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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Kimberly, Idaho » Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research » Research » Research Project #440181

Research Project: Improving Emissions Estimates in Western Dairy Production Systems for Assessment of the Net Zero Initiative (NZI)

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Project Number: 2054-12000-013-008-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2021
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

Objective:
Objective 1. Improve Bo values for modern dairy manure streams. Objective 2. Improve emission factors and evaluate mitigation strategies for N2O emissions from cropping systems.

Approach:
Objective 1. With the assistance of IDA, farms will be identified that have a variety of manure management practices and are willing to participate in the project. Ideally, 5 farms will be identified for sample collection throughout the manure handling stream. We will target farms with a variety of separation and manure treatment technologies to evaluate a wide variety of manure streams including: fresh manure, separated solids, effluent following manure separation, effluent and sludge in settling basins and lagoons. Data will also be collected describing feed management, milk production, and manure collection and handling. Manure samples will be characterized for total solids, volatile solids, pH, EC, total metals and biological methane potential. Time permitting, we will also perform detailed laboratory studies to determine the effects of inoculum, temperature, and manure source on emissions to better understand the effects of these factors on CH4 emissions. Objective 2. Monitoring of emissions from a long-term research study evaluating the use of minimum tillage and cover crop will be conducted. This study is evaluating crop yield, forage quality, and nutrient use efficiency in continuous silage corn with and without a triticale cover crop, with conventional vs. minimum tillage and either receiving manure or fertilizer as a nutrient source. Emissions will be measured twice weekly during the irrigation season and once weekly for the remainder of the year using vented non-steady state flux chambers over the course of 20 months during 2021-2022. Annual emissions estimates will be determined, and the effects of management practices assessed. Soil sampling (down to 4’) will be performed in the fall (post-harvest) to determine the impacts of management on soil C storage.