Iowa State University researchers have won a $440,000 federal grant to study how trees, shrubs and other plants may help reduce odor around poultry and egg production facilities. Brian Meyer, spokesman for the ISU College of Agriculture, says the three-year grant comes from the USDA.Iowa is the nation’s number-one egg producing and egg-processing state. Iowa has about 70 egg producers who have a combined 40-MILLION hens, which are laying 10-BILLION eggs a year. The study will include both field and laboratory studies and computer modeling to investigate the location and cost-effectiveness of buffers as well as the types of trees and plants that should be used. Meyer says this will be the first comprehensive study to look at how much benefit these buffers can provide. The first plantings will be done next spring at two places in Iowa as well as at sites in Delaware and in Pennsylvania. Meyer hopes the study results will provide practical, science-based information to both large and small poultry producers, offering them a more natural way to tackle odor. Meyer says the project has gotten positive feedback from individual poultry producers as well as the Iowa Poultry Association and the Iowa Egg Council.
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