Vegetative and Riparian Buffers for Environmental Stewardship and Renewable Fuels on Poultry Farms

  • Patterson, Paul H. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Commercial poultry and livestock farms supply 95 percent of the meat, eggs and milk the people of this nation consume. However, they are at the threshold of a sustainability crisis. This project will demonstrate and multiply the adoption of five conservation impacts of planting buffers and biomass on these modern commercial farms. Vegetative buffers can scrub exhaust fan emissions of odor, NH3 and particulate matter comprised of fine particle dust, endotoxins and microorganisms, reducing their impact on those working or living near the farm. Riparian buffers can filter nutrients, hormones and bacteria associated with runoff events from barn roofs, access roads and barn yards. Shade and windbreaks can reduce the solar load and winter winds drawing heat from the poultry barns for Energy conservation. Biomass crops such as switch and Miscanthus grass, willows and poplar can be grown for bedding materials and the spent litter can be burned replacing fossil fuels utilized in brooding birds and heating animal facilities. And lastly, the screened and landscaped appearance of farms with visually pleasing trees and shrubs can improve the image of these modern high density animal enterprises at the urban-rural interface. The environmental impacts of these conservation practices are highly transferable among the Chesapeake Bay states and the rest of the nation. Environmental assessment indicators for water and air quality show there is potential emissions reduction and contaminant filtration of 28 to 50 percent.
Effective start/end date9/24/149/30/18


  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: $290,650.00


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