The management of wastewater discharge and air emissions are among the most pressing problems confronting the dairy industry today, and they raise significant regulatory and economic concerns.

On the regulatory side, the expanding volume of operating guidelines related to odors, ground and surface water contamination, and heavy metals in manure, among others, is a pressing issue dairy farms need to address. At the same time, the costs of disposal, environmental compliance, and the need to replace lost valuable nutrients all erode precious operating margins, resulting in a real economic impact to dairies.

An Environmental Solution

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.

This simple solution, using a unique naturally-occurring mineral product, stands in sharp contrast with many of the proposed solutions to mitigate dairy farm emissions that are under study today, which rely on capital-intensive treatment technology designed to capture material deemed harmful after its volatilization and separation occurs.

In addition, St. Cloud Zeolite absorbs moisture resulting in lower fly populations and reduces heat and ventilation requirements in confinement barns.

Beyond the immediate impact of minimizing the release of dairy emissions and reducing heat/ventilation requirements, use of St. Cloud Zeolite in livestock feed has a secondary beneficial impact on animal waste. Composting animal manures with clinoptilolite-rich zeolites can resolve both the environmental and economic concerns of dairy farmers’ by turning a major liability of manure disposal into a valuable improved natural fertilizer.

Livestock manure from dairy farms is often spread on cultivated fields, but typically, 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.

However, the use of St. Cloud Zeolite in livestock feed helps sustainable farming systems convert waste products into a valuable resource, by capturing key elements during the digestive process, and thereby increasing TKN:P ratios in manure. This higher quality and more balanced end product allows increased application rates, which minimizes waste disposal costs and reduces the reliance on purchased ammonia fertilizer.