The number of livestock and poultry (animal units) raised in the United States in confined environments has dramatically increased in the last decade, creating a national concern over animal waste handling, treatment, storage, and discharge. Between 1987 and 1992, the United States
has witnessed a 3 percent (or 4.5 million) increase in the animal unit population. Not only has the animal unit population grown, but the size of animal feeding operations (AFOs) has increased. Between 1987 and 1992, the AFO industry has consolidated. More animal units are now raised on fewer
AFOs, which translates to a larger quantity of animal waste generated over a smaller geographic area (2,3). At the same time, the amount of land available for manure application has been considerably reduced.
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