Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Abatement Measures to Reduce Ammonia Emissions from Open-Lot Feedyards and Dairies

Authors
item Parker, D - WTAMU
item Cole, Noel
item Baek, B - TAES
item Koziel, J - ISU
item Rhoades, M - WTAMU
item Perschbacker-Buser, Z - WTAMU
item Greene, L - TAES
item Sambana, P - WTAMU

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 23, 2004
Publication Date: January 5, 2005
Citation: Parker, D.B., Cole, N.A., Baek, B.H., Koziel, J.A., Rhoades, M.B., Perschbacker-Buser, Z., Greene, L.W., Sambana, P. 2005. Abatement measures to reduce ammonia emissions from open-lot feedyards and dairies. In: State of the Science Animal Manure and Waste Management, January 4-7, 2005, San Antonio, Texas. 2005 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Reduction of ammonia emissions from animal feeding operations is important from the perspective of environmental policy and its impact on agriculture. This paper summarizes cooperative research studies that have been conducted at USDA-ARS, Bushland, TX. and at West Texas A&M University over the past 3 years to develop methods to control ammonia emissions from feedyards. Control measures for the abatement of ammonia from open-lot beef cattle feedyards can be grouped into pre-excretion and post-excretion strategies. Pre-excretion strategies include developing nutritional strategies to improve the utilization of crude protein (CP). Decreasing CP from 13% to 11.5% at the end of the feeding period did not affect animal performance, but decreased potential ammonia losses by 25 to 40%. Post-excretion strategies such as the use of urease inhibitors and other additives on the pen surface have been very successful in lab-scale in vitro studies but have been less successful at reducing ammonia emission in field trials. Additives such as alum decrease ammonia emissions by up to 98% in laboratory studies, but cost as much as $63 per animal unit per year. Urease inhibitors have been shown to conserve urea in the manure and reduce ammonia emissions in the laboratory, but based on recent research, their effectiveness and economics in the field is still questionable.

Technical Abstract: Reduction of ammonia emissions from animal feeding operations is important from the perspective of environmental policy and its impact on agriculture. Control measures for the abatement of ammonia from open-lot beef cattle feedyards and dairies can be grouped into pre-excretion and post-excretion strategies. Pre-excretion strategies include developing nutritional strategies to improve the utilization of crude protein (CP). Decreasing CP from 13% to 11.5% at the end of the feeding period did not affect animal performance, but the N:P concentration in the manure was unchanged. Decreasing CP from 13% to 10% increased the N:P concentration in the manure, but adversely affected dry matter intake and gain efficiency. Post-excretion strategies include the use of urease inhibitors and other additives to control ammonium concentrations and manure pH. Additives such as alum which alter manure pH were shown to decrease ammonia emissions by up to 98% in laboratory studies, but cost as much as $63 per animal unit per year. Urease inhibitors have been shown to conserve urea in the manure and reduce ammonia emissions in the laboratory, but based on recent research their effectiveness and economics in the field is still questionable. This paper further discusses the factors affecting ammonia emission rates and effectiveness and economics of pre-excretion and post-excretion BMPs for reducing ammonia emissions from animal feeding operations.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page