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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Nutrition and Environmental Management Research » Research » Research Project #428127

Research Project: Process-based Nutrient Modeling of Confined Beef Cattle Systems in the Northern Great Plains

Location: Nutrition and Environmental Management Research

Project Number: 3040-63000-001-01-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2015
End Date: Apr 30, 2019

Objective:
The goal of this research project is to investigate the systematic effects of different scenarios of beef cattle housing, manure management and land application in the Northern Great Plains for N and P compounds. This research will enhance emission estimating and nutrient management methodologies and practices. The specific objectives are to: (1) Refine and evaluate a process-based model that estimates the fate of N and P for confined beef cattle housing/manure management methods of the Northern Great Plains region, including bedded manure pack and deep pit manure storage in monoslope or hoop-style buildings; (2) Refine and evaluate a process-based model that estimates the N and P availability and losses from land-applied solid beef cattle manure (with and without bedding); and (3) Evaluate housing/manure management and land application scenarios for N and P fate through the farm system under variable climatic conditions.

Approach:
The approach for this project uses an interdisciplinary and multi-state team to meet the specific objectives. The team will utilize an established process-based model, and focus on refinement and verification of this model. The main activities include: (1) collecting periodic gas concentration and emission data from two deep-pit and two hoop-style beef cattle barns over two years; (2) calibrating and validating process-model outputs of nutrient value and N emission from manure storage and confined beef cattle facilities using full-scale data collected in a previous study and activity 1; (3) comparing the nutrient availability and emission from land-applied and incorporated solid beef cattle manure, with and without bedding; and (4) compare scenarios for the confined beef cattle system (including land application) to open lot beef cattle systems under a range of historic weather conditions, including drought and flood conditions experienced by the Northern Great Plains Region.