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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 3, p. 1061-1070
    Received: Nov 15, 2013
    Published: June 24, 2014

    * Corresponding author(s): srinivas.sura@ec.gc.ca
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Dissipation of Three Veterinary Antimicrobials in Beef Cattle Feedlot Manure Stockpiled over Winter

  1. Srinivas Sura ad,
  2. Dani Degenhardtb,
  3. Allan J. Cessnaae,
  4. Francis J. Larneyc,
  5. Andrew F. Olsonc and
  6. Tim A. McAllisterc
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    d current address: Environment Canada, National Hydrology Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada
    b Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Edmonton, AB, T6N 1E4, Canada
    e current address: Environment Canada, National Hydrology Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada
    c Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4B1, Canada


Dissipation of veterinary antimicrobials is known to occur during aerated windrow composting of beef cattle manure. However, it is unclear if a similar dissipation occurs during stockpiling. Chlortetracycline, tylosin, and sulfamethazine are three of the most commonly used veterinary antimicrobials in beef cattle production in western Canada. Their dissipation in stockpiled manure was investigated over 140 d during winter in Alberta, Canada. Beef cattle housed in pens were administered 44 mg of chlortetracycline kg−1 feed (dry weight), 44 mg of chlortetracycline + 44 mg sulfamethazine kg−1 feed, 11 mg of tylosin kg−1 feed, or feed without antimicrobials (control). Manure samples were extracted using pressurized liquid extraction, and the extracts were analyzed for chlortetracycline, sulfamethazine, and tylosin by LC-MS-MS. Dissipation of all three antimicrobials in the manure was explained by exponential decay kinetics. Times for 50% dissipation (DT50) were 1.8 ± 0.1 d for chlortetracycline alone or 6.0 ± 0.8 d when mixed with sulfamethazine, 20.8 ± 3.8 d for sulfamethazine, and 4.7 ± 1.2 d for tylosin. After 77 d, <1% of initial chlortetracycline and <2% of sulfamethazine remained. Tylosin residues were more variable, decreasing to approximately 12% of initial levels after 28 d, with 20% present after 77 d and 13% after 140 d. Temperatures within stockpiles reached maximum values within 6 d of establishment and varied with location (bottom, 62.5°C; middle, 63.8°C; and top, 42.9°C). Antimicrobials in the manure did not inhibit microbial activity, as indicated by temperature and mass losses of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). The C/N ratio in the manure decreased over the stockpiling period, indicating decomposition of manure to a more stable state. Dissipation of excreted residues with DT50 values 1.8 to 20.8 d showed that stockpiling can be as effective as windrow composting in mitigating the transfer of these three veterinary antimicrobials into the environment during land application of processed manure.

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