Address problems before they occur, not afterward. The management of wastewater discharge and air emissions are among the most pressing problems confronting the CAFO industry today.
Concerns are both regulatory and economic: regulatory as an expanding volume of operating guidelines on issues from odors, to ground and surface water contamination to heavy metals in manure becomes a pressing issue; economic as disposal costs, environmental compliance, and the loss of valuable nutrients erode precious operating margins.
An Environmental Solution
Many of the proposed solutions for mitigating CAFO emissions under study today rely on capital intensive treatment technology designed to capture material deemed harmful after its volatilization and separation occurs. The introduction of St. Cloud Zeolite to the feed ration binds harmful materials in the digestive tract and minimizes their unmanaged release to the environment.
Livestock manure from CAFOs is often spread on cultivated fields, but the loss of manure nitrogen (often over 50%) through ammonia volatilization and leaching makes the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorous too low for balanced and appropriate crop application. St. Cloud Zeolite helps sustainable farming systems convert waste products into a valuable resource by increasing TKN:P ratios, increasing application rates, minimizing disposal costs, and reducing the reliance on purchased ammonia fertilizer.
Addressing the Ammonia Problem
St. Cloud Zeolite is characterized by its capabilities of absorption, adsorption, and cation exchange which makes it the ideal natural medium for the adsorption of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and other gases. Because the pore openings within the structure are too small for nitrifying bacteria to enter and oxidize sequestered ammonia, the volatilization of this ammonia is restricted and the bacterial conversion to nitrate is mitigated.
Scientific evidence has demonstrated the ability of St. Cloud Zeolite to effectively bind ammonia, either directly in the digestive tract when used as a feed supplement, or when mixed with animal manures.
Blending St. Cloud Zeolite with bedding or manure has reduced noxious odors and ammonia leaching, and removed some heavy metals from solution.
Used as a feed supplement, St. Cloud Zeolite can improve feed conversion by capturing ammonia in the digestive process while releasing calcium as a pH buffering agent, and facilitating the uptake of minerals and nutrients. Some feed trials have indicated that the introduction of a high clinoptilolite zeolite can improve feed conversion by as much 5%.
Agricultural Soil Amendments
Once saturated with ammonia nitrogen, St. Cloud Zeolite has been shown to be an effective long-term, slow-release fertilizer when applied to soils and agricultural crops. Because crops can extract and desorb nitrogen attached to St. Cloud Zeolite, there are many uses for nitrogen-loaded St. Cloud Zeolite as an agriculture soil amendment.
Furthermore, St. Cloud Zeolite’s ability to absorb and release moisture without expansion of volume makes it exceptionally valuable for agricultural soils, particularly in the regions where water conservation and its efficient use are important.
Composting animal manures with clinoptilolite-rich zeolites can resolve both the environmental and economic concerns of CAFOs by turning a major liability of manure disposal into a valuable improved natural fertilizer.