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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A farm-level model of VOC emission from silage

item Hafner, Sasha
item Montes, Felipe
item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item Mitloehner, Frank

Submitted to: Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE)
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2010
Publication Date: 9/13/2010
Citation: Hafner, S.D., Montes, F., Rotz, C.A., Mitloehner, F.M. 2010. A farm-level model of VOC emission from silage. Proceedings of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International (ASABE). Paper No. 711P0510cd.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Recent measurements suggest that dairy farms can be a significant emission source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, accurate estimates of farm-level emissions currently do not exist. A preliminary process-based model was developed to estimate VOC emissions from silage on farms and to assess the effectiveness of management changes on reducing emissions. Using ethanol as a representative VOC, we evaluated the effects of environmental conditions (temperature and air velocity) and management practices on emission. Model predictions suggest that VOC emission is sensitive to environmental conditions, with the greatest emission occurring under hot and windy conditions. Predictions indicate that changes in silage management can substantially reduce VOC emission, but that changes in individual sources will not lead to significant reductions on their own. Incorporating changes in the silo, during feed handling, and during feeding can lead to the greatest emission reduction. Preliminary predictions by our model for typical conditions are substantially greater than previous estimates of farm-level VOC emissions from silage. Additional measurements are need though to complete the model for all important VOCs and to fully verify farm-level predictions. When complete, this model will provide a useful tool for evaluating strategies for reducing VOC emissions from silage.

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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