Microbial Community and Chemical Characteristics of Swine Manure during Maturation
Swine diet formulations have the potential to lower animal emissions, including odor and ammonia (NH3). The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of manure storage duration on manure chemical and microbial properties in swine feeding trials. Three groups of 12 pigs were fed a standard corn–soybean meal diet over a 13-wk period. Urine and feces were collected at each feeding and transferred to 12 manure storage tanks. Manure chemical characteristics and headspace gas concentrations were monitored for NH3, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), volatile fatty acids, phenols, and indoles. Microbial analysis of the stored manure included plate counts, community structure (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis), and metabolic function (Biolog). All odorants in manure and headspace gas concentrations were significantly (p < 0.01) correlated for length of storage using quadratic equations, peaking after Week 5 for all headspace gases and most manure chemical characteristics. Microbial community structure and metabolic utilization patterns showed continued change throughout the 13-wk trial. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis species diversity patterns declined significantly (p < 0.01) with time as substrate utilization declined for sugars and certain amino acids, but functionality increased in the utilization of short chain fatty acids as levels of these compounds increased in manure. Studies to assess the effect of swine diet formulations on manure emissions for odor need to be conducted for a minimum of 5 wk. Efforts to determine the impact of diets on greenhouse gas emissions will require longer periods of study (>13 wk).