Opportunities to implement manureshed management in the Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania swine industry

TitleOpportunities to implement manureshed management in the Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania swine industry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsMeinen RJ, Spiegal S., Kleinman PJA, Flynn CK, Goslee S, Mikesell RE, Church C., Bryant R, Boggess M
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Date Published3/2/2022
ARIS Log Number378578
KeywordsIowa, manureshed management, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, swine industry

The U.S. swine industry is diverse, but opportunities exist to strategically improve manure management, especially given much of the industry's vertical integration. We investigate opportunities for improving manureshed management, using swine production examples in Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania as a lens into historical trends and the current range of management conditions. Manure management reflects regional differences and the specialized nature of hog farms, resulting in a large range of land bases required to assimilate manure generated by these operations. Selected representative farm scenarios were evaluated on an annual basis; farm-level manuresheds were largest for Pennsylvania sow farms and smallest for North Carolina nursery farms. Compared with nitrogen-based manuresheds, phosphorus-based manuresheds were up to 12.5 times larger. Technology advancements are needed to promote export of concentrated nutrients, especially phosphorus, from existing “source” manuresheds to suitable croplands. The industry is dynamic, as revealed by historical analysis of the siting of hog barns in Pennsylvania, which are currently trending toward the north and west where there is greater isolation to prevent the spread of disease and a larger land base to assimilate manure. Industry expansion should focus on locating animals in nutrient “sink” areas.