Composition, potential emissions and agricultural value of pig slurry from Spanish commercial farms

Autores UPV


Abstract Pig slurry is a valuable fertilizer for crop production but at the same time its management may pose environmental risks. Slurry samples were collected from 77 commercial farms of four animal categories (gestating and lactating sows, nursery piglets and growing pigs) and analyzed for macronutrients, micronutrients, heavy metals and volatile fatty acids. Emissions of ammonia (NH3) and biochemical methane potential (BMP) were quantified. Slurry electrical conductivity, pH, dry matter content and ash content were also determined. Data analysis included an analysis of correlations among variables, the development of predictionmodels for gaseousemissions and the analysis of nutritional content of slurries for crop production. Descriptive information is provided in this work and shows a wide range of variability in all studied variables. Animal category affected some physicochemical parameters, probably as a consequence of different slurry management and use of cleaning water. Slurries from gestating sows and growing pigs tended to be more concentrated in nutrients, whereas the slurry from lactating sows and nursery piglets tended to be more diluted. Relevant relationships were found among slurry characteristics expressed in fresh basis and gas emissions. Predictivemodels using on-farmmeasurable parameterswere obtained forNH3 (R2 = 0.51) andCH4 (R2 = 0.76), which suggests that BMP may be estimated in commercial farms from easily determined slurry characteristics. Finally, slurry nutrient composition was highly variable. Therefore, complete analyses of slurries should be performed for an effective and environmental friendly land application.