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New Tool Calculates Air Emissions Treatment Costs

New Tool Calculates Air Emissions Treatment Costs

Owners and operators of livestock and poultry operations have a new tool to calculate the costs and benefits of installing technologies to treat odors and gases emitted from the facilities: a feedlot air emissions treatment cost calculator. The calculator comes with three how-to videos.

Animal-feeding operator owners and managers can use several techniques to manage odors and gas emissions; each has different costs and benefits. The feedlot air emissions treatment cost calculator can be used to compare alternative technologies and designs with different costs and benefits. The calculator has information on biofilters, covers, scrubbers, manure belts, vegetative buffer and anaerobic digesters.



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The calculator was developed by University of Minnesota Extension economist Bill Lazarus, who is also a professor in the University's applied economics department. It was part of a multi-state, USDA-funded research project.

The calculator was suggested by stakeholders for the project led by Kevin Janni, professor and Extension engineer. The group included producers and managers of swine, poultry and dairy operations, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, human medicine, veterinary medicine, local and state regulators, local and county elected officials, Extension and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The videos build on an earlier project through which fact sheets described several practices for mitigating airborne emissions. One goal of the project was to provide information to help animal-feeding operations manage odors and gas emissions.

“Bill's calculator is a great way for livestock owners and managers to compare techniques they are considering to manage odors and reduce gas emissions,” Janni says. “They need to fit into the overall operation and management of the operation; they all cost money.”

The calculator and videos are available online at The Web site includes links to fact sheets, archived webinars and additional videos about good neighbor relations, odor policy considerations, odor setback tools, biofilters and covers.

For more information on manure management and air quality, visit


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