Future Challenges in Animal Production Systems: Seeking Solutions through Focused Facilitation
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The rapidexpanding Texas (and all over the nation) livestock industry has attracted increased concern of nutrients runoff from fields irrigated with animal waste.Inefficient handling of manure and synthetic fertilizers associated with food production threatenwater resources with eutrophication, decouples the natural carbon cycle, and utilizes considerable energy resources. Linking animal waste back to crop production has the potential to improve water and nutrient cycling for food production with significant savings in energy to move us toward a more sustainable future.To reconnect manure to food production with the conern of mitigation environmental impacts, our solution is to improve productionsystem efficiencies by engineering manure-based products (both solids and effluents)that redistribute resources for crop production and conserve water, soil, and energy. Outcomes will be developed into best management practices and delivered to stakeholders.The specific project methods and objectives are to 1) improve water and energy efficiency of manure treatment and reuse by new innovative approches and techonogies (for example, coagulation, filtration, and floatation, using new polymer, hydrogel, ions, and media, and drone monitoring, solar energy application, eletrolysis, and adsorption materials, and biomaterials, etc.), 2) evaluate manure waste products to improve the sustainability of food production through nutrient recycling and improved water use efficiency, and 3) evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of manure reuse to reduce water and energy consumption while improving food crop production and its profits.