A critical component of water quality conservation is proper management of animal waste. One of the key factors of animal waste management is the design of one or more storage structures (ponds, tanks, and/or dry stacks) that can store the waste generated for time period recommended by the state and local regulatory agency. The Animal Waste Management (AWM) is developed and supported by the USDA/NRCS and available through this website is a tool to assist in the analysis and design of these facilities. Access to software with documentation and training information. Uses support from a team of NRCS professionals is available.
What is AWM?
AWM is a planning/design tool for waste storage structures for animal feeding operations. It estimates the amount of manure, bedding, and process water based upon the type and number of animals and management followed. This information along with the local climatic factors and other characteristics feed into the design of these facilities. The procedure and calculations used in AWM are based on the USDA-NRCS Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook. The facilities that can be designed and evaluated by AWM include storage ponds, tanks and anaerobic lagoons for liquids; and covered and uncovered dry stacks with or without walls for solids. The evaluation results of an existing facility can be incorporated while designing a new facility. The user can design the new facility for the --Total-- waste generated or for the --Additional-- waste not handled by an existing facility. Some of the other features of AWM include:
1. Manure characteristics for eight animal types with the ability to modify these characteristics
and add animal types as necessary
2. Accounting of bedding, wastewater, flush water and other additions to the waste stream.
3. Tracks liquid and solid wastes produced in multiple locations through multiple waste streams
4. Develops separation, storage, and treatment components for liquid and solid wastes that are
defined as a 'Management Train'
5. Estimates precipitation and runoff entering the 'Management Train'.
6. Develops a monthly water and waste budget for each terminal treatment/storage component.
7. Evaluation of existing facilities with color-coded on-screen and printable reports
8. Possibility of designing a new structure either for the 'Total' waste or for the 'Additional'
waste not handled by the existing structure
9. Provides a schematic drawing for each terminal treatment/storage component
10. Generates a standard or custom report to document the system design for the 'Total'
or 'Additional' waste
11. Provides a calculator for converting units and performing computations.
Software Download & Installation
AWM 2.4 Software
Since its inception, AWM software has gone through several iterations and upgrades. Its most recent version is referred to as AWM 2.4. It was CCE re-certified in 2013 for the NRCS installation.
AWM 2.4 uses the MSAccess database to store information on animals, beddings, climate, separators and several other parameters and to produce reports on the facility designs. MSAccess is a component of MSOffice. The AWM 2.4 has been tested to work with MS Office 2002 or later (including Access 2007, 2010 and 2013).
AWM 2.4 has been tested under Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013. However, as indicated that it should be installed outside the “Program Files” folder for it to function properly and produce (Go to installation page).
The AWM installation package is available from this website. This package is programmed to install the AWM software (the program file and its database file) under the “Program Files” folder. It has operated and functioned successfully from this folder within the MSWindows operating system. However, starting the Window 2007 and its later versions, AWM has had some problems in producing and printing reports when installed under the “Program Files” folder if the user does not have the “Administrative” access to the computer.
Thus, it strongly recommended installing the AWM outside the “Program Files” folder under Windows 7 and its later versions. Suggested locations include: “C:\USDA\AWM”
For External Users (TSPs):
Download the AWM installer and install it using the procedure described in the AWM Installation Guide.
The AWM2.4 user needs full administrative privileges to the AWM installation folder. Generally the common user of the MSWindows 7 and later operating systems does not have these privileges. Thus, it is strongly recommended to AWM2.4 outside the “Program Folder” such as “C:\USDA\AWM”
Special Note: If you have an older version of AWM which is not functioning properly, we recommend un-installing it and installing the latest version as described above.
For NRCS Internal Users:
The AWM 2.4 with the latest updates should have been automatically installed on your computer with appropriate administrative privileges if you had earlier versions of AWM on your computer. If not, you can also get the AWM2.4 installed on your computer by an ITC professional using the procedure explained above for the “External Users”.
The revised version of the AWM software (AWM.exe) is occasionally available from this website. You can download and replace your existing AWM executable file if your 'awm.exe' predates the date stamped on currently available 'awm.exe' using the following procedure. However, be aware that the revised AWM.exe is not an installation package. First-time AWM users should download the AWM installation package and install it on their computer before downloading and replacing the 'awm.exe' file.
Currently available AWM 2.4.0 Executable (Revised on Oct 2011) AWM.exe
AWM Executable File Upgrading Steps:
1. Using the revision link above, download the AWM.exe file to a temporary location on your system
2. Locate folder of AWM program & rename existing AWM.exe file for backup (i.e. 'OrigAWM.exe')
3. Move the downloaded AWM.exe file to the program file folder
4. Test to make sure AWM runs properly.
Note: Once AWM is working satisfactorily you may delete the renamed backup file ('OrigAWM.exe')
The AWM 2.4 requires MS Access for it to run successfully. It stores information on animals, beddings, climate, separators and several other parameters required for AWM. The AWM 2.4 database file (awm_data.mdb) is not compatible with prior versions of AWM. However, AWM 2.4 can read older versions of AWM project (*.awm) files but once they are saved in AWM 2.4, the saved project files cannot be used with older versions of AWM. Similar to the AWM program executable (awm.exe) the AWM database files (awm_data.mdb) is occasionally updated with latest information.
Currently available Database Version 2.8.1 (Revised on Oct 2011) awmData.zip
You can download and replace your existing AWM database file if your 'awm_data.mdb' predates the date stamped on currently available 'awm_data.mdb' file using the following procedure:
AWM Database Upgrading Steps:
1. Using the revision link above, download the awmData.zip file to a temporary location
on your system.
2. Locate the local folder of your AWM program file and rename the existing awm_data.mdb file
for backup (for example, 'OrigAWM_data.mdb').
3. Move the downloaded awm_data.zip file to the program file folder.
4. Unzip and extract the awm_data.mdb and save it the program folder.
5. Test to make sure AWM runs properly.
Note: Once AWM is working satisfactorily you may delete the
renamed backup file ('OrigAWM_data.mdb').
Central National Technology Support Center contact: Cherie Lafleur (817) 509-3303
East National Technology Support Center contact: Bill Reck (336) 370-3353
Program Coordination & Development: Harbans Lal (503) 273-2441
on the National Water Quality & Quantity Team
AWMCP List Server
The USDA/NRCS maintains an AWM listserv (AWMCP) to provide a way for the user community to communicate with each other and with AWM authors and programmers. AWMCP provides a platform for the AWM community to share experiences, issues and concerns, and to learn about new releases of the program. Updates concerning AWM and related databases will be sent to all subscribers of the AWMCP list service.
The AWMCP subscribers should report any "software bugs" they discover. Listserv etiquette maintains that posting must relate to AWM and should always strive to be brief, courteous, and professional.
To join the AWMCP listserv send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org leaving the subject line blank with 'SUBSCRIBE AWMCP [Your Firstname] [Your Lastname]' in the body of the message.