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by Joe Parcell & Vern Pierce
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Options for Managing Odor
Most of this growth came from operations housing hundreds or thousands of pigs at one site. With so many animals under roof, it was difficult to manage wastes and keep things clean. At the same time, development in once-rural areas was bringing more people into contact with farms. In many communities, complaints about odor began making the news. For anyone with something at stake, there was nothing simple or funny about an industry worth roughly one billion dollars and more than six thousand jobs. Nor was there anything simple or funny about changes in property values, comfort, and quality of life for those people who lived and worked near a swine operation.
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Swine Production Facility Manure Management: Underfloor Flush - Lagoon Treatment
Swine production operations, particularly high-density large-volume units, must be planned as a total system beginning with site selection. With increasing emphasis on a cleaner environment, more attention must be given to methods of manure management. Location, land use patterns, size of operation, labor resources, soil type, land availability, crop scheduling and climate are factors entering into the decision of which waste system is the most efficient and environmentally acceptable. The system that works best for one operator with a particular set of constraints may not necessarily be best for another with different circumstances, management capabilities, or farm objectives.
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Water Quality
There is no way around it, raising hogs entails water-quality challenges, particularly when hog farming is done on the scale typical of North Carolina. The state is the second largest hog producer in the United States. The swine industry is worth roughly $1 billion annually to North Carolinians. And there is no way around the fact that hogs produce manure. The more hogs; the more manure. If manure is not managed properly, water supplies can be endangered. And in the process of raising hogs, some of the animals inevitably die. If dead animals are not managed properly, water quality can be threatened.
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Swine Production System Management: Open Dirt or Pasture Lots
Solid concrete floors and slotted floor swine feeding units have noticeably increased due to greater inherent production efficiencies and higher net farm incomes resulting from cycles of higher market hog prices. However, open dirt lots or pastures are still used to finish approximately 20-30% of the market hogs and maintain about 30-40% of the breeding stock. The producer who feeds out hogs on dirt is substituting labor and land for capital investment. Where labor is plentiful relative to capital, a producer may be able to feed out two or three times as many hogs in an open lot system as he could afford in confined housing. Open dirt or pasture production units have the lowest density of hogs but are considered confinement operations since animals are fed within fenced areas.
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Swine Manure Management
Production of pork is a major agricultural enterprise in the United States, and a majority of the production occurs in the Midwest(Ohio to Nebraska and Minnesota to Missouri) and North Carolina. Seventy-nine percent of the hogs and pigs marketed in 1987 (96.6 million head) were produced in the north-central region of the United States (Bureau of the Census 1989).
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We work to help people find various information about animal production; as well as to remind everyone, that in our modern world, there are still a lot of places where people have various difficulties feeding themselves:
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