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 JEP  Vol.6 No.11 , November 2015
Nutrient Composition of Dust Emitted from Poultry Broiler Houses in Northwest Arkansas
Abstract: A substantial body of research has been conducted on the potential water quality impairments associated with land application of poultry broiler litter. However, until recently, little attention has focused on the potential for nutrient runoff from dust emitted from broiler production houses despite related air quality concerns raised by the United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency. The objective of this study was to characterize the composition of broiler house dust (BHD) and compare BHD composition to that of broiler litter (BL). Dust composition varied significantly (P < 0.05) among facilities operated by different integrator companies, likely due to differences in feed and house management among integrators. Specifically, BHD pH was lower (P < 0.05) in Facility 1 than in Facilities 2 and 3, which did not differ, whereas BHD K and Ca were greatest (P < 0.05) in Facility 1 and 2, respectively. The facility average moisture content of BHD was at least 1.9 times lower than that for the BL from the same facility. The facility average total phosphorus (TP) and water extractable phosphorus (WEP) concentrations in BHD were at least 1.2 and 1.6 times greater, respectively, than that for BL from the same facility. The greater WEP in BHD than in BL is of particular environmental importance given that extensive research shows WEP to be a major variable influencing P runoff risk. The facility average total nitrogen (TN) concentration in BHD was at least 3.0 times greater than that for BL from the same facility. As TP, WEP, and TN are greater in BHD than in BL, there is a greater risk of nutrient enrichment of runoff from an equivalent mass of BHD than BL. The results of this study highlight the need for careful management of dust emissions from broiler houses and a need for conservation practices to minimize the risk of BHD increasing nutrient runoff and its loss to waters of the US.
Cite this paper: Herron, S. , Brye, K. , Sharpley, A. , Miller, D. and Daniels, M. (2015) Nutrient Composition of Dust Emitted from Poultry Broiler Houses in Northwest Arkansas. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 1257-1267. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.611110.
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