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Competency Area 6: Nutrient Management and Planning

PO 64. Describe and understand practices that reduce pathogen concerns from manure.

  1. Improved calf care
  2. Herd management factors that reduce pathogen loading
  3. Cold temperatures
  4. Long storage
  5. Methane digestion
  6. Composting

Improved calf care includes prevention of contamination of new calves with adult manure, prevention of calfhood diseases such as BVD, scours, and other health protocols.  This reduces the likelihood of pathogens being present in manure, and produces high-quality animals.

Herd management factors that reduce pathogen loading include cleanliness, treatment and prevention of disease, and proper nutrition.

Cold temperatures inhibit and kill pathogens, which often require moderate or near-body temperatures to survive.

Extended storage kills pathogens over time (approximately one year).  In addition, the ability to store manure for extended periods allows application of manure based on crop needs rather than storage capacity, reducing the volume of manure spread at one time.

Methane digestion treatments kill many pathogenic bacteria.

Composting greatly reduces pathogenic bacterial numbers, as they cannot survive more than one year, and are often killed by the heat produced.