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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Gaseous Nitrogen Emissions from Anerobic Swine-Lagoons: Ammonia, Nitrous Oxide, and Dinitrogen Gas

item Harper, Lowry
item Sharpe, Ronald
item Parkin, Timothy

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 27, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Concentrated animal systems increase production efficiency but also increase problems associated with animal waste disposal and potential environmental pollution. Of the 56 million swine in the U.S., about 75% use liquid lagoon or slurry systems for waste holding or disposal. Atmospheric emissions of ammonia (NH3) from these systems have been related dto water eutrophication and species change in natural ecosystems. Non- disturbing micrometeorological measurement techniques were used to evaluate trace gas emissions from a swine facility containing 12,000 animals with a 4-stage lagoon system. Ammonia emissions averaged 12 kg NH3 /ha/day over the three year study. Ammonia emissions varied diurnally and seasonally and were highly correlated with windspeed and water temperature. Previously, it has been assumed that 89 to 90% of the N lost from lagoons was through NH3 volatilization. In this study, we found greater emissions of N2 (37 kg/ha/day) than NH3 which indicates that lagoon systems may have less environmental impact due to smaller NH3 emissions than previously thought. This study also indicates the potential for the development of management techniques which would decrease NH3 losses by enhancing N2 emissions.

Technical Abstract:

Last Modified: 4/17/2015
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