Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R1926



Summary and Implications

An issue that has received attention in the livestock industry is that of air quality/odor. An Iowa pork producer survey showed that about two-thirds of the respondents felt air quality/odor was an issue that needed evaluation. This report is aimed at developing a baseline of air quality/odor control measures currently in use by Iowa pork producers. Information is obtained on use of selected odor control technologies and user level of satisfaction. Two survey methods were utilized; a mail survey and a telephone survey. The telephone survey followed the mail survey and was used to test the representativeness of the mail survey respondents and obtain information on why selected odor control technologies were not used.

Level of use and level of satisfaction with selected odor control methods varied. A deep pit was used by 77 percent of the respondents. About seven-in-ten injected manure. About half of the respondents immediately incorporated manure. One-half composted pig mortalities. About four-in-ten had a windbreak, used manure additives, and/or had a bedded system somewhere in the production system. Level of satisfaction was high for windbreaks, bedded systems, bio-covers, deep pits, composting pigs/manure, and incorporating manure. Satisfaction was low for bio-filters, ozone, manure storage plastic covers, and manure additives. Reasons why odor control technologies were not used varied. A dominant reason was that the technology was not applicable to the production facility. For example, a biocover, plastic cover, etc. would not be applicable for a deep pit manure storage system. Another response for nonadoption of some technologies was that odors are managed sufficiently already. This was related to the response for building odors. About one-third of the respondents indicated they did not use selected building odor control technologies because they were too expensive and/or they were not familiar with the technology. Responses for not using modified diets and/or manure additives included too expensive, not effective for odor control, and not familiar with the technology.

This survey shows that swine producers are using a wide variety of techniques to minimize off-site odor and air quality effects. The most common type of manure storage used is deep pits (68 percent of producers) followed by solid manure systems (20 percent). While a large number of technologies are available, none provides a perfect solution to air quality.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University