What are the sources and preventions of odours for meat and livestock?

OdourPro on 3 August 2018

The meat and livestock industry in Australia is thriving, with over 47,000 agricultural businesses involving cattle. All in all, there are about 25 million head of cattle in the country producing more than 2 million tonnes of beef and veal.

The only problem is that the meat and livestock industry also produces odours. The high number of cattle along with manure and waste feed create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Controlling the sources of odour is a major issue for the meat and livestock industry.

odour management for livestock

Sources of odour in meat and livestock

1. Any organic material on a cattle farm has the potential to create odours. Feed preparation and storage areas are a common culprit. On the other hand, waste feed and manure build up in pens. As these organic materials decompose in the presence of bacteria, they release strong odours into the atmosphere.

2. Drains and wastewater ponds are another source of odour due to their high nutrient and bacteria content. Any place where water ponds on the ground or accumulates in processing areas is a potential source of odour.

3. Meat processing plants have the same issues of feed, manure, and wastewater. But, they also produce odours from the processing of meat itself. Blood is one source of pungent odour that must be controlled to prevent complaints. Paunch and other waste solids create odours when turning compost piles.

Odour management for meat and livestock

1. Some routine practices can be very helpful in controlling the severity of odour problems in the meat and livestock industry. Cleaning pens regularly is one way to ensure the minimum amount of decomposing organic waste remains open to the atmosphere. This is especially important under the fence-line where cattle do not trample the manure down. Another practical step is to ensure good drainage. When rainwater washes over the waste feed or manure and then ponds on the ground, this is a recipe for odour problems. Ensuring run-off flows away to treatment ponds reduces the number of odour sources to worry about.

odour management for meat industry surface treatment2

2. Surface treatment is the ideal odour control solution for sources like manure, compost piles or waste feed. It works by spraying a foam over the area to smother the surface with the active ingredient. It has the effect of changing the biological processes involved in the breakdown of organic material. At the same time, surface treatments release a deodoriser for odours.

3. Misting systems and vapour systems are used where the sources of odour are spread over a wide area like livestock farms. They release an active ingredient into the air which neutralises odour compounds. The advantage of these systems is that the active ingredient travels along with the odour in the natural air currents leading to a long contact time. They can be released along the boundary fence line thus directly influencing the odours before they reach neighbouring areas. Misting systems use water as a carrier, while vapour systems discharge directly into the atmosphere.

4. Micronutrient additives are very effective in wastewater ponds and effluent treatment in the meat and livestock industry. The OdourPro micronutrient formulations promote the growth and reproduction of facultative bacteria. These bacteria can function with or without oxygen and decompose organic matter without the release of odours.

5. Biofiltration systems treat the high levels of odour vapours coming from wastewater treatment plants. The filtration unit contains organic filter media containing bacteria. These oxidize the air as it passes through the media before releasing it into the atmosphere. Biofiltration units are suitable for any other point source of odour too, like the vapours coming from the drying of blood.

Case studies of odour management for meat and livestock

OdourPro has worked with two chicken processing plants to minimise their odours. Baiada Tamworth installed a misting system, while Inghams Newcastle implemented a vapor system.

OdourPro can help you with odour management for meat and livestock

OdourPro has the technical expertise and industry experience to help you solve your meat and livestock odour issues. Whether your main issues are related to manure or wastewater, we have the technology to meet your specific need. We also provide ongoing services to maintain odour control equipment and to monitor performance.

Find out more about our odour management solutions for meat and livestock or call our expert team on 1800 510 704 today to arrange a consultation.