Mitigating Air Emissions from Egg-laying Houses

Hongwei Xin, Faculty, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering


Iowa ranks first in the nation in egg production, with 55 million laying hens. Reducing ammonia a major noxious gas and potential precursor to particular matter 2.5 mm (federally regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act) from the production facilities remains a priority issue for the egg industry.


Seek practical means to reduce ammonia emissions from laying-hen houses.


Teaming up with the United Egg Producers, the Iowa State University team (Xin, Burns, Bregendahl, and Kliebenstein) played a major role in securing a highly competitive USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) ($813,000) to conduct field demonstrations in Iowa and Pennsylvania on the impact of dietary manipulation on air emissions, hen productivity, manure nutrient properties and the overall production economics. The field demonstrations are slated to start in winter of 2007 and will continue for two years.


The field project will demonstrate to egg producers the viability of adopting certain dietary strategies to reduce the environmental impact of the operation while maintaining competitive production economics. Cost-effective mitigation strategies will be critical to helping Iowa and the U.S. egg industry remain competitive and sustainable in the global food market.

160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

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