Researchers Find Wetlands Beneficial on Hog Farms

Constructed wetlands can help curb livestock hormones in runoff, preventing them from accumulating in aquatic ecosystems.

Some hog farmers have begun constructing wetlands to help handle wastewater from their operations, reducing nitrogen and phosphorous in runoff. Now an Agricultural Research Service-led research team is reporting another use for constructed wetlands on hog farms: reducing the livestock hormones in the effluent.

Scientists have raised concerns about hormones from livestock waste entering the environment and throwing off the endocrine-system function of fish and other aquatic life.

Researchers who have been studying the effectiveness of constructed wastelands in reducing livestock hormones in wastewater say wetlands reduced estradiol - a naturally secreted estrogen - by 83% to 93%.

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