Ag Expo session will discuss odors from livestock facilities

The 2011 Michigan Ag Expo education seminar “What’s that Smell – Tips to Reduce Livestock Odors” will discuss practical methods for reducing odors from both small and large livestock farmsteads.

Livestock farmers and their rural neighbors are both concerned with the odors and other air quality concerns generated by livestock facilities. Farmers visiting this year’s Michigan Ag Expo will have the opportunity to attend an educational seminar intended to provide practical tips for reducing odors and dust from livestock facilities.

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) 2010 Right to Farm Annual Report, air quality, including odors, and, to a smaller extent, dust, are one of the primary resource concerns of rural residents who file Right to Farm complaints against their livestock raising neighbors. According to the report, over the last three years, 2008 through 2010, air quality was the resource concern that generated 48% of the registered complaints.

The MDARD also reports Right to Farm complaints involveing all types of livestock farms. The 2010 MDARD report shows 29% of the Right to Farm complaints were filed against dairy farms, followed by beef (19%), horse (18%), pork (8%), poultry (6%) and exotic species (5%). Resource concerns related to crop production constituted the other 15% of the complaints. According to MDARD all species and size of farms generate complaints based on air quality concerns.

This Ag Expo seminar will discuss tips for controlling and reducing those odors associated with the livestock farmstead. Topics will include odor detection and reduction practices such as separation distance and odor dilution. Newer technologies such as the manure segregation system used at the MSU Swine Farm will also be discussed. The practices presented during this seminar are intended to be applicable to all sizes of farms from the recreational horse farm with just a few animals to the large pork, beef and dairy farms with multiple buildings and manure storage facilities.

What’s that Smell – Tips to Reduce Livestock Odors will be presented by Dr. Wendy Powers, MSU’s Director of Environmental Stewardship for Animal Agriculture, Dr. Zifei Liu, Dr.Venkata Vaddella and Jerry May, MSU Extension Educator. The seminar is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. each day of Ag Expo, Tuesday July 19 through Thursday July 21, in the Livestock Center. 

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