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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #206063

Title: Evaporation from cattle feedyard pens estimated by Bowen ratio-energy balance.

item Todd, Richard
item Cole, Noel
item Clark, Ray

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2006
Publication Date: 11/12/2006
Citation: Todd, R.W., Cole, N.A., Auvermann, B., Clark, R.N. 2006. Evaporation from cattle feedyard pens estimated by Bowen ratio-energy balance [abstract]. In: Proceedings of ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual International Meeting, November 12-16, 2006, Indianapolis, Indiana. 2006 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Water content of manure surfaces in feedyard pens influences the emission of ammonia and the generation of dust and odors. Stocking density, precipitation, evaporation and runoff determine the water content of pen surfaces. Our objective was to estimate seasonal evaporation at a commercial beef cattle feedyard using the Bowen ratio-energy balance method. Net radiation, manure pack heat flux and temperature, and gradients of temperature and water vapor pressure were measured during 3 days in winter 2004, 13 days in spring 2005 and 19 days in summer 2004. Evaporation was least in winter and greatest in summer. Winter evaporation averaged 1.5 mm d-1, ranging from 1.1 to 2.0 mm d-1. During spring, evaporation rate averaged 2.3 mm d-1, ranging from 0.8 to 4.5 mm d-1. Summer evaporation rate averaged 4.3 mm d-1, and ranged from 2.6 to 8.4 mm d-1. Estimated evaporation was 62%, 59% and 67% of calculated reference evaporation in winter, spring and summer, respectively. Evaporation was a larger fraction of reference evaporation in summer because of greater and more frequent precipitation. Cattle urine is a daily source of water to the pen surface, and its volume is a function of water intake, which is primarily determined by ambient temperature, cattle dry matter intake and salt in the ration. Urine was a significant source of water to the pen surface, adding 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8 mm d-1, representing 79%, 62%, and 42% of the mean evaporation during winter, spring and summer, respectively.