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On May 1, the North Carolina Soil and Water Conservation Commission adopted new technical standards for animal waste systems. Changes to the standards include the requirements that all future lagoons have emergency spillways, all lagoons be precharged, a trench be dug to investigate for tile drains, and liners be continually inspected to insure proper compaction and permeability.
Located about eight miles south of the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh are the new facilities of the Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center. The university and its partners are building and equipping waste processing and composting buildings that will help to find solutions to environmental problems associated with animal agriculture. New research, products, and technology hold promise for controlling odor and nutrient output.
A pending change in Natural Resources Conservation Service standards for designing nutrient management plans for animal waste operations could force some animal producers in North Carolina to look for additional land on which to apply wastes. The unfavorable nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratio in manures has often resulted in an overapplication of phosphorus, which can further dissolve in soil water and seep into groundwater. North Carolina is identifying soil sites with high potential for phosphorus loss.