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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320046

Title: Ammonia emission during irrigation of dairy manure

item Jokela, William
item Sherman, Jessica
item Borchardt, Mark
item CAVADINI, JASON - University Of Wisconsin

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2015
Publication Date: 11/13/2015
Citation: Jokela, W.E., Sherman, J.F., Borchardt, M.A., Cavadini, J.S. 2015. Ammonia emission during irrigation of dairy manure. Meeting Abstract. ASA-CSSA-SSSA, Madison, WI.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Application of liquid manure through irrigation systems has become more common in recent years. Emission of NH3 from surface-applied manure has been well documented, but less is known about emission during the irrigation process itself. We carried out a series of 11 experiments over a two-year period to assess NH3 loss, five with center pivot (CP), four with traveling gun (TG), and two with tanker spreaders. Liquid dairy manure (after solids separation) averaged 14 g/kg solids, 81 g/kg total N, and 54 g/kg NH4-N. Ammonia emission during each irrigation event (45 min to 1.5 h) was assessed using two approaches. 1) Pairs of passive ammonia samplers (Ogawa and Co., USA, Inc.) 15 m apart were placed at different distances downwind from the irrigated manure (15, 30, 60, 107, 152, and 213 m) at a 1.7 m height; two samplers were placed upwind at 30 and 60 m distances. 2) Three pairs of collection pans (20 x 30 cm) were placed on the soil surface ahead of the irrigation pass and were collected immediately after they were passed by the traveling gun or pivot sprinklers. Ammonium-N concentrations in pan samples were compared to those taken from the irrigation line. Concentrations of NH3-N from the passive samplers varied among the center pivot runs, but four of five showed a logarithmic decrease with distance, suggesting that NH3 was being volatilized during manure irrigation. Concentrations from the traveling gun were lower and showed less consistent patterns with distance. There were significant decreases in the NH4-N and/or NH4-N/total P ratio of the manure collected in pans compared to that from the irrigation line in two of the CP and two of the TG runs (ranging from 7 to 35% in those with significant decreases). These results suggest that NH3 emission occurs during irrigation of manure under some conditions, but not others.