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Odorous Volatile Organic Compounds, Escherichia coli, and Nutrient Concentrations when Kiln-Dried Pine Chips and Corn Stover Bedding Are Used in Beef Bedded Manure Packs

Mindy J. Spiehs, Elaine D. Berry, James E. Wells, David B. Parker, Tami M. Brown-Brandl
Journal of environmental quality 2017 v.46 no.4 pp. 722-732
Escherichia coli, Pinus, Zea mays, antibacterial properties, bacteria, beef, carbon nitrogen ratio, cattle, corn, corn stover, emissions, litter (bedding), nutrient content, odor compounds, odors, soil microorganisms, sulfides, sulfur, volatile organic compounds, wood chips
Pine (Pinus spp.) bedding has been shown to lower the concentration of odorous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pathogenic bacteria compared with corn (Zea mays L.) stover bedding, but availability and cost limit the use of pine bedding in cattle confinement facilities. The objectives of this study were to determine if the addition of pine wood chips to laboratory-scaled bedded packs containing corn stover (i) reduced odorous VOC emissions; (ii) reduced total E. coli; and (iii) changed the nutrient composition of the resulting manure-bedded packs. Bedding treatments included 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 100% pine chips, with the balance being corn stover. Four bedded packs for each mixture were maintained for 42 d (n = 4 observations per bedding material). The production of total sulfur compounds increased significantly when 100% pine chips were used (44.72 ng L⁻¹) compared with bedding mixture containing corn stover (18.0–24.56 ng L⁻¹). The carbon-to-nitrogen ratio exceeded the ideal ratio of 24:1 for the optimum activity of soil microorganisms when ≥60% pine chips (25.3–27.5 ng L⁻¹) were included in the mixture. The use of 100% pine chips as bedding increased sulfide concentration in the facility 1.8 to 2.4 times over the use of corn stover bedding. Escherichia coli was not influenced by the addition of pine chips to the corn stover bedding material but did decrease as the bedded pack aged. Bedding material mixtures containing 30 to 60% pine and 40 to 70% corn stover may be the ideal combination to mitigate odors from livestock facilities using deep bedded systems.