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Confined Livestock and Manure Nutrients

The structure of animal agriculture continues to shift toward fewer and larger operations, concentrating livestock in local areas. As a consequence, the utilization and disposal of animal manure from animal feeding operations continues to be an important farm management challenge if producers are to be successful in reducing water quality degradation related to land application of manure. When nutrients are recycled on the land at rates that exceed the capacity of the land to utilize the nutrients, continued manure applications can lead to a buildup of nutrients in the soil. This increases the potential for nutrients to move from the field through leaching and runoff to pollute groundwater and surface water.