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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378954

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Effects of FGD gypsum on greenhouse gas emissions from broiler litter

item Runion, George
item Watts, Dexter
item Torbert, Henry - Allen

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2019
Publication Date: 11/10/2019
Citation: Runion, G.B., Watts, D.B., Torbert III, H.A. 2019. Effects of FGD gypsum on greenhouse gas emissions from broiler litter [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Meetings. CD ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Recent studies indicate that flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum may be used as an alternative bedding material for broiler production. However, if ammonia volatilization and greenhouse gas emissions are increased this may lead to nutrient losses and environmental concerns. Thus, a study was conducted to evaluate gaseous losses of CO2, CH4, N2O, and NH3 from FGD gypsum litter during broiler production. Treatments included FGD gypsum alone, FGD gypsum with pine shavings, and pine shavings alone as a control. Additionally, the bedding material with manure was either decaked or rotovated. Gypsum treatments had little effect on bedding temperature with gypsum alone being lower than both pine shaving treatments on the July 23 sampling only. In contrast, gypsum lowered percent moisture of the bedding material, compared with the control, on 6 of the 11 sampling dates. Further, gypsum lowered ammonia, compared to the control, on two dates; decaking the bedding material also reduced ammonia, compared with rotovating, on six sampling dates. Decaking bedding material resulted in lower trace gas flux on some sampling dates; CO2 was lower on two dates, N2O was lower on four dates, and CH4 was lower on three dates. Cumulative CH4 flux across the study period was also lower in decaked areas compared with rotovated areas. Gypsum had little impact on trace gas efflux in this study. Using gypsum or adding it to bedding material will lower moisture but will likely have little effect on trace gas flux for broiler production. Decaking should reduce trace gas flux in broiler houses likely due to the removal of a portion of the poultry manure.