Reducing the environmental impact of farms along the 'Atlantic Arc'

Jul 08, 2014
Reducing the environmental impact of farms along the 'Atlantic Arc'

Livestock production in certain parts of Europe follows an intensive model which, while economically beneficial, is often damaging to the environment. Side effects of the intensive model of pig, poultry and cattle production include emissions of greenhouse gases (ammonia, nitrous oxide and methane) and soil and water pollution by nitrates.

The EU BATFARM ('Evaluation of Best Available Techniques to decrease air and in animal FARMs') project may soon be able to help farmers to reduce negative environmental impacts. As the project nears completion, the team is preparing to publish new, free software to help them select the best technologies and strategies in livestock waste handling.

The tool was developed following a detailed study to evaluate the effectiveness of technologies and practices used on livestock farms along the so-called 'Atlantic Arc'.

This 'arc' covers the western regions of Europe where poor soil often leads to intensified systems. The areas under examination by BATFARM are all remote areas with high tourist and cultural value where plays an important role the local economy. They also all share a particular vulnerability to pollution due to poor soils, hilly ground and relatively short river systems.

The BATFARM team visited farms across this 'Atlantic Arc' to evaluate in situ technologies and processes such as floor type in cattle housing, the use of additives in slurry storage, manure turning, flexible bags for collection and storage of slurry, gas bio-scrubber, slurry aeration and the incorporation of manure to soil.

The software that the project team has now developed will assess strategies to reduce the loss of nutrients, and the emissions of ammonia, methane and from each of the different stages of production

The team has concluded that there is no one technology or management to recommend across the board, but that each farm must be looked at on a case by case basis. The software will help farmers to select the best farm waste technologies and practices to be applied according to the characteristics of their particular farm.

Ultimately, the aim of this software and indeed the entire BATFARM project is to reduce the environmental impact on the air, water and soil of technologies used on farms in the Atlantic Area.

Explore further: New research shows how nutrient management can improve farm profitability and agricultural impacts on the environment

More information:

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Making manure work for agriculture

Sep 30, 2013

Livestock manure represents a valuable resource in the agriculture sector. As fertilizer it is a source of nitrogen, phosphorous and organic matter, all crucial for the sustainability of European farming.

Cost effective manure management

Apr 05, 2011

Recycling manure is an important practice, especially for large livestock producers. Manure can be used as fertilizer to aid in crop production, aiding livestock producers that grow their own feed crops. While manure does ...

Greenhouse gases from farmland underestimated

Apr 02, 2013

(—Changes in agricultural practices could reduce soil emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide and the atmospheric pollutant nitric oxide, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California, ...

Using tree tannins to target manure odor

Jun 17, 2014

Tannins from the quebracho tree can control the production of compounds that cause manure odors, according to studies by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. This research may someday give livestock ...

Recommended for you

US to propose stricter smog standard

32 minutes ago

Coming full circle on a campaign promise, the Obama administration will propose Wednesday to reduce the amount of smog-forming pollution allowed in the air, which has been linked to asthma, lung damage and ...

Sao Paulo drought issue for global concern

48 minutes ago

He cast his rod happily here for 30 years—but where a river once teemed with fish, Brazilian fisherman Ernane da Silva these days stares out over a valley of weeds and bone dry, sun-parched land.

Conservationists sue over federal coal program

11 hours ago

Conservation groups have sued the government to force federal officials to undertake the first broad environmental review of the government's coal-leasing program in decades.

Owner of ship that damaged reef to pay $840,000

13 hours ago

The federal government and the state of Hawaii have reached an agreement for damages from the owner of a cargo ship that harmed more than 100,000 coral colonies several years ago when it ran aground off Oahu.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.