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Group visits swine operation for look at WKU-USDA animal waste research

Group visits swine operation for look at WKU-USDA animal waste research

About 50 soil scientists visited the Daviess County farm of swine producer Jerry O’Bryan (a 1974 WKU graduate) who is part of a collaborative research project between WKU and the USDA Agricultural Research Service Animal Waste Management Unit. ARS is working to determine on-farm management and land application practices for sustainable management of swine compost. The project is one of several under way at the ARS national laboratory near the WKU Farm. The May 23 field trip to one of the state’s largest swine operations was part of the weeklong National Cooperative Soil Survey’s Southern Regional conference, which is being held in Bowling Green. O’Bryan’s farm is one of the first to employ under slat composting of swine manures. The under slat barns yield swine compost, a stabilized product which reduces the volume of waste, kills pathogens, reduces odors and improves the cycling of nutrients. The compost can be used on the farm to improve soil quality and reduce the need to bring additional nutrients on to the farm or it can be sold as a value-added product. Darwin Newton, public relations coordinator for WKU’s Ogden College of Science and Engineering, said the trip to O’Bryan’s swine facilities gave the soil scientists an opportunity to see cutting-edge technology and learn more about how the WKU-USDA ARS researchers are working with producers to address waste management issues. “We look at animal waste management as being a very important part of nutrient source for crops, such as what Jerry has shown us on his farm today with corn, soybeans and wheat,” Newton said. (WKU photos by Clinton Lewis)

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 Last Modified 9/24/14