Soybean and pork producers could both get a boost with this research revelation – spraying soybean oil in swine barns can lower dust and odor emissions.

That finding comes from University of Minnesota researchers who evaluated odor, gases and dust concentration in oil-treated and untreated nursery facilities.

They found that sprinkling soybean oil daily inside the facility reduced odor, hydrogen sulfide and total dust levels of the air inside the barn and in exhaust ventilation air emissions. That's because suspended dust particles can absorb odorous gases, so reducing dust concentration can lower odor and gas emissions coming from the facilities.

However, researchers also found you would need extra labor and effort to clean up the oil-treated room after each group of pigs. That can add considerable costs – $1.14 per pig marketed for annual treatment of a 20,000 square foot finishing building, according to a Midwest Plan Service study.

Kevin Janni, one of the Minnesota researchers who conducted the spraying study, says the benefits of using the oil may outweigh the costs for some producers. "Go ahead and use this," Janni says "especially if you want to control odors and larger dust particles. This technology will work."

He did say that oil sprinkling may be more appropriate for naturally ventilated or curtain-ventilated facilities that have deep pit manure storage or other units that are not fan or mechanically ventilated.