Al 2 SO 4 2 , is used as a flocculating agent in the purification of drinking water and waste-water treatment. Use of alum is an effective method of reducing nitrogen loss due to ammonia volatilization [ 30 ]. Use of alum in chicken manure amendment would lead to decreases in animal-house ammonia level, reduction in energy usage, improvement in animal performance, precipitation of soluble phosphorus, reduction of phosphorus and heavy-metals run-off and imposition of drying effect that reduces litter moisture.

Manure treated with 1. Nitrogen concentration in alum-treated manure tends to be elevated compared to normal manure. Elevated fecal nitrogen in stored alum-treated manure was attributed to a lower magnitude of nitrogen loss in treated compared with untreated manure and enhances its fertilizer value. Composting : This is a natural process of aerobic decomposition or fermentation of manure by micro-organisms. Compost is rich in organic matter and has the ability to improve soil health.

Some of the benefits of compost in the soil include improved fertility, water-holding capacity, bulk density and biological properties [ 31 ]. A lower number of viable weed seeds in composted manure contributes to the reduction in the use of herbicides or tillage requirements for weed control [ 32 ].

Is Cow Manure Bad for the Environment? How Methane Digesters Work

Composting could be effective in killing some pathogens in manure. Anaerobic digestion : Anaerobic digestion of manure is the processing of manure to produce energy, mainly biogas. Anaerobic digestion of manure can be made more efficient through the use of co-products such as water hyacinth, corn silage and so on. Methane yield differs from various animal manure types. Biogas from manure digester can be used for cooking instead of the direct burning of biomass.

It can also be used to power the generator for electricity. Whereas the biogas market may currently be underdeveloped in several countries of the world, it holds great potentials if rightly channeled to meet some of the national energy targets. The digestate from manure digestion is valuable as a fertilizer and should be used as such.


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However, this may require additional technologies and costs because of the high moisture content [ 37 ]. Manure is one of the most common and main sources of odor in a livestock operation. This will require reducing the formation of odor-forming gases and reducing their release into the atmosphere. The location of livestock operations, particularly outside lot systems, should maintain a safe distance from residents and other odor-sensitive land use.

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This is because odors may be generated from these systems even with good facilities design and management practices. As much as possible, manure storage facilities should not be located close to residential areas. Solid manure from farm animals can be stacked on a temporary basis outside the livestock building. Farmstead stockpiled manure should be on a hard surface, preventing direct contact with the soil.

Where they are in direct contact with the soil, they should be temporary and removed from time to time. Field stockpiles must be temporary and should not be in an area that allows nutrient run-off.

Manure storage facilities are temporary measures to hold manure-pending soil application. Therefore, where it is economically and technically feasible, covered manure storage facility should be used.

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Applied and Environmental Chemistry of Animal Manure

This is because uncovered manure storage facilities are more prone to release odor into the atmosphere. Manure should be incorporated into the soil almost immediately after application where feasible. Odor from manure can also be reduced through treatment. For example, composting manure reduces odor [ 39 ]. Manure management is an integral part of the waste management system. Therefore, current trends shaping waste management policies and practices will dictate the direction of future shifts in manure management. Several authors have identified some trends and those expected to influence future animal manure management systems, policies and practices.

In a bid to reduce the quantity of wastes generated in the production, multiple industries are now leaning towards sustainable innovations and processes in the sourcing and production of items; the use of renewable resources and environmentally friendly raw materials is being favored, and products and materials that cannot be recycled are being eliminated from the production.

Waste management policies and regulations are also improving speedily globally. The rate of recycling solid wastes is increasing fast in some countries around the world [ 40 ]. There is so much going around the world in relation to manure management. The current trends in manure management are expected to further intensify in the nearest future. The future of manure management is expected to be shaped by a number of factors, one of which is regulatory compliance. Compliance with existing international, regional and national policies and laws and regulations on manure management will be a major determinant of future manure management practices.

For example in Denmark, it has been noted that the European Union legal framework on manure will influence future actions and priorities in manure management [ 41 ]. The factors that will influence the general trends and development in animal agriculture will exert both direct and indirect influence on future manure management practices. In the future, several countries will be seen putting in place relevant laws and taking actions to promote sustainable manure management practices. This is because as animal production increases, measures to reduce and recycle manure are expected to increase as well.

For example, the crises associated with the mobile nature of cattle production in some parts of the world have necessitated serious consideration of a shift towards encouraging sedentary production in many countries.

Chemical Characteristics of Manures

The current cattle population needs to develop larger productive breeds, and increased intensification may result in the accumulation of greater volume of manure accumulated in some locations. This is because intensification increases the potential of manure accumulation in the producing areas [ 42 ]. Thus, policies promoting intensification of cattle and other livestock must be accompanied with relevant regulations on manure management in those places.

This will require strong institutions, relevant infrastructure and sustainable partnerships to be in place to combat unsustainable manure management, particularly in places which currently have a weak regulatory and institutional framework for manure management.

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Lessons from other nations with successful manure management trends and history will be valuable for countries where manure management is currently emerging. Trade is another potential driver of future manure management practices. On the one hand, food safety and global health concerns in traded food commodities will play a major role in shaping future manure management practices as it affects international and cross-border trades.

On the other hand, increasing opportunities to trade high-quality improved manure products which could be used for several beneficial purposes will stimulate actions. Unless environmentally and economically sustainable management technologies are employed, environmental pollution becomes inevitable [ 43 ]. Technological innovations are expected to contribute to significant improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of waste management systems. Innovations in reduction, reuse and recycling of manure are therefore expected to increase in the nearest future.

With increased development and dissemination of adaptable technologies, it would become more convenient for industry actors to adopt sustainable manure management practices in the nearest future. For example, innovations in manure nutrient fortification, reducing the variability of manure components, nutrient extraction and purification will remove some of the limitations in the use of manure as a fertilizer. Sustainable manure management can be a veritable income spinner and may also constitute significant savings on farm expenditure or cost of trading.

The prospect of some forms of economic benefits from sustainable manure management may promote appropriate actions. Development, professionalization and popularization of the manure management career will also stimulate positive actions in future manure management practices. Innovations and research in the area of manure management will go a long way in promoting this field of specialization. In view of the need for farmers to comply with more stringent manure management requirements, they may need to employ the services of skilled professionals with specialized knowledge in manure handling.

They would partner with the farmers to enable them to better cope with the challenges of managing manure sustainably. This will mean more people will work in this and other areas of solid waste management. There will also be the need to add new competencies due to the need to perform a wide range of environmental-related management activities. The emergence of small businesses that specialize in manure management should be encouraged and promoted to service the industry.

The drive towards ensuring a safe environment in the future will also promote the practice of sustainable manure management. Animal manure disposal is the least preferred option for manure management. The shifting preference from disposal to more sustainable options in manure management hierarchy is expected to continue. Therefore, increased awareness of the advantages of sustainable practices and better alternatives to disposal is expected to play a crucial role in driving future actions in manure management.

There are several sustainable development goals that could directly or indirectly influence positive actions in future manure management. These include SDG 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 [ 20 ]. Pressure from sustainable manure management groups and movements is expected to increase and stimulate appropriate actions to promote responsible manure management practices around the globe.

The operations of these advocates are expected to produce an increasing number of sustainable manure management champions. Hence the number of initiatives to address manure management-related issues is expected to increase significantly. The importance of sustainable animal manure management cannot be over-emphasized. However, generated on the farm, the impact of manure transcends its source of production. Manure contamination has been implicated in several public health epidemics around the world.

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Sustainable management of manure requires a multi-pronged approach. These approaches include nutritional strategies, policy and legal framework as well as physical, biological and chemical manure treatment. Effective manure policy, legislation and regulations will promote efficient and sustainable manure management practices, especially, with adequate enforcement and compliance.

Manure management strategies adopted should efficiently mitigate the negative impact of manure on the environment and the general public. Several benefits are derivable from sustainable manure management.


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