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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit

Title: Ammonia and Greenhouse Gases Emission from Land Application of Swine Slurry: A Comparison of Three Application Methods

item Lovanh, Nanh
item Warren, Jason
item Sistani, Karamat

Submitted to: International Livestock Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2008
Publication Date: July 10, 2008
Citation: Lovanh, N.C., Warren, J.G., Sistani, K.R. 2008. Ammonia and Greenhouse Gases Emission from Land Application of Swine Slurry: A Comparison of Three Application Methods. International Livestock Symposium.

Technical Abstract: The traditional practice of land application using animal liquid manure for fertilization purpose is by spraying. This method can lead to major losses of essential nutrients for crops such as nitrogen and carbon compounds. This technique can also create a major emission problem in dispersing malodorous and other gaseous compounds in the air (i.e., skatole and greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide). In this study, we compared the initial greenhouse gases and ammonia emission using flux chamber and gas analyzer from three different liquid manure application methods at a farm in Larue County, KY. Swine slurry was applied to a farm land (100 m by 300 m) that was divided into subplots. Row injection, surface spray, and aerway injection were utilized to apply the slurry. Flux chambers (30 x 120 x 15 cm) were deployed at different application plots. Greenhouse gases (GHG) and ammonia concentrations were monitored using a photoacoustic gas analyzer (CAI, CA). The gas concentrations were measured at three different temporal points (beginning, 72 and 216 hours after application). At each sampling time, the concentrations were measured every half an hour with half an hour allocation for equilibrium with the atmospheric conditions. Two fans were used in the flux chamber for thorough mixing of gases before and during sampling. The results showed that the initial ammonia flux ranged from 2500 mg m-2 hr-1 for surface spray method to 147 mg m-2 hr-1 for row injection method. The initial fluxes of methane ranged from 2576 mg m-2 hr-1 for aerway injection to 210 mg m-2 hr-1 for row injection, carbon dioxide ranged from 433 g m-2 hr-1 for aerway injection to 155 g m-2 hr-1 for row injection, and nitrous oxide ranged from 408 mg m-2 hr-1 for aerway injection to 188 mg m-2 hr-1 for row injection. Thus, the row injection method appears to emit the least amount of ammonia and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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