U.S. Water News Online
BALTIMORE -- Livestock in Pennsylvania, Delaware and
Maryland must be fed differently to make their waste less rich in
nutrients that are in effect choking the Chesapeake Bay, a new report
The report, released by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, finds that
manure is the single largest contributor of nitrogen and phosphorous
-- 18 percent and 25 percent, respectively -- which, in excessive
amounts, spur the growth of algae and other organisms that rob oxygen
from the water and harm other bay species.
While the amount of manure produced over the past 15 to 20 years
has not changed substantially, the amount of nutrients it contains
has gone up. That's because chicken manure is higher in nutrients
than cow manure and poultry production has increased while milk and
beef production have decreased, the report said.
Some poultry growers have already changed the composition of their
feed, reducing phosphorous levels by 16 percent, and could
potentially lower phosphorus 50 percent. New research shows lower
nutrient levels in dairy feed could cut pollution from cow manure up
to 40 percent, and save money, the report said.
The foundation said it was also calling on bay watershed states by
June 2005 to develop sufficient alternative uses for excess manure,
like burning it to produce energy. Animal waste can also be used in
mine reclamation, the report said.
The recommendations also call for requiring safeguards when manure
is spread on cropland, including ensuring manure is tilled into the
ground to prevent runoff and air release, timing the spreading to
phosphorous and nitrogen needs of plants, and the use of cover crops.
Return to the
U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.