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Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67599
In an effort to assess the off-site transport of bioaerosols, airborne bacteria, fungi, and endotoxin were collected at a 10,000 cow dairy operation. Compared to background locations, the general trend was that bioaerosol concentrations were higher immediately downwind, then decreased with distance from the animal housing. While bioaerosol concentrations did not follow a seasonal trend, they did significantly correlate with meteorological factors such as temperature and solar radiation. Bioaerosol concentrations were also found to be greatest at night, which can be attributed to changes in animal activity and wind speed and reduced exposure of the microorganisms to UV radiation. An analysis of clones generated from air samples collected downwind from the animal housing and pivots spraying dairy wastewater revealed that none of sequence matches were affiliated with bacteria known to be pathogenic to otherwise healthy humans. Results from ongoing research to better understand bioaerosol formation and drift losses during spray irrigation events of dairy wastewater will also be discussed.