Manure production is an unavoidable by-product of livestock production facilities. In the United States, there are approximately 58,000 dairy farms (USDA-NASS, 2013a) with a total of 9.2 million dairy cows (USDA-NASS, 2013b) which represent a manure production value of nearly 183 million tons of manure per year (USEPA, 2012). Manure production, collection, and land application are a part of every dairy system. When land applied, manure can provide essential nutrients for crop production and promote soil health and fertility. However, during these processes the manure constituents (including pathogens) can be lost to the environment causing negative environmental impacts and potentially human health impacts.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison