Increased environmental regulations related to manure management from livestock facilities have led beef producers in the midwestern United States to show an increased interest in solid manure bedded-pack systems (BPS). Bedding materials are utilized in these systems to absorb excess moisture. This allows manure to be stored and handled as a solid and eliminates the need for run-off control. When selecting bedding materials a number of factors must be considered, including the water holding capacity (WHC) of the material and the total solids (TS) of the manure-bedding mixture at saturation. The purpose of this research was to evaluate WHC as a function of applied manure total solids contents, typical of manure-bedding mixtures for BPS. The impacts of various bedding materials (corn cobs, corn stover, pine shavings, switchgrass, miscanthus, wheat straw, soybean stover) and manure mixtures in varying total solids contents (4%, 8%, 12% and 16% TS) on WHC were evaluated. The results from this study will be used to evaluate the current design criteria these bedded pack systems in Illinois. The amount of bedding needed for various design scenarios and the total storage volume requirements will be reported.
Kasimati, A., L.M. Pepple, M. Hayes and R.S. Gates. 2014. Evaluating corn cob bedding water holding capacity with manure addition. Paper No. 141888513. ASABE and CSBE/SCGAB Annual International Meeting, Montreal. 13-16 July. St. Joseph, MI: ASABE.
Pepple, L.M., and R.S. Gates. 2013. Evaluation of available design criteria for modern deepbed pack beef production facilities. International Symposium on Animal Environment and Welfare. Chongqing, China. Oct 19-22, 2013.