Manure from livestock and fecal wastes from humans are economically and environmentally valuable. Applied to agricultural crops, fecal wastes contribute macro and micronutrients, enhance soil tilth, and aid soil carbon sequestration. Manure spreading, and the on-farm nutrient recycling it facilitates, is the quintessential practice of sustainability. However, these benefits can only be fully realized when the wastes are managed to avoid contamination of non-target sites. Best management practices primarily focus on nutrients. Pathogens are also found in fecal wastes, but research and development are limited in identifying those practices that help avoid pathogen contamination issues that can lead to disease transmission.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison