Returning Economics to Swine, Poultry and Dairy Operations

By: Gordy Jordahl, Water Physiologist


Success at early life stages is hampered by underdeveloped digestive systems which affect secretion of enzymes in the digestive tract and production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to break down proteins. The majority of components in water and feedstuffs consist of acid buffering components, which form barriers to digestive acids and have depressive effects on the progress of digestion. Bottom Line: Time loss, feed loss, weight loss and possible death put a damper on the possible economic returns when raising livestock.

Success is also hampered by ammonia production from organic waste. According to past University data, ammonia levels at 20 ppm and greater can reduce daily average gain by 12%. Note! Ammonia levels need to be at least 10 ppm before it can be detected by smell.

Not only does ammonia production at the surface level reduce daily gains but it also more susceptible to denitrification of valuable from organic waste. Because ammonia is pH and moisture related it displays higher oxides of nitrates that plants cannot utilize effectively. This is also brought about due to high bicarbonates found in water supplies that is eventually dispersed into organic waste.

Understanding the nitrogen cycle can paint a clearer picture of how and why to practice a sound waste management program. Relate back to the beginning to the importance of breaking down proteins for digestion. If there remains undigested proteins which are compounds of fatty acids, they are returned back into the organic waste supplies. These fatty acids then become volatile in organic waste and are a major contributor to the order threshold problems that larger operations face today.

Nitrogen is lost from organic waste by a reaction that converts nitrate to gaseous compounds of nitrogen called denitrification. As these gases are lost, there is then a loss of crop producing nitrogen in soils where wastes are being applied. Also under anaerobic conditions in waste these denitrifying bacteria remove the oxygen from chemical compounds to meet their own needs. This adds to sludge buildup at the bottoms of waste storage areas.

What Can Be Done?

Fortunately, there is a solution that targets these problems that hamper livestock producers from receiving economic benefits to the fullest when raising livestock in all life stages.

Lowering pH, eliminating bicarbonates, reducing surface tension and increasing electrical frequencies will assist optimal gut microflora in the transition of protein digestion and will lower the oxide levels of nitrates in waste materials, so that plants can use the nitrogen effectively.

Reducing acid-binding capacities of feed components to assist secretion of enzymes in the digestive tract allows natural digestive acids to break down proteins and retain optimal gut microflora to fight off undesirable bacteria.
Organic Waste: Reducing pH of organic waste nitrifies bacteria. Nitrification will increase nitrogen for crop production. These bacteria are very favorable in ph levels of 6.5. Most of the nitrogen tied up in soils is unavailable because it is tied up in organic matter of proteins and allied compounds and needs to be broken down into amino acids. The soil organisms acquire their energy from this digestion, and they utilize the amino nitrogen to maintain their cell structure. When ammonic nitrogen is formed, it converts amino compounds into ammonia (NH3) compounds, before it can be converted to plant nutrients.

The key to sound waste management is to eliminate sludge buildup and encapsulate ammonia compounds, thus increasing digestion, utilization and absorption