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Wendy Powers, Animal Science, (515) 294-1635,
Sherry Hoyer, Iowa Pork Industry Center, (515) 294-4496,

ISU Receives USDA Grant for Livestock Emissions Research

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University (ISU) scientist has been awarded a grant to investigate dietary strategies to reduce gaseous emissions from animal feeding operations. This four-year project grant is funded through a USDA National Research Initiative and will begin in July 2004. Of the total award, more than $412,000 will remain at Iowa State University to conduct the work.

Project director Wendy Powers, who also is associate professor of animal science, said this research will begin by establishing baseline emissions of several gaseous components from three species.

"We will look at hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane and volatile organic compounds from growing swine, broiler chickens and lactating dairy cows,"she said. "The animals will be housed in laboratory facilities constructed specifically for this research at ISU."

After quantifying emissions based on typical industry diets for species-specific growth or production phases, researchers will modify diets to reduce emissions and measure emissions from animals fed these diets. As researchers identify diet modifications that effectively reduce emissions, they will make recommendations for producer consideration that include both the effective modifications and the cost-benefit aspect of making those changes.

Powers said study findings also will be shared with policymakers and should readily be incorporated into existing and future educational activities. By providing the financial information associated with making such dietary changes, livestock producers will be better equipped to make appropriate decisions based on economic and environmental objectives.

Iowa State University is the lead institution in this three-state effort that also includes the University of Maryland and the University of California, Davis.


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