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Odour Review of Layer Farms and Development of S-Factor Formula

Published Authors E. J. McGahan & G. Galvin Organisation Integrity Ag Services Research Timing 1st Jul 2017 - 30th Jan 2018 Category Tag Export to PDF

Separation distances can assist in managing some of the community amenity impacts of intensive animal industries, including layer farms, by assisting in protecting receptors (neighbours and towns) from nuisance odours, as well as protecting existing enterprises from conflict with the surrounding community. Optimum separation distances between layer farms and receptors depend on several factors. These include: the size of the layer farm (number of birds), the design and management features of the farm, the surface roughness of the earth between the layer farm and receptors, local terrain surrounding the farm and site meteorological conditions. These factors can be incorporated into an empirically-based (S-factor) formula, a common methodological approach that is used as a first step in determining the appropriate location of a new or expanding development. They are designed to provide a generous separation distance to avoid the additional cost of going to a more detailed site assessment, using odour modelling. 

The development of an egg specific S-factor formula through this project allows layer farms to be assessed on their potential impact, rather than using inappropriate formulas from other industries (primarily meat chickens). It also allows a robust, first step approach for assessing new and expanding farms, before going to detailed, expensive and sometimes unnecessary odour impact assessment using odour modelling.