Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Planting trees can cut odors from poultry houses

One solution to the chronic problem of odors from chicken houses is to plant trees around them, according to research by the University of Delaware. "Planting just three rows of trees around poultry farms can cut nuisance emissions of dust, ammonia, and odors from poultry houses and aid in reducing neighbor complaints," Science Daily reports, citing work by George W. Malone, an extension poultry specialist with the university.

Science Daily adds, "Malone's team suggested that planting vegetation could reduce ammonia and particulates that may degrade surrounding air and water quality. . . In a six-year study, Malone and his team found that a three-row plot of trees of various species and sizes reduced total dust by 56 percent, ammonia 53 percent, and odor 18 percent. The approach is being adopted around the Delmarva" Peninsula -- parts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

While trees have often been used to increase the aesthetic appeal of chicken houses, Malone's research points out that the appropriately planted trees can not only improve air and water quality, but reduce energy costs for the farms by providing shade from the sun and a buffer from the cold. Malone said, "Planting trees demonstrates that the poultry grower is being proactive to address potential concerns of neighbors, gives the poultry farm a landscape appearance and increases property values. Adding the vegetative buffers also helps to reduce noise associated with farm operations."(Read more)

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