Reducing Pathogens in Manure During Outwintering

MANITOBA, CANADA - Scientists with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment are confident the use of bale grazing during overwintering of beef cattle can reduce the survival of pathogens in their manure, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 24 June 2009
clock icon 2 minute read
University of Manitoba
University news is a Wonderworks Canada Production.
Visit us at

A multi-disciplinary team of scientists with the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment is evaluating the role of Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles, a co-product of ethanol production, in the diets of overwintering beef cattle.

As part of that research the survival of pathogens in manure that have the potential to make people ill will be monitored.

Large Animal Biosecurity Laboratory director Dr. Denis Krause notes over the winter animals are often fed in a way that results in an accumulation of manure that can harbor pathogens but by moving the feed source around, that manure will be spread out.

Clip-Dr. Denis Krause-University of Manitoba

We've already got the animals on pasture.

During this winter time we have animals on pasture.

Some of them will be fed in a more traditional manner while others would be fed in this bale grazing system using different kinds of supplements with dried distillers grains.

Really what we're looking at is, if we have a different system in which animals are fed using dried distillers grain and we can basically try to spread the manure around the pasture in a more even manner, will that result in less pathogen survival during the winter time?

That's actually an important point because, in the traditional system where you get this accumulation of large piles of manure in one area, those manure packs as we call them are quite warm so the pathogens will actually survive in there but if we can get a much more even spread of manure across the pasture that manure is actually going to freeze because it's not going to form this big pile so we're expecting that the pathogens will actually freeze to death basically under those circumstances.

Dr. Krause says, while scientists are interested in the survival of several pathogens, they'll be tracking E. coli as an indicator organism.

He expects results on this particular study in early 2011.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.