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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Subsurface manure application to reduce ammonia emissions

item Dell, Curtis
item Myers, Tyson
item Beegle, Douglas
item Kleinman, Peter

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2010
Publication Date: 9/13/2010
Citation: Dell, C.J., Myers, T., Beegle, D., Kleinman, P.J. 2010. Subsurface manure application to reduce ammonia emissions [abstract]. ASABE Annual International Meeting. Paper No 711P0510cd.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Incorporation into soil is generally recommended to reduce ammonia volatilization and nutrient runoff following land application of manures. A range of subsurface applicators are available for manure incorporation with minimal soil disturbance in reduced tillage systems, but none have been widely adopted in the northeastern US. Research in Pennsylvania has compared ammonia losses following application of dairy and swine manures using shallow disk injection, soil aerators, and direct ground injection (high pressure) with losses following surface broadcast and incorporation by tillage. Additionally, impacts of multiple aerator configurations (toolbar angle and manure placement) on ammonia losses were investigated. Shallow disk injection reduced ammonia emissions by 65 to greater than 90%, compared to surface broadcast, throughout the study. Incorporation with the aerator had an inconsistent impact on ammonia emissions (0 to about 50% reduction relative to surface broadcast). Ammonia emissions were not significantly effected by placement of manure (broadcast ahead of aerator or banded over aeration holes), but emissions were reduced when the aerator toolbar was offset by 10 degrees. The direct ground injector effectively reduced ammonia emissions (about 60% less), but the unit was difficult to maintain and not used in all years of the study. We recommend the shallow disk injector for manure application in the northeast. Manure application with the aerator does not appear to provide a consistent reduction in ammonia emissions. While offsetting the aerator toolbar can result in lower ammonia emissions, the additional soil disturbance when the toolbar is offset may not be compatible with soil conservation plans.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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