Soil Infiltration and Wetland Microcosm Treatment of Liquid Swine Manure

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Prantner, Shannon
Kanwar, Ramesh
Lorimor, Jeffery
Pedersen, Carl
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Kanwar, Rameshwar
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Management systems are needed to minimize water quality concerns associated with liquid swine manure from large swine production facilities. Experiments were conducted to investigate the removal of ammonium–N, nitrate–N, and total phosphorus from liquid swine manure through the use of a soil infiltration and wetland system. Experimental treatments applied directly to the soil infiltration areas included a full–rate application of liquid swine manure, a mixture of 3/4 manure and 1/4 water, and a control application of water only. For three months during both summers of 1998 and 1999, nutrient concentrations were determined in the infiltration area influent, the infiltration area effluent, and the wetland effluent on a weekly basis. Approximately 93% of the ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3–N and NH4–N) from the applied swine manure was removed by the soil infiltration areas with a corresponding 99% increase in the nitrate nitrogen (NO3–N) concentrations were found. The wetland systems removed 94% of the remaining NH3–N and NH4–N and 95% of the NO3–N. The total P levels were decreased in the soil infiltration areas and wetlands by 89 and 84%, respectively.


This article was published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Vol. 17(4): 483–488, doi:10.13031/2013.6472. Posted with permission.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2001