Unal Kizil

Unal Kizil

Unal has B.S. and M.S degrees in Agricultural Engineering from  Uludag University, Turkey. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State university.  He intends to complete his Ph.D. in May 2003. His research area is livestock waste management.


Feedlot Runoff and Manure Management Modeling

Fellow:  Unal Kizil, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, NDSU

Advisor:  James A. Lindley, Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, NDSU

Matching Support:  Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul, MN; Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research, Winnipeg, Manitoba; USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND

Degree Progress:  Ph.D., May 2003 


The overall goal of the research is to develop a complete feedlot runoff and manure management model to predict runoff and its concentrations generated from feedlots, and develop an online GIS database. The corresponding objectives to achieve the goal are to:

  • define the hydrologic models for feedlots, and conduct field experiments to validate these models
  • develop a user friendly computer program that will help users to predict runoff and its characteristics, design runoff management structures, and make manure management plans.
  • develop an online GIS database for North Dakota feedlots that will help scientists for Nonpoint Source (NPS) evaluation, and estimate the overall pollution risk which might be generated from the feedlots

The estimation of runoff quality and quantity is critical. Design of runoff containment structures, nutrient budgeting, and pollution discharge to a water body – if no containment structure available – are dependent on a good estimation of runoff depth. Therefore, developing rainfall-runoff is highly important from the view point of pollution transport from feedlot operations to the water resources of the State. The EPIC and AGNPS models were adapted to feedlot hydrology in order to predict runoff quality and quantity. Use of model will provide an opportunity to evaluate overall pollution potential of a feedlot operation if no runoff confinement systems exist. The EPIC model uses the soil nutrient characteristics as inputs and predicts the amount of nutrient transport by runoff. In this study manure samples that were collected from the feedlot surface were used as source of nutrients. The manure samples were a mixture of soil, feces, urine, water, and spilled feeding materials. During the study the animal density was high enough to provide evenly distributed and compacted manure. It is showed that manure analysis results provide data not only for manure management planning but also nutrient transport models.

The second objective of this study is to develop a user-friendly computer program. The program has 3 modules as follows:

1- Hydrology/nutrient module: In this module runoff quality and quantity is calculated using the models explained in the previous objective. Amount of nutrient loading to a water body (if there is no runoff containment structure, or in case of a failure of the containment structure) is estimated in this module. Also, runoff quality and quantity data is used in the second module to make a manure management budget.            

2- Manure management module: Mass balance approach is used in the program to predict the nutrient fate of the manure. Manure and/or runoff application rate, required commercial fertilizer amount, and commercial value of the produced manure are some of the outputs of this module. Over application of manure and/or runoff might create water pollution due to the excess amount of nutrient build up in the soil followed by surface runoff or leaching. Therefore it is essential to apply optimum amount of manure/runoff to the field. This module can be used as a tool that provides environmentally sound waste management plans.

3- Storage or treatment system design module: The last module of the program provides a tool to design waste storage and treatment systems. To protect water resources from feedlot related pollution, manure/runoff should be controlled. Generally control means containment of the waste material and application of it to the field when the soil, and weather suitable. The design criteria were taken from the Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

This software was written in Visual Basic programming language. A paper describing the models used in the manure management, design criteria for structures, and program. The software program is under the process of debugging. The program and the paper will be ready by December 2002.

For the third objective, the required data for GIS evaluation of the North Dakota feedlot operations have been obtained for developing a GIS database. The recent version of ArcView GIS software will be used.



Advisor: Dr. James Lindley

Assoc. Prof., Ag & Bio Syst. Engrg.

North Dakota State University