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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impact of Livestock Operations on Air Quality

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Pfeiffer, Richard
item Prueger, John

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Conference on Biometeorology and Aerobiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2002
Publication Date: November 1, 2002
Citation: HATFIELD, J.L., PFEIFFER, R.L., PRUEGER, J.H. IMPACT OF LIVESTOCK OPERATIONS ON AIR QUALITY. AVAILABLE FROM: HTTP://AMS-CONFER.COM/AMS/14BIOAERO/15 BIOAEROS. PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE ON BIOMETEOROLOGY AND AEROBIOLOGY. 2002.

Technical Abstract: Air quality impacts from livestock operations have become an environmental, ecological, and sociological problem. Emissions for gases and particulates from livestock operations are considered to be environmental impacts that must be controlled. Within livestock operations there are three sources of emissions, production buildings, manure storage and handling sites, and manure application sites. Formation of the different gaseous components depends upon the biology of the system. Ammonia formation is a result of either hydrolysis of urea, deamination of amino acids, or fermentation of nitrogenous compounds. Hydrogen sulfide is produced from either sulfur- or sulfate-reducing bacteria. Volatile organic compounds are caused by anaerobic digestion of manure or digestive processes. Methane and nitrous oxide are caused by bacterial processes linked with methanogenesis or denitrification. Particulates that are formed within production buildings are associated with dust from feed, animal dandruff, or conversion of ammonia, nitrous oxide or sulfur oxides into particles. It is important to realize that the formation processes for the different compounds associated with air quality and livestock originate from different sources. Buildings and manure storage and handling sites are the primary areas of formation with no air quality constituents formed during manure application. Air quality impacts from animal production facilities are dependent upon the dispersion of gases and particulates. Livestock facilities are located in a variety of microclimates and create their own microclimate because of the effect of the arrangement of the buildings and manure storage on wind flow and temperature. Observations of the microclimate around a lagoon manure storage system for an entire year revealed that the direction of wind across the building and the development of the adjacent crop field were primary factors in determining how gases were dispersed from the lagoon surface. Efforts will have to be directed toward developing improved dispersion models that can address the complex microclimate and the biologically-induced variation in the source term for the various gases. Air quality impacts of livestock operations present a challenge and opportunity to biometeorologists for these next several years.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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