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Mortality Composting Definition and Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Effectiveness Estimates For use in Tributary Strategy runs of Phase 5 of the Chesapeake Bay Program Watershed Model Recommendations for Endorsement by the Chesapeake Bay Program Nutrient Subcommittee and its Workgroups Consulting Scientists Gary Felton Associate Professor University of Maryland Jennifer Timmons Regional Poultry Specialist University of Maryland Jactone Oregjo Assistant Professor Virginia Tech Synthesize and Recommendation by Tom W. Simpson, Ph.D. University of Maryland/Mid-Atlantic Water Program Project Manager And Sarah E. Weammert University of Maryland/Mid-Atlantic Water Program Project Leader Introduction The Mid-Atlantic Water Program (MAWP) housed at the University of Maryland (UMD) led a project during 2007-2008 to develop the components or subcategories of the BMP, a corresponding definition(s) and effectiveness estimates. The BMPs developed have not been previously reported to the Chesapeake Bay Program. The objective is to develop definitions and effectiveness estimates that reflect the average operational condition representative of the entire watershed. The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) historically assigned effectiveness estimates based on controlled research studies that are highly managed and maintained by a BMP expert. This approach is not reflective of the variability of effectiveness estimates in real-world conditions where farmers, not BMP 1 scientists, are implementing and maintaining a BMP across wide spatial and temporal scales with various hydrologic flow regimes, soil conditions, climates, management intensities, vegetation, and BMP designs. By assigning effectiveness estimates that more closely align with operational, average conditions modeling scenarios and watershed plans will better reflect monitored data. One important outcome of the project is the wealth of documentation compiled on the BMPs. Previously, BMP documentation was limited and the CBP has been criticized for this in the press and in governmental reviews. To provide precise documentation the UMD/MAWP designed a robust practice development and review process utilizing literature, data, and best current professional judgment. The initial step was a literature and knowledge synthesis. Available scientific data were compiled and analyzed for quality and applicability and included in a report that summarizes all decisions on how effectiveness estimates were developed. The process for incorporating both science and best professional judgment to estimate average operational effectiveness is also well documented. Another objective of the project was to initiate an adaptive management approach for BMP effectiveness for the CBP. An adaptive management approach allows forward progress in implementation, management and policy, while acknowledging uncertainty and limits in knowledge. The adaptive management approach to BMP development incorporates the best applicable science along with best current professional judgment into definition and effectiveness estimate recommendations. With adaptive management it is necessary to include a schedule that allows for revisions as advances knowledge and experience becomes available. UMD/MAWP recommends continued monitoring of BMPs, with revision of definitions and effectiveness estimates scheduled for every three to five years to incorporate new data and knowledge. Attached to these definitions and efficiencies is a full accounting of the Chesapeake Bay Program's discussions on this BMP, who was involved, and how these recommendations were developed, including data, literature, data analysis results, and discussions of how various issues were addressed. All panel meeting minutes are included in Appendix A and Chesapeake Bay Program review minutes will be added as they become available. UMD/MAWP consulted a panel of experts from the academic, industrial, state agency and non-profit sectors to advise in the development of BMP definitions and effectiveness estimates. Discussions during panel meetings, data and best professional judgment was used to craft the recommendations presented here. While their input strongly influenced the recommendations, inclusion of panel members name does not constitute endorsement. Guidelines. The following guidelines were used when selecting data to include in the data set: Effectiveness estimates should reflect operational conditions, defined as the average watershed wide condition. Research scale effectiveness estimates should 2 be adjusted to account for differences upon scaling up to operational conditions. Where studies with negative pollution reduction data (the BMP acted as a source, not a sink for pollution) are found, they should be included in the effectiveness development process as they reflect operational conditions. Peer reviewed literature has been subject to stringent evaluation and results from that literature are given more weight than literature that has not undergone the same review process by independent scientists. As such, peer reviewed literature should be given more weight than design standards and manuals. For this BMP, however, no peer reviewed literature was available and gray literature, or limited research scale type publications, and best professional judgment was used. Data from individual BMP project sites are to be utilized over median or average values calculated from multi-site analysis (meta-analysis). Single site studies evaluate individual BMP projects, while multi-site analyses are a collection of BMP projects. BMP Definition Poultry mortality composters involve composting routine mortality in a designed, onfarm facility, with subsequent land application of the compost. This prevents the necessity to bury dead animals that could result in nutrient leachate, or rendering of dead animals for processing into animal feeds or incineration. While there are many objectives to mortality composting this report only evaluates its water quality benefit compared to burial. Mortality composting reduces the risk of disease transmission, prevents nuisances such as flies, vermin and scavenging animals, and combats odor resulting from the anaerobic breakdown of proteins. Mortality composting benefits both human and bird health. BMP Subcategories Mortality composting effectiveness is categorized by broilers, layers, hens and turkeys. Applicable NRCS Code Animal Mortality Facility (316) An on-farm facility for the treatment or disposal of livestock and poultry carcasses. Purpose This practice may be applied as part of a conservation management system to support one or more of the following purposes: • • • • Decrease non-point source pollution of surface and groundwater resources Reduce the impact of odors that result from improperly handled animal mortality Decrease the likelihood of the spread of disease or other pathogens that result from the interaction of animal mortality and predators To provide contingencies for normal and catastrophic mortality events 3 Conditions where practice applies This practice applies where animal carcass treatment or disposal must be considered as a component of a waste management system for livestock or poultry operations. It applies where on-farm carcass treatment and disposal are permitted by federal, State, and local laws, rules, and regulations. It also applies where a waste management system plan as described in the National Engineering Handbook (NEH), Part 651, Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook (AWMFH) has been developed that accounts for the end use of the product from the mortality facility. This practice includes disposal of both normal and catastrophic animal mortality; however, it does not apply to catastrophic mortality resulting from disease. Effectiveness Estimate – Range of values The pollution reductions associated with mortality composting is calculated using a set of equations incorporating the average mortality weight, nitrogen and phosphorus composition, percent mortality, the number of birds each year, and an effectiveness estimate (Table 1). Mortality is not consistent, it increases with bird weight. To account for this average mortality weight is within the 70th weight percentile. The average nutrient composition, percent mortality and number of birds each year is dependent on each animal type. The effectiveness estimate remains the same regardless of species with 40% reduction for N and a 10% reduction for P when compared to burial. The effectiveness estimate is calculated using knowledge of septic systems, nitrification, denitrification, and composting operations. While there is information available on mortality composting construction and implementation, no direct data is available on the pollution reduction benefits of mortality compositing, and one value for nitrogen and one value for phosphorus reduction is assigned for all bird types. To determine effectiveness the loss of N and P prior to composting is needed. With burial the majority of phosphorus is bound in the soil, comparable to a septic system, but oozing to the surface and overland flow negates a 0% P loss. Panel members estimated available P loss from burial is between 10 and 15%, and 12% is assigned. Composting operations will result in some loss of P so the effectiveness of mortality composting for available P is rounded down to 10%. When burying carcasses 80% of the N is potentially available for loss. After composting only 60% of that 80% remains, as 40% is lost to the air as ammonia. 60% of 80 is 48%, however, some additional N is lost during composting operation (handling, storage, etc.) so 48% is reduced to 40%. The load calculated here is taken from the manure load. Effectiveness Estimates: 40% N 10% P Body Composition: Hen 10% N and 2.16% P (Scheideler, 1998) Broiler 8% N (Pesti and Bakalli, 1997) 4 Nitrogen and phosphorous for layers and turkeys and P body composition for broilers is not available at this time. UMD/MAWP will continue to look for this information and will report back as soon as it is available. If you have this information, or have a contact for someone who would, please email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org Average number of birds (total birds, not capacity) will vary each year depending on location. Percent mortality: Hen: 10% (Timmons, personal communication, May 22, 2008) Broiler: 5% (Doerr, personal communication, May 16, 2008) Layer: 10% (panel recommendation) Turkey (male): 9% (panel recommendation) Turkey (female) 5% (panel recommendation) Male turkeys are not as hardy as female birds and their growth rate is faster resulting in higher mortality rates over females. Average mortality weight: Average mortality weight is calculated as the 70th weight percentile of designed weight. Hen: 7.5 to 8 lbs average hen weight, average mortality weight of 6lbs (Timmons, personal communication, May 22, 2008) Broiler: 5lbs average weight, 3.5lbs average mortality rate (panel recommendation) Layer: average weight is 5lbs so average mortality weight is 3.5lbs (panel recommendation) Turkey (male): average designed weight 24 lbs, average mortality weight of 17 (panel recommendation) Turkey (female): average designed weight 14lbs, average mortality weight of 10(panel recommendation) Broiler and layer average weight and mortality weight are equal regardless of protein intake because layers live 440 days while broilers live 45 days. Table 1. Equations used to calculate effectiveness of mortality composting Equation 1 Average number of birds * percent mortality = number of birds that die Equation 2 Number of birds that die * average mortality weight = lbs of dead birds Equation 3a lbs of dead birds * percent N composition = total lbs of N available for loss Equation 3b lbs of dead birds * percent P composition = total lbs of P available for loss Equation 4a Total lbs available for N loss * .60 = lbs of N reduced Equation 4b Total lbs available for P loss * .90 = lbs of P reduced 5 For example, Delmarva Broilers have average mortality weight of 3.5lbs, 5% mortality rate, an average of 575 million birds a year, and 8% nitrogen composition: Equation 1: 575,000,000 x .05 = 28750000 bird deaths Equation 2: 2875000 x 3.5 = 10062500 lbs of dead birds Equation 3a: 10062500 x .08 = 8005000 total lbs of N available for loss Equation 4a: 8005000 x .60 = 4803000 lbs of N reduced Questions posed to Agricultural Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Workgroup Are layers buried and composted the same way as broilers? What percent of birds are eligible for composting versus the percent that go to freezers? What is the number of turkeys versus the number of chickens in VA and WV? Please include a list of on-going studies that should be considered in future revisions of BMP definitions and effectiveness. EPA Region 2 – On-Farm Mortality Composting Demonstration Project Request for Proposals. Funding Opportunity Number EPA-R2DEPP-FO-07-04. New York State – was this funded? If yes, who received funding and when will results be available? Identify outstanding issues to be resolved in the future As previously mentioned, direct calculations on the nutrient removal performance of mortality composting is not available. Future studies of this practice should evaluate nutrient removal. Citations Pesti, G.M., and R.I. Bakalli. 1997. Estimation of the Composition of Broiler Carcasses from their Specific Gravity. Poultry Science 76:948-951. Scheideler, S.E. 1998. Rendered Spent Hen Meal Utilization in Layer Rations. University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension MP 70. http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/poultry/mp70/mp7003.htm Appendix A. Panel meeting minutes Mortality composters May 15, 2008 In attendance: Jactone Oregjo Jennifer Timmons 6 Sarah Weammert Gary Felton Tom Simpson Action Items ACTION: Does VA cost share mortality composting, or just rendering? Sarah will check ACTION Gary will check what meant by 440 days of flock life for egg layers. ACTION Jennifer will check what is meant by 440 days of flock life for breeding hens. ACTION: Designed weight (whole bird). What is average size of hen versus tom turkeys? Also find a turkey expert (Sarah will find). ACTION: Find data on septic tank phosphorous discharge (Sarah) ACTION: What is the before swine condition, is it burial or incineration? Jennifer will ask her husbands family. ACTION: ask state cost share programs for # poultry mortality composters in last 5 years, bin versus channel (all but DC, pose to ag workgroup - Sarah) Overview of Project Estimates of BMP performance will be used in TMDL implementation plans, trading permits and WSM modeling, and for continued use in Tributary Strategies. While our scope dictates that we quantify the nutrient and sediment reductions, UMD/MAWP recognizes there are additional co-benefits (social, economic, etc.). UMD/MAWP is asking panel members to help create a list of all co-benefits. For mortality composting in particular why practice itself is primary benefit in animal health and disease control. Our most important task is to estimate BMP performance at the operational, average watershed wide scale. UMD/MAWP’s job is to ensure panel decisions, scientific justification, and best professional judgment are within the framework of our guidelines designed to estimate operational, average watershed wide conditions: Effectiveness estimates should reflect operational conditions, defined as the average watershed wide condition. Research scale effectiveness estimates should be adjusted to account for differences upon scaling up to operational conditions. Where studies with negative pollution reduction data (the BMP acted as a source, not a sink for pollution) are found, they should be included in the effectiveness development process as they reflect operational conditions. 7 Peer reviewed literature has been subject to stringent evaluation and results from that literature are given more weight than literature that has not undergone the same review process. As such, peer reviewed literature should be given more weight than design standards and manual. Data from individual BMP project sites are to be utilized over median or average values calculated from multi-site analysis (meta-analysis). Single site studies evaluate individual BMP projects, while multi-site analyses are a collection of BMP projects. UMD/MAWP will ask detailed questions about the BMP, not to discredit the performance of the BMP, but to get to operational conditions. Farmer may not operate composter at all, or at lower levels than required by definition. Need to make judgment call on what is implementation in real world. Panel members’ primary task is to develop a report for the BMP using the guidelines, decision matrix, and factors of variability found in the template. A final report from the panel is due to the Chesapeake Bay Program by July 15, 2008 so partners can begin their technical review process. Bay Program partners are made up of jurisdictional agencies, the EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Commission. During technical review (mid-July to September) workgroups may bring specific question to panel/scientists for discussion. Definition: From Agricultural BMP Descriptions – Poultry mortality composters involve composting routine mortality in a designed facility, with subsequent land application of the compost. This prevents the necessity to bury dead animals that could result in nutrient leachate. Rendering of dead animals for processing into animal feeds or incineration are also alternatives to burial. Questions posed to panel: What is the efficiency for use as compost, what is the nutrient content? What is the efficiency for processing into animal feed? What is the nutrient content? How well are the nutrient taken up by the animal and thus how much is excreted? For incineration, what is the emission? Is there a nutrient reduction associated with mortality composting? If so, what baseline are we using to determine the effectiveness of composting? If it is incineration, what is the air emission? 8 If it is feed processing, what is the nutrient content after processing carcasses into animal feed? How effectively do the animals digest the nutrient content of the feed, and how much nutrients are excreted? What is the nutrient content of the compost? As the nutrient content of mortality compost is lower than that in inorganic fertilizer, will this lead to increased pollution loads due to higher application rates of compost? How will the timing of compost effect crop nutrient uptake? Will this compensate for increased application? Discussion: For this BMP we are evaluating mortality composting, not rendering or general compost. With animal waste management and nutrient management land application of compost is accounted for. Real impacts from mortality composting occurs when dead animals have not been properly disposed of. Bay wide, what is standard practice without mortality composter? Throw in woods, bury it in a hole in the ground. Rendering not common anymore in MD, however, VA freeze carcasses and send to rendering plant. Percent that does this is in VA unknown. What would have been the loss from burying and disgarding vs composting it, and then using the compost? Most farmers use the animal carcasses compost in their animal waste management plan, thus the nutrients from animal carcasses compost is captured in animal waste management plan. There are extra restrictions on animal mortality compost due to public health concerns, taking off farm is not encouraged. Incorporated in litter and then land applied on farm is common. Production systems without own animal operations that apply litter the composted carcasses is included. Nutrient management done on that litter in same proportion as other litter plans. What is the N and P reduction to water from composting? (done considering its loss after composting because captured in animal waste management plan) Is there any data on improper disposal? Improper composting more common than improper disposal. Birds to rendering have no potential for loss. Burying poultry is illegal in the coastal plain because can’t bury within 2 feet of water table. Can calculate mass of N and P of birds, how much lost to water? 9 ACTION: Does VA cost share mortality composting, or just rendering? Purdue pushes compost. Incineration is infrequently occurring. Look at mass of dead birds compared to mass of litter. Delmarva - One bird per thousand per day is normal loss. 110 million birds in ground any given day thus a 120,000 died a day. Mortality Nationally: 4.2% per flock life for broilers 8-10% for roasters and bigger birds 5% for bay wide use – Broilers (all types: roasters, ) per flock 5.5 flocks per year; 5lbs average designed weight Egg Layers: National # showed 14% per flock with 440 days of flock life; roughly 10% per year John Door – Gary knows – knowledge of layers – ACTION Gary will check what meant by 440 days ? Designed weight ? ask John (national 5lbs) Breeding hens 10-12% at 440 days; ACTION – Jennifer will check With 8lbs designed weight Turkey males 9% (not as hardy as female birds, growth rate faster in males); 24lbs designed weight Females 4-6%; 14lbs average designed weight ACTION – overview of turkey industry; grown separately? Find turkey specialist If separate use different mortality. VA major turkey producing state. ACTION: Designed weight (whole bird). What is average size of hen versus tom turkeys? Is this trackable? Whole bird N and P content? Have book values in my data set % loss Avg size % TN and TP 10 If composted hot 40% ammonia (130 degrees needed and see in every correctly operated bird composter). 130 degrees for x amount of days should be added to definition. Use NRCS design standards as our definition. MD cost shares channel composters. Bin composters are no longer appropriate for big operations. What percent of cost shared is bin? Have to look at cost share program between this year and last, it has changed that dramatically. Minimum number of houses to go to channel: 4 houses (new house size 60ft x 600ft, keeping density the same). 60% of N remains 100% of P remains (of what is in bird 100%) Nitrogen in compost in form much more slow release. Slow release is good if have crop that has long uptake periods (corn short uptake periods). Compost N very small amount compared to overall litter. If applied litter see high leaching, not with compost. Loss spring leach Less than 5% Additional benefit can’t quantify. ADD TO REPORT LANGUAGE When composting including oxygen, aerobic composter, how much nitrification? Loss 40% of TN during composting, nitrate in other 60% (reference our data set) 40% goes off as ammonia; majority left in organic farms; have 60% of N What loss of N and P prior to composting? Burial: Gary - Burying 0% P loss, bound in soil like septic tank ; all N lost to environment (100%) When bury how much is denitrified? Don’t know if have bacteria there to denitrify. With decomposition assume some ammonia loss. Discarding (using woods and other land areas to discard carcasses): So uncommon now, by 1993 (cost sharing began) mostly doing composting, discard discarding. Loss 100% of nitrogen to environment Some P loss if just throw on surface With P, using upside down cans, how many had leachate issues (not precipitation leachate)? 11 Opportunity for soluble P movement, not sure how far? How long before those enabling conditions change? Use P septic tank number? ACTION find data 10% of P of burial chickens was eligible for loss; 20% too high Is 100% of N is available for loss? no b/c mobilize some in soil, and denitrify some before reaches groundwater. Majority decomposition, small portion is denitrified. More than one mechanism, so dynamic. No nitrification b/c anaerobic, so how does it denitrify? Add time element to determine how long it takes proteins to degrade? 80-90% of dead birds buried 80-90% available for loss? BPJ, so little reach on grain bins can’t C:N ratio of carcasses is 5 so carbon isn’t available to denitrify When go to composting: Loss goes to zero; handled in nutrient management Materials in food bin never eligible for land application 60% left goes into litter storage (application) 40% into air (ammonia) 10% potential of loss for P Just for chickens Sediment component? Not with compost. Swine: Pre-condition: rendering Phil - Jactone ask about swine ACTION what is the before (incineration, burial, other)? Jen will also ask her husbands family 10 degrees F lower in swine compost, will shift population of microbes that are active, how significant is that? Not sure Mortality composting designed for disease and odor suppression, and disposal. While it has a very small water quality benefit it is not significant enough to warrant separating swine from poultry. Dairy mortality is so low comparable to poultry due to high level of dairy health management. Diary estimates will also be comparable to poultry. Horses? Calves and heefers mortality? See national data Lose 8 calves equals one adult – mass 12 Knowledge gaps/Future research needs: Nutrient balance of N and P for mortality composter Survey of type of mortality composters used and how they are used Work on design of channel composters – give producer more control – more flexibility in design process to encourage implementation. What results from in the shed composting? Expenditures versus benefit. ACTION: ask state cost share programs for # poultry mortality composters in last 5 years, bin versus channel (all but DC, pose to ag workgroup) Ammonia emissions: Richard Gates, Kentucky Treating litter (alum, etc.) to reduce emissions; loss effectiveness of alum at maximum generation control Wind breaks, trees- no data; if knocking down to ground b/c trees don’t take up a lot of nutrients. Data: Philmore in arkansas John chastane; Clemens, modeling Gary Van Wickling: Georgetown Steve Hoff at Iowa State: biomass filters Lou Carr did study with 3 additives Research need: how control ammonia through flock production? Delayed release agent for ammonia (alum does great job for P, but Information supplied after the meeting: Sheep: lamb mortality is about 10% per year; lamb weight is about 10 pounds sheep mortality is something less than 5% per year: sheep weight is between 150 and 250, depending on breed Maryland has 23,000 sheep and lambs (Maryland Ag Statistics Service) Life span of sheep: 13 Meat market takes 8 months to market size Market weight is about 150 lbs Lambs take 2-3 months and all seem to get sold in mid spring (Easter). Market weight is about 50 lbs I suggest we ask about road kill of deer. If any species has less mass than road kill of deer, we shouldn't worry about it for this task. Chickens: Leghorns from hatch to onset of puberty probably have a mortality rate akin to broilers (maybe a little less since they are a slower growing bird). So I am going to guess that from 0 - 16 weeks a flock might see 3-7% mortality, much of that in the first week to 10 days. Mind you, that is truly a guess - my reference text for layers is packed!! Pullets are put onto a layer ration as they approach 16 weeks and by 18 weeks should be starting to lay. First lay may go to as much as 70 weeks (this is a producer decision based on the shell quality toward end of the first year's cycle) but usually is more like 62 weeks. They'll be down for a period of 4-6 weeks in molt and then come back into lay again. 2nd lay may be another 45 weeks (but these are all individual producer decisions that are based on what the egg market is doing ...e.g., is it more profitable to molt a bird and get a new year of lay or pay for a new replacement pullet and cull the year old layer?). Some may molt a second time and go another 40 weeks of lay. A large operation (houses of 100K birds each in large complexes under reasonable management) expect about 1-1.5% mortality per month. Hens in lay weigh about 3.75 - 4 lbs to start and probably 3 - 3.25 at the end of first year lay. A small percentage (?) of "spent fowl" are deboned for USDA's sponsored school lunch program. Most producers have to pay to have a company come in, remove birds from cages, euthanize them and take them to a landfill or other disposal arrangement. Today, spent fowl represent a cost for producers. John A. Doerr, Ph.D. Assistant Dean, Academic Programs College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 0107 Symons Hall University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-5551 301.405-7761 email@example.com Average breeder hen life span (including pullet stage) and average mortality of these birds and average breeder hen weight: 14 1) 65 weeks total.. Industry standard. 21 weeks in pullet house, 44 weeks in lay or production house. Mortality day old to life of flock Pullet 0 - 21 weeks - 5%........Lay 22 - 65 weeks - 8%...... Totals 13% Average hen weight... 7 - 7.5 lbs 2) The sale age of a hen is about 65 weeks. However, this can be 2-3 weeks longer or shorter depending on market conditions. Currently we are at 62 weeks. Our mortality goals are 6.5% in the pullet stage and 9% in the hen stage. The weight goal for our female is 7.8lbs at 60 weeks. 3) industry average for hens is closer to 8lbs. Their average hen weight runs a little lighter than industry average. Swine: Burial is the disposal method. 15