93 Percent of Feedlot farmers interested in adding value to manure

[Argentina]

A survey about feed and manure management amongst 54 feedlots showed that 93% is interested in taking part in a program that might add value to the manure produced. The 54 feedlots account for 630,000 animals or nearly 17% of the domestic young cattle slaughter per annum. The survey results were presented on March in Buenos Aires during a closing workshop of the Argentinian OPC, implemented by the Veterinary Science School (FCV) of the National University of the Center of Buenos Aires Province (UNICEN), in collaboration with the Argentinian Feedlot Chamber and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). In their opening address project director Dr. Claudio Machado (UNICEN) and general manager of Argentinian Feedlot Chamber Fernando Storni stressed the importance of a cooperative effort among the private and public sectors in manure management. The workshop served as a forum to discuss current practices and opportunities for improvement in nutrient recycling.

Also at the workshop, engineer Eduardo Ponssa presented the development and use of an economic and environmental production feedlot model that quantifies the impact of potential practices such as feedyard cleaning frequency and manure processing methods (e.g. composting before field application) on economic and environmental outcomes. Dr. Ciniro Costa Jr. from Imaflora-Brazil presented his experience with surveys, field measurements, and feedlot modeling in Brazil. Finally, the workshop concluded with an exchange among the speakers and participants – farmers, Argentinian Chamber of Feedlot authorities, scientists, private consultants, and technical staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Agribusiness, among others – about the implications of the results that were presented and the opportunities that might emerge from the efficient use of the manure produced. This exchange helped to raise awareness of manure as a significant environmental asset and the need to follow up with specific action items.