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Atmosphere 2011, 2(3), 303-329;

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ground Level Area Sources in Dairy and Cattle Feedyard Operations

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2117 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2117, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 March 2011 / Revised: 2 August 2011 / Accepted: 4 August 2011 / Published: 9 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Emissions from Agricultural Practices)
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A protocol that consisted of an isolation flux chamber and a portable gas chromatograph was used to directly quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at a dairy and a feedyard operation in the Texas Panhandle. Field sampling campaigns were performed 5 consecutive days only during daylight hours from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm each day. The objective of this research was to quantify and compare GHG emission rates (ERs) from ground level area sources (GLAS) at dairy and cattle feedyard operations during the summer. A total of 74 air samples using flux chamber were collected from the barn (manure lane and bedding area), loafing pen, open lot, settling basin, lagoons, and compost pile within the dairy operation. For the cattle feedyard, a total of 87 air samples were collected from four corner pens of a large feedlot, runoff holding pond, and compost pile. Three primary GHGs (methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide) were measured and quantified from both operations. The aggregate estimated ERs for CH4, CO2, and N2O were 836, 5573, 3.4 g hd−1 d−1 (collectively 27.5 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) hd−1 d−1), respectively, at the dairy operation. The aggregate ERs for CH4, CO2, and N2O were 3.8, 1399, 0.68 g hd−1 d−1 (1.7 kg CO2e hd−1 d−1), respectively, from the feedyard. The estimated USEPA GHG ERs were about 13.2 and 1.16 kg CO2e hd−1 d−1, respectively, for dairy and feedyard operations. Aggregate CH4, CO2 and N2O ERs at the dairy facility were about 219, 4 and 5 times higher, respectively, than those at the feedyard. At the dairy, average CH4 ERs estimated from the settling basin, primary and secondary lagoons were significantly higher than those from the other GLAS, contributing about 98% of the aggregate CH4 emission. The runoff holding pond and pen surface of the feedyard contributed about 99% of the aggregate CH4 emission. Average CO2 and N2O ERs estimated from the pen surface area were significantly higher than those estimated from the compost pile and runoff pond. The pen surface alone contributed about 93% and 84% of the aggregate CO2 and N2O emission, respectively. Abatement and management practices that address GHG emissions from these sources will likely be most effective for reducing facility emissions. View Full-Text
Keywords: methane; nitrous oxide; carbon dioxide; dairy; feedyard; free-stall; emission rates methane; nitrous oxide; carbon dioxide; dairy; feedyard; free-stall; emission rates
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Borhan, M.S.; Capareda, S.C.; Mukhtar, S.; Faulkner, W.B.; McGee, R.; Parnell, C.B. Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ground Level Area Sources in Dairy and Cattle Feedyard Operations. Atmosphere 2011, 2, 303-329.

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