The waste management systems now used on North Carolina swine farms are under critical review by regulatory agencies and others, and the political climate has moved toward more regulation of animal farming regarding odor control and nutrient management. Objective evaluation of the present and development of alternative swine waste management systems is critical to the continued vitality of North Carolina's swine production industry and to maintain the state's environmental health. Using funding provided through an agreement between the Attorney General of North Carolina and Smithfield Foods, Premium Standard Farms and Frontline Farmers, 18 waste management technologies determined to be potential alternatives to the anaerobic lagoon and spray field technology now used on most North Carolina swine farms are being evaluated. Dr. Mike Williams, director of the Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center at North Carolina State University, is coordinating this project, while many of the evaluations are being done by faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State.
The Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center was established to deal with waste management issues, to find ways to ensure the vitality of the state's important animal and poultry production industries, worth nearly $4 billion annually, while also protecting the environment. Waste management technology development and performance evaluations, including economic feasibility determinations, will provide the industry and North Carolina policy makers and others with scientifically based information, which will allow them to make informed decisions that will affect the environment and an important segment of the state's economy.