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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SURVIVAL AND TRANSPORT OF PATHOGENS FROM ANIMAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS WITHIN LANDSCAPES OF THE SOUTHEASTERN USA Title: Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from surface applied poultry litter under conservation tillage management practices

Authors
item Sharpe, Ronald
item Schomberg, Harry
item Endale, Dinku
item Jenkins, Michael

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2006
Publication Date: November 2, 2006
Citation: Sharpe, R.R., Schomberg, H.H., Endale, D.M., Jenkins, M. 2006. Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from surface applied poultry litter under conservation tillage management practices . ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts.

Technical Abstract: Land application of poultry litter provides essential nutrients for crop production, but nitrogen (N) losses to the atmosphere can be detrimental to the environment. A multi-season study was conducted to quantify ammonia (NH3) and nitrous oxide (N2O) volatilization rates from surface applied poultry litter under no-till (NT) and paraplowed (PP) conservation tillage managements. Litter was applied in the winter and summer at rates of 100 and 200 kg N ha-1, respectively. Evaluation of volatilization rates were determined using gas concentrations and the flux-gradient gas transport technique and the momentum balance transport coefficient. Nitrous oxide fluxes ranged from 4.4 to 7.6% of total N applied. Total N2O losses were about 22% larger during the summer than winter study but a larger percentage of applied N was lost during the winter. Nitrous oxide losses during the winter were 8.1 and 7.2 kg ha-1 for the NT and PP treatments, respectively. Total losses during the summer were 11.2 and 7.4 kg N2O ha-1 for the NT and PP treatments, respectively. The relatively large losses during the winter indicate the importance of year-round measurements for accurate N2O emission estimates. The losses found in this study were substantially greater than the 1.25% emission factor used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to estimate global emissions and may have been related to the reduced tillage management practices used in these studies. Ammonia fluxes ranged from 3.3 to 24% of the total N applied during the winter and summer, respectively. Ammonia volatilization was rapid immediately after litter application and stopped within 7 to 8 days. Precipitation of 17 mm essentially halted volatilization, probably by transporting litter N into the soil matrix. There was no differences in total NH3 volatilization between no-till and paraplowed treatments.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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