Donald R. Sutton, Olivia M. Vierrether, Kassandra E. Anderson and Clarissa A. Wisner
Date of Publication:
Microsc. Microanal. 23 (Suppl 1), 2017
Waste management has been identified as an ongoing concern for livestock farms. For livestock farms/producers/stables waste management is an important part of the daily operation. Common practice for waste management is to remove and stockpile the waste away from the areas occupied by animals. These stockpiles are known to leach nitrogen (N) and other potentially harmful elements into the soil, and in the end, groundwater. Innovative use of biochar has been proven to reduce N loss from animal waste, enhance the availability of N mineralization in soils, improve and sustain soil quality and fertility, and increase crop growth. Biochar is the product of pyrolysis of a biomass feedstock at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The small livestock producer needs an alternative to the “stockpile” waste management which can be accomplished with minimal change to the daily farming tasks. Open air burning of the waste is a viable alternative to stockpile management but adds to the quantity of particulates in the air. Use of a biochar reactor to turn farm waste (manure/biomass) into biochar for the addition and enhancement of soil is a reasonable alternative to the stockpiling method.
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