Feasibility and costs of phosphorus application limits on 39 U.S. swine operations

John A. Lory, Raymond E. Massey, Joseph M. Zulovich, John A. Hoehne, Amy M. Schmidt, Marcia S. Carlson, Charles D. Fulhage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Concerns about manure P and water quality have prompted new regulations imposing P limits on land application of manure. Previous research established that P limits increase land needs for animal feeding operations. We evaluated the effect of N, annual P, and rotation P limits on the feasibility of manure management. A mechanistic model characterized manure management practices on 39 swine operations (20 unagitated lagoon and 19 slurry operations) in five states (Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania). Extensive information collected from each operation was used to determine effects of manure storage type, ownership structure, and application limits on attributes of manure management. Phosphorus limits had substantially greater effect on slurry operations, increasing land needs 250% (0.3 hectares per animal unit [AU]) and time for manure application 24% (2.5 min AU-1) for rotation P limits and 41% (4.4 min AV-1) for annual P limits. Annual P limits were infeasible for current land application equipment on two operations and had the greatest effect on time and costs because they required all but three slurry operations to reduce discharge rate. We recommend implementing rotation P limits (not to exceed crop N need) to minimize time effects, allow most farmers to use their current manure application methods, and allow manure to fulfill crop N and P needs in the year of application. Phosphorus limits increased potential manure value but would require slurry operations to recover at least 61% of manure value through manure sales. Phosphorus limits are likely to shape the U.S. swine industry through differential effects on the various sectors of the swine industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1114-1123
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Feasibility and costs of phosphorus application limits on 39 U.S. swine operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this