Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter

Spring 1999

Help wanted on swine manure management decisions study

by Clare Hinrichs, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

What do farmers have to say about developing useful and efficient manure management systems that meet the needs of farmers and the environment? Past research has examined what manure management practices farmers are using, but more detailed information is needed about why farmers are doing what they are doing. We are interested in learning how farm operation, characteristics and personal views on environment and technology influence producers’ manure management decisions on their farms. We are also interested in producers’ perceptions about current challenges and opportunities they face in light of emerging policy and economic developments in animal agriculture.

Photo spreaderThis project is funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and is jointly conducted by the Iowa State University Departments of Sociology and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. The study focuses on two watersheds regions in Iowa—the Raccoon River and the Iowa River. In each watershed region, we will interview about 15 swine producers. We will visit with producers using each of the manure management systems now most prevalent in Iowa (i.e. open lot, slurry storage, anaerobic lagoon, deep-bedded hoop structure, and pasture). Better understanding of how farmers in different farming systems view the place of manure—as a waste or resource—and why they view it that way can help us move beyond one-size-fits-all manure management solutions. Results from this project will be used to improve design and implementation of manure management systems that address farmers’ needs and also protect the environment.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact us by May 15, 1999. Inquiries may be directed to:

Dr. Clare Hinrichs, Department of Sociology, 310 East Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 (515) 294-5154 or email: hinrichs@iastate.edu.

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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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