Air Quality Solutions for Swine Producers: Examining the Options

Jay Harmon, Wendy Powers, Hongwei Xin, Robert Burns, Steve Hoff, John Tyndall, Shawn Shouse, and Kapil Arora (Faculty Departments of Ag & Biosystems Engineering, Animal Science, Natural Resource Ecology & Management; and Field Specialists - Ag Engineering in Central and Southwest Iowa)

Situation:   

Several demographic groups have a need for education concerning air quality surrounding livestock units.  These groups include livestock producers, who need to understand the problem and mitigation strategies; regulators, who have to understand the implications of the decisions they will make; and the general populace, who can have concerns based on a lack of understanding. 

Objective: 

Increase the understanding of air quality issues related to livestock production and provide producers with the knowledge to make informed decisions about air quality mitigation techniques.

Activities/Output: 

A workshop was focusing on the needs described above.  Case studies were used to talk about siting implications and mitigation techniques which included biofilters, vegetative environmental buffers and diet manipulation.  Basic science of air quality was also taught.

Impact/Outcomes: 

In two meetings used to pilot the program there were a total 35 participants.  These were divided between NRCS, Iowa DNR and swine producers.  Producers that filled out the post-meeting survey produced 87,000 finishing pigs per year and had 35,000 sows.  Many more were represented but were not marked on a survey due to confidentiality concerns.  Participants indicated they knew the most about siting or the science of air quality prior to the meeting.  When asked about the benefit gained, they indicated they gained the most benefit from the siting, vegetative environmental buffers and biofilters sessions.  Few participants indicated the level of monetary benefit derived but those that did indicated amounts ranging from $1000 to $10,000 per year.

September 2006

150 Environmental Stewardship

Page last updated: September 29, 2006
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