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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POULTRY MANURE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO REDUCE NON-POINT SOURCE PHOSPHORUS POLLUTION

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: Ammonia emissions factors from broiler litter in barns, storage, and after land application

Authors
item Moore, Philip
item Miles, Dana
item Burns, Robert -
item Pote, Daniel
item Berg, Kess -
item Choi, In Hag -

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2010
Publication Date: September 1, 2011
Citation: Moore Jr, P.A., Miles, D.M., Burns, R., Pote, D.H., Berg, K., Choi, I. 2011. Ammonia emissions factors from broiler litter in barns, storage, and after land application. Journal of Environmental Quality. 40:1395-1404.

Interpretive Summary: Ammonia emissions from poultry litter can cause high levels of ammonia in poultry rearing facilities, as well as atmospheric pollution. The objectives of this study were to: (1) measure ammonia losses from litter in broiler houses, during storage and following land application, and (2) conduct a mass balance of nitrogen in poultry houses. Four tunnel-ventilated broiler houses in NW Arkansas were equipped with ammonia sensors, anemometers, and data-loggers which were used to continuously record ammonia concentrations and ventilation for one year. Nitrogen inputs (feed, chicks, and bedding) and outputs (live birds, mortality, litter/cake, ammonia emissions, and nitrous oxide emissions) were measured. Ammonia losses during the flock averaged approximately 28.3 g ammonia/bird marketed. Emissions between flocks equaled 9.09 g ammonia/bird. Results from the mass balance study showed N inputs for the year to the four houses totaled 71,340 kg N, with inputs from bedding, chicks, and feed equal to 303, 602, and 70,435 kg, respectively (equivalent to 0.60, 1.19, and 139.56 g N/bird). Nitrogen outputs totaled 70,372 kg N. Annual N output from birds marketed, ammonia emissions, litter/cake, mortality and nitrous oxide emissions was 39,485, 15,547, 14,464, 635, and 241 kg N, respectively, (equivalent to 78.2, 30.8, 28.7, 1.3, and 0.5 g N/bird). The percent N recovery for the N mass balance study was 98.6%. Ammonia losses from poultry litter broadcast to pastures were 34 kg N/ha, which is equivalent to 15% of total nitrogen applied or 7.91 g ammonia/bird. However, when the litter was incorporated into the pasture using a new knifing technique, NH3 losses were virtually zero. This is the first study conducted in the U.S. which measured ammonia losses from poultry litter in rearing facilities, during storage and following land application. Likewise, it is the first report of ammonia emissions made while conducting a mass balance for N. The total NH3 emission factor for broilers measured in this study was 45.5 g ammonia/bird marketed.

Technical Abstract: Ammonia (NH3) emissions from poultry litter can cause high levels of NH3 in poultry rearing facilities, as well as atmospheric pollution. The objectives of this study were to: (1) measure NH3 emissions from litter in broiler houses, during storage and following land application, and (2) conduct a mass balance of nitrogen (N) in poultry houses. Four state-of-the-art tunnel-ventilated broiler houses in NW Arkansas were equipped with NH3 sensors, anemometers, and data-loggers which were used to continuously record NH3 concentrations and ventilation for one year. Gaseous fluxes of ammonia and nitrous oxide were also measured. Nitrogen (N) inputs (feed, chicks, and bedding) and outputs (live birds, mortality, litter/cake, NH3 emissions, and N20 emissions) were quantified. Ammonia emissions during storage and following land application were also measured. Ammonia emissions during the flock averaged approximately 28.3 g NH3/bird marketed. Emissions between flocks equaled 9.09 g NH3/bird. Hence, in-house NH3 emissions were 37.4 g NH3/bird. Results from the mass balance study showed N inputs for the year to the four houses totaled 71,340 kg N, with inputs from bedding, chicks, and feed equal to 303, 602, and 70,435 kg, respectively (equivalent to 0.60, 1.19, and 139.56 g N/bird). Nitrogen outputs totaled 70,372 kg N. Annual N output from birds marketed, NH3 emissions, litter/cake, mortality and N2O emissions was 39,485, 15,547, 14,464, 635, and 241 kg N, respectively, (equivalent to 78.2, 30.8, 28.7, 1.3, and 0.5 g N/bird). The percent N recovery for the N mass balance study was 98.6%. Ammonia emissions from stacked litter during a 16 d storage period were equivalent to 0.18 g NH3/bird. Ammonia losses from poultry litter broadcast to pastures were 34 kg N/ha, which is equivalent to 15% of total N applied or 7.91 g NH3/bird. However, when the litter was incorporated into the pasture using a new knifing technique, NH3 losses were virtually zero. This is the first study conducted in the U.S. which measured NH3 losses from poultry litter in rearing facilities, during storage and following land application. Likewise, it is the first report of NH3 emissions made while conducting a mass balance for N. The total NH3 emission factor for broilers measured in this study was 45.5 g NH3/bird marketed.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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