Livestock production systems in agriculture are one of the major emitters of greenhouse gases. So far, the focus of research in the dairy farm sector was primarily on ruminal methane (CH4) emissions. Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) usually arise from solid manure or in deep litter free stall barns. Release of N2O occurs as a result of interactions between organic material, nitrogen and moisture. Data of N2O emissions from modern dairy barns and liquid manure management systems are rare. Thus, the goal of this research was to determine the main sources of trace gas emissions at the dairy farm level, including N2O. Areas such as the scraped surface area where dry and wet conditions alternate are interesting. Possible sources of trace gases within and outside the barn were localised by measuring trace gas concentration rates from different dairy farm areas (e.g., areas covered with urine and excrement or slurry storage system) via the closed chamber technique. The results indicate typical emission ratios of carbon dioxide (CO2), CH4 and N2O in the various areas to generate comparable equivalent values. Calculated on the basis of nitrogen excretion from dairy cows, total emissions of N2O were much lower from barns than typically measured in fields. However, there were also areas within the barn with individual events and unexpected release factors of N2O concentrations such as urine patches, polluted areas and cubicles. Emission factors of N2O ranged from 1.1 to 5.0 mg m−2 d−1, respectively, for cleaned areas and urine patches. By considering the release factors of these areas and their proportion of the entire barn, total emission rates of 371 CO2-eq. LU−1 a−1, 36 CO2-eq. LU−1 a−1, and 1.7 kg CO2-eq. LU−1 a−1 for CO2, CH4 and N2O, respectively, were measured for the whole barn surface area. The CH4 emissions from surface area were stronger climate relevant comparing to N2O emissions, but compared to CH4 emissions from slurry storage or ruminal fermentation (not measured) even insignificant.
Atmospheric Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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