Brazilian's Beef cattle feedlot manure Management: A Country report

Brazil has been the largest beef exporter in the world with almost 10% of its 40 million slaughters in 2010 coming fromfeedlots. The Brazilian beef feedlot industry has grown 60% in the last 8 years driven by increase in the external marketdemand for fed cattle. High concentration of manure is an inevitable by-product in feedlots that must be managed as aresource rather than waste in order to avoid environmental pollution. Thus, knowledge on manure management isnecessary for properly advices and estimates. However no inventory of beef cattle feedlot manure management isavailable for Brazil.

Further Authors:
T.Z. Albertini, R.S. Goulart, B.J. Feigl, C.E.P. Cerri, D.P.D. Lanna, M. Bernoux

In order to fill this gap, a survey was carried out covering 73 feedlots in seven Brazilian states (SãoPaulo, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Minas Gerais and Rondônia). The feeders were asked aboutcharacteristics of the herd, the diet offered to the animals and the handling of manure since its deposition in the pens tillits final disposal in the year of 2010. This survey concerned about 1 million animals, representing 30% of beef cattleconfined in Brazil in this year. Results indicated that Bos Indicus breed (Zebu) steers with mean age of 24 months havepredominantly been fed in Brazilian feedlots (80% of responses). Half of these animals remained about 90 days in penswith no cover, bare soil on the ground and stoned or concreted in feed bunk line. Corn was the primary source of grainused in feedlot diets (80%) and the level of concentrate inclusion was around 80% (31%). Soybean meal, cottonseed,soybean hulls and citrus pulp were the primaries concentrate co-products used (60%). The most representative manuremanagement practice consisted in manure cleaning from pens at the final of the feed cycle (57.5%) with subsequentdisposal in heaps during 2-6 months (47%) and with final application in crops (mainly maize) and pastures (90% both).Slurry, formed mainly by rainwater, was stocked in tanks (86.7%) and also used in agriculture (50%). Part of thesecrops and pastures biomass productions was directed to cattle feeding and provided at least 50% of the demand forsilage to the own feedlot. When using manure as fertilizer, feeders related savings in the purchase of syntheticsfertilizers, and they also noticed similar or even higher crop and pastures yields associated with an increase in soilorganic matter and structure. However, 80% of the respondents did not carry out chemical analysis of the manure anddid not know exactly the amount of manure excreted in the pens as well as the amount applied in the field. Althoughwidely used, lack of information about practices that improve the efficiency of manure handling and utilization werereported by 90% of the respondents, so that only 5% of the feeders practiced composting. Most of them (83.5%)reported having information in relation to generation of energy and bio-fertilizer through biodigesters, but only onesingle feedlot had already such technology. Through digesters, it can be estimated that the manure from beef cattlefeedlots alone have the potential to generate around 0.47 million MWh, i.e.0.12% of all energy consumed in Brazil in2010. Since the Brazilian government has recently launched a national program (Low Carbon Agriculture) that fostersthe development of more sustainable practices in agriculture, this work presents pioneer information from whichassessments can be drawn to fit local needs for improvement, while implementing better manure management practices, such as composting and anaerobic digestion, in the growing beef cattle feedlot industry in Brazil

Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Quelle: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Seiten: 8
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 8,00
Autor: PhD Student Ciniro Costa Junior

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