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Greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from an open-freestall dairy in Southern Idaho

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Concentrated dairy operations emit trace gases such as ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere. The implementation of air quality regulations in livestock-producing states increases the need for accurate on-farm determination of emission rates. The objective of this study was to determine the emission rates of NH3, CH4, and N2O from the open-freestall and wastewater pond source areas on a commercial dairy located in southern Idaho. Gas concentrations and wind statistics were measured each month and used with an inverse dispersion model to calculate emission rates. Average emissions per cow per day from the open-freestall source area were 0.10 kg NH3 and 0.47 kg CH4. Average emissions from the wastewater ponds (g m-2 d-1) were 7.8 g NH3 and 22 g CH4. The combined emissions on a per cow per day basis from the open-freestall and wastewater pond areas averaged 0.22 kg NH3 and 0.85 kg CH4. The wastewater ponds were the greatest source of total farm NH3 emissions from spring through fall, contributing 64% of total emissions. The emissions of CH4 were approximately equal from the two source areas from spring through fall. During the winter months, due to decreasing temperatures and freezing of the pond surfaces, the open-freestall source area constituted the greatest source area of both NH3 and CH4 emissions. Data from this study can be used to develop trace gas emissions factors from open-freestall dairies in southern Idaho and potentially other open-freestall production systems in similar climatic regions.
April B. Leytem , Robert S. Dungan , David L. Bjorneberg , Anita C. Koehn
USDA Scientist Submission
Journal of Environmental Quality 2013 v.42 no.1
Published cooperatively by American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.