US Grains Council Promotes Manure Recycling To China’s Growing Livestock IndustryFri, 10 Jun 2016 10:18:15 CDT
As China’s livestock industry continues to grow and modernize quickly, manure management is becoming a critical obstacle to growth. To help these important end-users of coarse grains and co-products, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Beijing office recently sponsored a symposium on the scientific principles for manure recycling.
“Many livestock producers in China do return treated manure to the soil in some fashion,” said USGC Director in China Bryan Lohmar. “And none that we have met thus far ever tests the manure they spread to determine the nutrient content before using it as fertilizer. In fact, despite our work on this issue during the past two years, we have yet to find a laboratory that will test untreated manure slurry.”
The workshop included presentations by Lohmar; Dr. Richard Gates from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who consults for the Council; representatives from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection; and a panel of representatives from the swine and dairy industries moderated by a policy researcher from China’s Ministry of Agriculture.
“Without testing, there is no way to know whether you are putting on enough or too much for the crop, nor whether there is excess that can run off into freshwater systems,” Gates said during his presentation.
Not only does the lack of testing prevent livestock producers from understanding the value of their manure, but most livestock producers do not have estimates of their crop nutrient demand. This further complicates the task of optimizing manure value and preventing nutrient runoff.
Another point featured in the symposium was that China should not expect livestock farmers to do all of this themselves. Instead, the discussions recommended that China develop an industry of environmental consultants, certified manure applicators and testing facilities to assist livestock producers and crop farmers in maximizing the value of manure while protecting freshwater systems.
“The symposium was kept small by design so that people would discuss more freely,” Lohmar said. “We invited representatives from livestock operations and their local officials.
“We are particularly grateful that the leadership of the China Animal Agriculture Association attended and took notes through the entire workshop. This is an indication of the importance China is putting on this issue.”
The Council has plans to work with China Agricultural University to develop testing standards for untreated manure this summer. In addition, USGC staff will also prepare a handbook on crop nutrient demand for livestock producers based on research already carried out in China.
When those are in place, USGC staff can begin working with Chinese producers to improve manure management on their operations.
“Improving manure management in China is an enormous task and has a long way to go,” Lohmar said. “But it is a very worthwhile effort, and the Council is open to partnering with like-minded organizations to push forward on this complex endeavor.”
Click here for the country profile on China from the US Grains Council website.
Source- US Grains Council
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