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Producers respond to H2S deaths
“Thirty-one steers were down, we lost 23.”“Eight more dead last night by Onslow.”“We had a guy on a ladder to the tank who was overcome and fell, but he came to after a few minutes. He was lucky.”These reports of livestock deaths and a manure hauler’s close call, occurring over a two-week span in late October, were recounted at a community safety meeting organized to alert cattle feeders and custom haulers in Eastern Iowa of the risks of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exposure during manure handling.The losses occurred at four sites in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois during pump-out of slatted floor, deep pit cattle confinements. But the risk of deadly exposure is not limited to confinement buildings.In August, 29-year-old Mike Biadasz — and 16 cattle — died from H2S exposure during agitation of an open lagoon in Wisconsin. Weeks later, 16-year-old Jonas Hoover died after entering an emptied manure tank.Sniphttp://www.iowafarmertoday.com/news/livestock/producers-respond-to-h-s-deaths/article_b8229840-a8d4-11e6-b149-5fce4b01878d.html
Hydrogen sulfide — a toxic gas produced by bacteria during digestion of manure — is present in solution in liquid manure. Poor-quality well water and dietary ingredients such as distiller’s grains or gluten can increase sulfur excreted from animals, resulting in greater production of H2S.
My goal is and always has been, to treat all my animals humanely, to uphold or improve the image of the beef industry, while at the same time maximizing my profit in a safe manner.