Strategies to reduce nutrient pollution from manure management in China

David R. Chadwick, John R. Williams, Yuelai Lu, Lin Ma, Zhaohai Bai, Yong Hou, Xinping Chen, Thomas H. Misselbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
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As the demand for livestock products continues to increase in China, so too does the challenge of managing increasing quantities of manure. Urgent action is needed to control point source (housing, storage and processing) and diffuse (field application) pollution and improve the utilization of manure nutrients and organic matter. Here, we review strategies to improve management at each stage of the manure management chain and at different scales. Many strategies require infrastructure investment, e.g., for containment of all manure fractions. Engineering solutions are needed to develop advanced composting systems with lower environmental footprints and design more efficient nutrient stripping technologies. At the field-scale, there is an urgent need to develop a manure nutrient recommendation system that accounts for the range of manure types, cropping systems, soils and climates throughout China. At the regional scale, coordinated planning is necessary to promote recoupling of livestock and cropping systems, and reduce nutrient accumulation in regions with little available landbank, while minimizing the risk of pollution swapping from one region to another. A range of stakeholders are needed to support the step change and innovation required to improve manure management, reduce reliance on inorganic fertilizers, and generate new business opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2020


  • Cropping farms
  • Livestock production
  • Manure management chain
  • Nutrient loss
  • Recoupling

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