Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter

Spring 1998

Pit additives technology researched

by Tracy Peterson, extension communications

A sign on the farm gate indicates the pit additive being used.A number of pit additives show promise in reducing odors in swine operations, according to research by Iowa State University agricultural engineers.

The researchers, Professor Dwaine Bundy and associates, tested products from 11 companies and found results ranging from very effective to ineffective. Most of the products showed some degree of success.

Products from three companies were found to be very effective: Aspen International, KANE Mfg. Co. and Lisa Inc.

Products considered effective were offered by American Biocatalyst, Inc., Bio-Safe Company, Biosolutions Systems, Inc., Chem-A-Co, NU-AG Bosko and Shac Environmental Product Inc.

To evaluate the odor reduction by pit additives, the researchers simulated manure pits in PVC columns measuring 48 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter. Additives were combined with the manure. Treated samples were taken from the PVC cylinders and analyzed by an olfactometer, using four to six panelists. These odorous air samples were then compared to untreated manure samples.

Some of the products succeed in lowering the levels of volatile fatty acids, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfite, key components in manure odor. In addition to reducing odor, lower ammonia levels improve health conditions inside the facilities.

Agro Solutions' product was considered marginally effective and NEOZYME INTERNATIONAL INC.'s product was rated ineffective for odor reduction. The researchers suspect, however, that the recommended dosage of the NEOZYME product was less than optimum.

Producers should note that not all products were tested at the dosage recommended on the product labels. In some cases, higher than recommended dosages were required to achieve the desired results. Producers should consider this when selecting pit additives.

To verify that a specific product was tested by Iowa State University, producers should contact their local Extension offices.

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Iowa Manure Matters: Odor and Nutrient Management is published by Iowa State University Extension, with funding support from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service through Cooperative Agreement No. 74-6114-8-22. To subscribe or change the address of a current subscription, write to Angela Rieck-Hinz, 2104 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011-1010 or call 515-294-9590, fax 515-294-9985 or email: amrieck@iastate.edu. Please indicate you are inquiring about the Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter. The newsletter's coordinators are Angela Rieck-Hinz, extension program specialist, Department of Agronomy, Wendy Powers, environmental extension specialist, Department of Animal Science, and Robert Burns, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; the editor is Jean McGuire, the subscription manager is Rachel Klein, the production designer is Beth Kroeschell, and the web page designer is Liisa Jarvinen.

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