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A survey of dairy effluent management in the south of Chile

Salazar, F. J., Dumont, J. C., Santana, M. A., Pain, B. F., Chadwick, D. R. and Owen, E. (2003) A survey of dairy effluent management in the south of Chile. Archivos De Medicina Veterinaria, 35 (2). pp. 215-225. ISSN 0301-732X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.4067/S0301-732X2003000200009

Abstract/Summary

A survey was carried out on 55 commercial dairy farms located in the South of Chile during 1995-97. A questionnaire was developed to obtain informed estimates of dairy effluent management on those farms. Information was analysed on an annual basis using a computer spreadsheet linking all the parameters surveyed. In addition, slurry samples were taken for analysis of dry matter content (DM). Herd size varied between 50 and 800 cows per farm. A large proportion of the total volume of effluents produced came from rainfall (46%), dirty water accounted for 29% with only 25% from cow's faeces and urine. The large volume of effluents produced resulted in a reduced storage capacity (on average of 2 months) or more frequent and higher application rates to the field. Only 37% of the farmers knew the application rates of manure and there was a wide range in the quantity used per year (12 m(3)/ha to 300 m(3)/ha). Dairy effluents were applied mainly on grass (71%) throughout the year but, mostly concentrated during the winter and spring time using only surface irrigation system. The total solids contents of effluents was very low, with 62% of the samples being <4% DM. This reflected the large volumes of clean water that the storage tanks received. The information collected has identified problems in effluent management in Chilean dairy farms where research and technology transfer will be necessary to avoid pollution problems.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:9137
Uncontrolled Keywords:dairy effluents, cattle slurry, farmyard manure, farm waste, COW SLURRY, NITROGEN-CONTENT, DIRTY WATER, FARMS, STRATEGIES, MANURES, GRASS, CUT

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