Future Challenges in Animal Production Systems: Seeking Solutions through Focused Facilitation Grant uri icon


  • The Texas High Plains is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the U.S. The area serves as a major livestock center with average annual receipts (2009-2012) accounting for 79% of the fed beef, 9% of the other beef, 94% of the hogs, and 37% of the dairy for the state of Texas. State and federal regulations adopted under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and its subsequent amendments have established numerical air quality standards for selected "criteria pollutants," including particulate matter (PM), ozone(O3), nitrogen oxides(NOx), lead (Pb), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide (SOx). These national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are designed to protect the public against adverse health effects (increased morbidity or premature mortality) on a broad regional scale based on scientific consensus on the quantity and quality of the epidemiological evidence. NAAQS for PM are most directly relevant to CAFO facilities. Generally, CAFO facilities do not discharge significant quantities of these pollutants and releases are seldom large or frequent enough to trigger licensing and/or reporting requirements. The USEPA Climate Change Division of the Office of Atmospheric Programs has adopted a rule for mandatory reporting of GHGs (USEPA, 2009). This rule requires that livestock facilities with manure management systems that emit 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) report the annual aggregate methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from their manure management systems. The implementation of air quality regulations in livestock-producing states increases the need for accurate on-farm determination of emission rates that reflect the range of animal production management and climatic conditions that exist in the United States.The primary objectives of the project are:To contibute to the improvement of state and national emissions inventories for pollutant compounds relevent to the Texas intensive livestock industries.Estimate the baseline distribution and determinants of viable pathogenic and commensal bacteria and antimicrobial resistance among fugitive bioaerosols emitted by cattle feedyards under field conditions in the U.S. High Plains.To identify and develop best management practices for mitigating the emission of gases of environmental and regulatory concern, and viable pathogenic and commensal bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics

date/time interval

  • 2019 - 2023