April- June 2002
Daniel J. Meyer , agricultural engineering field specialist
Larger gestation/farrowing facilities tend to have more odor than smaller swine operations. Anaerobic lagoons tend to get a bad name because they are odorous. On the other hand, lagoons are good for keeping low odor in the buildings because the flush water is pumped back into the gutters.
I worked with a group of 12 farmers who own a 2400 sow gestation/farrowing operation. The design included a covered solids settling (42' x 145') as a pretreatment to their lagoon. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources allowed the lagoon to be constructed 25% smaller than is usually required because of the solids settling tank. To keep odor level low around the settling basin, a translucent hoop structure was placed over the concrete tank. The theory behind is that solar energy makes the solids settling basin more like a solar digester which breaks down manure solids and stabilizes them.
A very favorable article on this Maple Grove Pork operation was printed in the Des Moines Register on October 28, 2001. This operation was one of four in the U.S. to receive the 2001 Environmental Steward award from the National Pork Board and the National Hog Farmer magazine. Other pork producers have called wanting more information on this design because they want a lower odor level on their lagoons too. The designer and Iowa State University were given credit in the article because it was a demonstration site. This design could help the pork producer's image in Iowa that have anaerobic lagoons. It is an easy add-on type concept.
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