SS4.11 Water and Society - Science and Management in a Social and Economic Context
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 5:00:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
MallinMA, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, USA, mallinm@uncwil.edu
Cahoon, L, B, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, USA, cahoon@uncwil.edu
 
INDUSTRIALIZED LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AS A MAJOR SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS TO WATER RESOURCES
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Streams, rivers, and estuaries are afflicted by numerous problems related to nutrient loading, including noxious and toxic algal blooms, summer hypoxia, and loss of seagrass Zostera marina. Non-point sources of nutrients are difficult to control, and can be major problems. In recent years there has been a trend toward the industrialization of livestock production by raising large numbers of animals together in CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations. However, these facilities dispose of waste in a poorly regulated non-point source fashion. The magnitude of the nutrients generated in manure by livestock is exemplified on the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, a state containing abundant CAFOs. We estimate nutrient contributions from swine effluent to be 86,000 metric tons of nitrogen and 28,000 metric tons of phosphorus deposited annually on the N.C. Coastal Plain. Turkeys annually contribute 5,600 tons of N and 5,000 tons of P; broiler chickens 40,200 tons of N and 6,200 tons of P; other chickens contribute 1,000 tons of N and 350 tons of P; and cattle contribute 7,900 tons of N and 19,700 tons of P.