Spring 2006

Manure Matters Odor and Nutrient Management Newsletter Survey Results


By Rachel Klein, Iowa State University

A survey was included in the 2005 Winter Issue of the ONM Newsletter. It was developed to identify the readers and their manure and air quality management practices. The survey asked questions pertaining to manure management, feed management, nutrient practices and odor control, and any changes the readers had made in management practices as a result of information they found in the ONM. The survey included 12 management questions and one overall opinion question for the readers. The results are as follows:

The first section of the survey dealt with how the reader rated the newsletter itself;

  • 65% said the newsletter had timely information,
  • 78% said the information was useful,
  • 73% said the text was easy to read, and
  • 44% said the information improved their ability to make management decisions. 

The primary occupations were as follows:

  • 65% farmers,
  • 9% commercial manure applicators,
  • 4% research/extension specialist/county extension employees,
  • 4% NRCS employees, and
  • 4% farm managers. 
  • There were also 13% who listed other:  graduate student, IDNR, and state government employee. 

The survey asked:  “Does the Odor and Nutrient Management newsletter contain information not available to you elsewhere?”

  • 74% said yes, and
  • 26% said no. 

The next set of questions dealt with management issues.  “Did you change any fertility management practices, manure management practices, or employ odor control technologies as a result from the information found in ONM?” 

  • 13% changed their odor management,
  • 22% changed their manure application rates as well as application technology and nutrient management practices,
  • 4% implemented regulatory requirements,
  • 17% substituted manure for commercial fertilizer, and
  • 9% said it was not applicable to them. 

The dollar amount of estimated value of savings or profit made because of these changes ranged from $500 to $4,000.

The survey asked:  “Do you use some type of feeding management practice to reduce nutrients excreted in manure?” 

  • 39% are feeding phytase to reduce dietary total phosphorus content,
  • 30% are phase-feeding,
  • 35% are split-sex feeding,
  • 9% are feeding synthetic amino acids to reduce dietary crude protein,
  • 4% are following NRC  dietary requirements,
  • 13% said it was not applicable to them,
  • 0% said they were formulating diets to meet degradable/undegradagle ruminant protein requirements.

For those who were livestock producers, the survey asked, “Do you use any of the following practices or strategies to reduce odors or emissions from your livestock facility?” 

  • 4% listed bio-pit covers,
  • 26% use vegetation/landscaping,
  • 26% use pit additives,
  • 30% use feed management,
  • 48% inject/incorporate manure,
  • 4% use umbilical cord direct injection, and
  • 9% stated it was not applicable to them,
  • 0% used synthetic pit covers and biofilters. 

The survey also asked:  “What type of information do you think would be most beneficial to your operation/business?” 

  • 35% would like to have air quality best management practices demonstrations,
  • 17% would like to have manure equipment calibration demonstrations,
  • 13% would like to have open feedlot solids setting demonstrations,
  • 30% would like to see alternative technologies for manure use,
  • 22% would like to have RUSLE2/P Index workshops,
  • 17% would like to learn how to develop a manure management plan,
  • 13% would like to have a water quality workshop,
  • 22% would like to have Technical Service Provider training session,
  • 39% would like to see additional field trial comparisons of manure vs. commercial fertilizer use,
  • 9% stated they would like to have other issues, such as updates on DNR rulings and laws, and better explanations of the rules.
  • 4% listed not applicable.

The final question asked in the survey was:  “What is your preferred method of receiving information?”  The readers could choose from a list and they could choose all that applied to them. The preferred methods of receiving information were as follows:

  • 43% having field demonstration/field days/tours,
  • 96% receiving newsletters,
  • 26% favored receiving e-mails,
  • 35% liked receiving fact sheets,
  • 22% liked having workshops,
  • 35% receiving trade magazines,
  • 9% using the web.


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