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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Safe Management and Use of Manure, Biosolids, and Industrial Byproducts Title: Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from a commercial broiler house

Authors
item Miles, Dana
item Moore, Philip
item Burns, R -
item Brooks, John

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 21, 2014
Publication Date: March 31, 2014
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/59507
Citation: Miles, D.M., Moore Jr., P.A., Burns, R.T., Brooks, J.P. 2014. Ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions from a commercial broiler house. Journal of Environmental Quality. 43:1119-1124.

Interpretive Summary: Complex variation in gas emissions from animal facilities has been shown in recent research reports; uncertainties in these emission estimates are driving research activities concerning different animal species across the globe. Greenhouse gas (nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide) and ammonia concentrations were measured in a modern, tunnel-ventilated, commercial broiler house in Mississippi during one year. Flocks 9-13 on reused pine shavings litter represented litter reuse beyond two years. Gas concentrations were coupled with ventilation measurements of air flow through the house to develop emission rates of ammonia and nitrous oxide. Ammonia emissions during a flock (43 days) averaged approximately 14.8 kg per day (equivalent to 23.5 g per bird marketed or 0.54 g per bird per day). Nitrous oxide emission averaged 2.3 kg per day (equivalent to 3.64 g per bird marketed or 0.085 g per bird per day). Even with the extended litter reuse, estimates of ammonia emissions from the broiler house agree well with other recently published research. This is important information for farmers who may not be able to afford to replace the litter with fresh bedding material annually. Compared to the factor used in the national emission inventory of ammonia emissions from animal husbandry of (equivalent to 63 kg per day or 2.32 g per bird per day), U.S. poultry houses emit less ammonia than previously estimated.

Technical Abstract: Complex variation in gas emissions from animal facilities has been shown in recent research reports; uncertainties in these emission estimates are driving research activities concerning different animal species across the globe. Greenhouse gas (GHG, nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2)) and ammonia (NH3) concentrations were measured in a modern, tunnel-ventilated, commercial broiler house in Mississippi during five flocks (spanning approximately one year). These were flocks 9-13 on reused pine shavings litter, representing litter reuse beyond two years. Gas concentrations obtained from a photoacoustic, multigas analyzer were coupled with ventilation measurements of air flow through the house to develop emission rates of NH3 and N2O. Ammonia emissions during a flock (43 days) averaged approximately 14.8 kg per day (equivalent to 23.5 g per bird marketed or 0.54 g per bird per day). Nitrous oxide emission averaged 2.3 kg per day (equivalent to 3.64 g per bird marketed or 0.085 g per bird per day). Compilation of the data indicated average emission occurred on day 23-24 of a flock. Even with the extended litter reuse, estimates of NH3 emissions from the broiler house agree well with other recently published research. This is important information for farmers who may not be able to afford to replace the litter with fresh bedding material annually. Compared to the factor used in the national emission inventory of NH3 emissions from animal husbandry of 0.22 lb NH3 per year per head (equivalent to 63 kg per day or 2.32 g per bird per day), U.S. poultry houses emit less NH3 than previously estimated.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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