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Title: Spatiotemporal patterns of livestock manure nutrient production in the conterminous United States from 1930 to 2012

Manure nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from livestock husbandry are important components of terrestrial biogeochemical cycling. Assessment of the impacts of livestock manure on terrestrial biogeochemistry requires a compilation and analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of manure nutrients. In this study, we reconstructed county-level manure nutrient data of the conterminous United States (U.S.) in 4- to 5-year increments from 1930 to 2012. Manure N and P were 5.89 +/- 0.64 Tg N yr.(-1) (Mean +/- Standard Deviation) and 1.73 +/- 0.29 Tg P yr.(-1) (1 Tg=10(12) g), and increased by 46% and 92% from 1930 to 2012, respectively. Prior to 1970, manure provided more N to the U.S. lands than chemical fertilizer use. Since 1970, however, increasing chemical N fertilizer use has exceeded manure N production. Manure was the primary P source in the U.S. during 1930-1969 and 1987-2012, but was lower than P fertilizer use in 1974, 1978, and 1982. High-nutrient-production regions shifted towards eastern and western areas of the U.S. Decreasing small farms and increasing Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) induced concentrated spatial patterns in manure nutrient loads. Counties with cattle or poultry as the primary manure nutrient contributors expanded significantly from 1930 to 2012, whereas regionsmore » with sheep and hog as the primary contributors decreased. We identified regions facing environmental threats associated with livestock farming. Effective management of manure should consider the impacts of CAFOs inmanure production, and changes in livestock population structure. The long-term county-level manure nutrient dataset provides improved spatial and temporal information on manure nutrients in the U.S. This dataset is expected to help advance research on nutrient cycling, ammonia volatilization, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock husbandry, recovery and reuse of manure nutrients, and impacts of livestock feeding on human health in the context of global change.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Science of the Total Environment, 541:1592-1602
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Livestock; Manure nutrients; Nitrogen; Phosphorus; United States