Intensive Livestock Projects
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MLA Feedlot Odour Study   back to Feedlots projects

Odour emissions from feedlots have been a contentious issue and, consequently, the subject of a significant amount of previous research. Research funded by the Meat Research Corporation (MRC) into feedlot odour emissions (Project Nos DAQ.064 and DAQ.079) presented a range of effective design and management strategies to minimise odour emissions. As a result of widespread industry adoption of these strategies, modern feedlots have less manure on the feedlot pads, better pen drainage, less loading on the sedimentation basin / holding pond and improved by-product management processes, greatly reducing odour emissions.

This project will develop an industry specific odour impact criteria that enables feedlots to estimate site-specific odour emissions based on the design and operation of their feedlot and the climatic and topographic conditions for the site. This impact criteria will be based on reliable and robust data from modern, well-managed permanent feedlots. The data will be derived using contemporary methodologies and standards.

This project has collected a range of odour samples from the main odour sources at two commercial feedlots. Previous research has identified key variables influencing feedlot odour emissions. A range of climatic and pad parameters will be monitored throughout the project to validate methods for estimating these key variables. An industry-specific odour impact criteria will be developed based on odour modelling and feedlot complaint history. An odour assessment methodology will be developed to provide guidance for undertaking site assessments in accordance with the new criteria.

The outcomes of this project will ensure that feedlots can be sited appropriately with respect to potential off-site odour impacts. The odour impact criteria developed by this project will provide a technically sound methodology for estimating potential odour emission and dispersion that incorporates modern feedlot design and management processes. As a result, the new criteria will provide a more accurate reflection of the reduced impact resulting from improved practices. The new criteria will better reflect current feedlot odour emissions than the existing guidelines, which are based on the old MLA research data.



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