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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Manure Nutrients, Environmental Contaminants, and Energy From Cattle and Swine Production Facilities

Location: Nutrition and Environmental Management Research

Title: Manure management and temperature impacts on gas concentrations in monoslope cattle facilities

Authors
item Cortus, Erin
item Al Mamun, MD Rajibul
item Ayadi, Ferouz
item Spiehs, Mindy
item Pohl, Stephen
item Doran, Beth
item Kohl, Kris
item Cortus, Scott
item Nicolai, Richard

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 4, 2013
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Citation: Cortus, E.L., Al Mamun, M., Ayadi, F.Y., Spiehs, M.J., Pohl, S., Doran, B.E., Kohl, K.D., Cortus, S., Nicolai, R. 2013. Manure management and temperature impacts on gas concentrations in monoslope cattle facilities. In: Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions, April 1-5, 2013, Denver, Colorado. Available: http://www.extension.org/pages/67587/manure-management-and-temperature-impacts-on-gas-concentrations-in-monoslope-cattle-facilities.

Interpretive Summary: Roofed and confined cattle feeding facilities are increasingly popular in the Northern Great Plains. However, little is known about the impact this housing system and its associated manure management methods have on the air quality inside and outside the barn. Producers who use confined feeding facilities such as the monoslope barn, typically add bedding once or twice per week. Some producers allow a mound of bedding and manure to accumulate in the center of the pen and remove manure only from the area surrounding this mound; these facilities are referred to as Bedded-pack barns. Other producers scrape and clean all bedding and manure from the pens on a weekly basis; these facilities are referred to as Scrape barns. A study was conducted to measure air quality gas (ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and methane) concentrations from both types of cattle confinement barns. Seasonal changes in gas concentrations were also evaluated. In general, methane did not change with season and was similar between the two manure management systems (Bedded-pack and Scrape). The ammonia and hydrogen sulfide gases were higher in the warmer months. The barns managed under the Scrape system had a more consistent concentration for ammonia and hydrogen sulfide than the barns managed using a Bedded-pack system – although the average concentrations were similar.

Technical Abstract: Roofed and confined cattle feeding facilities are increasingly popular in the Northern Great Plains, but little is known about the impact this housing system and associated manure management methods have on the air quality inside and outside the barn. The objective of this study was to determine gas concentrations in monoslope beef cattle facilities, and relate these concentrations to environmental and manure management factors. Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane concentrations were sequentially sampled from one south wall and three north wall locations in two pens at four barns for month-long periods during fall, winter, spring and summer seasons. Two barns maintained deep-bedded manure packs (Bedpack), whereas two barns scraped manure and bedding from the pens weekly (Scrape). Simultaneous weather, airspeed and temperature data were collected at the monitoring sites. The maximum hourly mean concentration measured at the north or south wall of either pen in the barn was used in this analysis. The seasonal average hourly mean of maximum concentrations and ambient temperature were calculated. The seasonal average maximum ammonia concentration ranged from 0.6 to 3.3 ppm with the Scrape barns, and from 0.2 to 7.1 ppm with the Bedpack barns. The range of maximum hydrogen sulfide concentrations was 0 to 62 ppb in the Scrape barns and 0 to 392 ppb in the Bedpack barns. The maximum methane concentration ranges were 4.8 to 10.6 and 3.1 to 15.8 ppm in the Scrape and Bedpack barns, respectively. There are indications of differences between gas release rates for Bedpack and Scrape manure management systems, and increasing release rates with temperature, for ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. Methane concentrations are more consistent between systems and for different temperature conditions. Emission values will incorporate these concentration data, in conjunction with airflow data, which also varies between sites and temperature conditions.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014