MU researchers hope to reduce hog farm odor


Improving the smell at a hog farm might seem like a difficult task, but University of Missouri Extension researcher Teng Lim is up for the challenge.

“We really see this as part of the future of any farm operations,” Lim said.

At the MU Swine Research Farm, he and his team are testing different bio-filters to reduce odor and dust problems.

Some bio-filters use woodchips and others use plastic materials to filter the air.

“This ought to be part of the best management practices. And it shows how much they are leaning toward taking better care of their environment and then taking better care of their neighbors and community, as well,” Lim said.

The MU assistant professor of agricultural systems management is taking the research data and working directly with farmers to give them a game plan.

“A lot of the time, a farm like this, they don’t need 99 percent auto reduction. They could probably be 50 percent auto reduction. Usually there is some distance between the farm and the closest neighbors,” Lim said.

As hog operations expand, waste buildup can be a problem, but MU researchers say the waste can be used as fuel.

MU’s anaerobic digester can convert manure into methane gas through a biochemical process.

“You can mostly power your entire farm by the energy produced and if fact, you can actually have excess energy, which can be put back on the electrical grid for local community use,” said Brandon Harvey, a biological engineering graduate student at MU.

The goal is to help farmers find ways to be profitable while being a good neighbor and reducing the impact on the environment.

This report is from our partners at the University of Missouri Extension Office.