The mission of the Environmental Management Research Unit is to develop information and tools to assist livestock producers in making management decisions with respect to production facilities thermal environment and judicious management of livestock manure.
Scientists in the EMRU are working on high priority environmental issues of animal feeding industries in the U.S. such as:
FACILITIES AND RESOURCES
The Environmental Management Research Unit has access to chemistry labs (equipped with a Hewlett-Packard GC/MS, Leco CN-2000 carbon/nitrogen analyzer, Technicon autoanalyzer, Coy anaerobic chamber), the environmental laboratory (climatically controlled chambers and calorimeters), and specially equipped feedlot facilities to study shade and feedlot surface effects. Additional swine, sheep and cattle housed facilities are available for short term studies involving either livestock stress or manure management issues. Crop production fields provide further opportunities to test management options including rates of manure loading, long term effects of manure application, cover crops to manage potential winter nutrient losses and alternative methods of controlling precipitation runoff from feedlots.
The animal population includes 7,000 breeding age cattle, 720 litters of swine each year and 4,000 breeding age sheep. Each species has wide and well defined genetic subsets with assess to DNA samples of each animal. The EMRU interacts closely with all other USMARC Research Units capable of forming comprehensive research teams.