Sustainable Dairy Production Housing / Manure System: Compost Bedded Loose Housing Dairy Barn


What Are Compost Bedded Dairy Barns?

In the U.S., the first compost bedded loose housing (CBP) dairy barns were developed by Virginia dairy producers in the 1980’s to increase cow comfort and longevity.  The key component of a CBP dairy barn is a large, open resting area generally bedded with sawdust or dry, fine wood shavings that is tilled to support aerobic composting. Studies in Minnesota in the early 2000’s built a knowledge base which researchers in Kentucky have utilized during the past 5 years  as the foundation for our research and extension activities on the CBP barns, herds housed within them, and assessing compost fertility. CBP barns fit within goals of sustainable agriculture for dairies with less than 500 lactating cows because of benefits to the cow (space, rest, exercise, and social interaction – Videos 1 & 2), the farmer (low investment, labor-extensive, reduced manure storage costs with composted manure under roof), milk production (milk quality, milk yield), and the environment (reduced ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions, odor and dust emissions, reduced energy consumption, improved manure fertility and flexibility to meet nutrient management plans).  Operator experiences and research results of completed and on-going CBP barn projects are presented. 

What we did

Our first activity was to assess the existing CBP barns in KY to establish the reasons for success. Fifty-five known existing CBP dairy barns in KY were visited from September 2010 to March 2011 to determine the management, barn construction details and management factors that lead to successful operation and herd improvements. Five areas of research were subsequently identified. Critics have expressed concerns about mastitis risks in barns.  Environmental mastitis has been the main concern due to the bacterial load in the CBP barn compost. A study was conducted of mastitis incidence and milk Somatic Cell Count (SCC) of CBP barns relative to “gold standard”, sand bedded free stall barns. Dairymen also wanted to have more certainty of the compost nutrient value for land application. A study was initiated to determine N and P in compost and their release for plant uptake during the first year. For one year, bed data for temperature, moisture, nutrient content by depth, and barn climate were collected to understand the seasonal climatic effects on the compost bed and how quickly these effects are seen. Finally, bed tillage, using cultivators or rototillers, was evaluated for effects on bed performance.

What we learned

Facility design, ventilation, timely addition of fresh, dry bedding, frequent and deep stirring, and avoidance of overcrowding are the keys to a good working CBP barn. Poor management may lead to very undesirable compost bed conditions, dirty cows, elevated SCC, and increased clinical mastitis incidence. Most Kentucky dairy producers listed increased cow comfort and welfare as the main benefit to the CBP barn system, while others cited increased cow cleanliness, low maintenance nature of the system, and the barn’s usefulness for special needs and problem cows. Evaluation of annual bed performance data led to development of new compost bed management strategies. Instead of using the hygiene score for cows or bed temperature, moisture content was viewed as the primary measure since it was a leading indicator of the bed before failure. The time between a good performing bed and a poor performing bed was a matter of days when the moisture content exceeds 60% – wb. The comparison of CBP barns to sand bedded freestall barns validated producers’ observations of comparable SCC and mastitis incidence prevalence in CBP barns. Finally, CBP compost added to soil differs in P dynamics depending on soil test P level. In Low Soil Test P (STP) soils the CBP tended to slowly mineralize, and like inorganic P fertilizers, was subject to adsorption. In High STP soil, P in compost was first adsorbed, but then slowly released with time.

Future plans

  1. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling of the compost bed management and barn design alternatives for demonstration to dairymen for planned and existing facilities.
  2. Effect of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep on cow health, production and comfort.
  3. Mastitis incidence as affected by microbial ecology of the cow udder and compost bedded pack.
  4. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and economic analysis of system: milk production, barn, and compost disposal.

Authors

Joseph L Taraba, Extension Professor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY – joseph.taraba@uky.edu. 859.218.4353.

Jeffery M Bewley, Associate Extension Professor, Animal Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

George B Day, Adjunct Instructor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

Mark S Coyne, John H. Heick Professorship, Plant and Soil Sciences; University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

Michael Sama, Assistant Professor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

Randi A Black, PhD Graduate Student , Animal Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville TN

Flavio A Damasceno, Professor (Associate), Departamento de Engenharia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras, MG – Brasil

Elizabeth A Eckelkamp, Graduate Research Assistant, Animal Food Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

Leslie A Hammond, Graduate Research Assistant , Plant and Soil Sciences; University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

John Evans, Graduate Research Assistant, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Wet Scrubbers for Cleaning Air Emissions from Animal Housing Curriculum Materials

Air emissions from animal housing systems are being examined more closely for ways to mitigate potentially harmful gases. Wet scrubbers are one way to remove pollutants from air being exhausted from mechanically ventilated buildings.  The materials on this page were developed to assist educators and professors who include wet scrubbers as a topic in their classrooms or educational programs.

Fact Sheets

Roderick B. Manuzun and Lingying Zhao, The Ohio State University; Allison Jonjak, Nebraska

LPES Curriculum Lessons

Technology Summaries

Figure 1. A prototype wet scrubber developed by the Ohio State University for a deep-pit swine facility. Photo courtesy of Lingying Zhao, Ohio State.

This is from a 2008 conference hosted by Iowa State University

Acknowledgements

These materials were developed by the Air Quality Education in Animal Agriculture (AQEAA) project with with financial support from the National Research Initiative Competitive Grant 2007-55112-17856 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

For questions about the materials on this page contact Dr. Linying Zhao, Ohio State University (zhao.119@osu.edu). For questions about the AQEAA project, contact Dr. Rick Stowell, Unviersity of Nebraska (rstowell2@unl.edu).

If you have presentations, photos, video, publications, or other instructional materials that could be added to the curricula on this page, please contact Dr. Zhao or Jill Heemstra (jheemstra@unl.edu).

Efficacy of Vegetative Environmental Buffers to Mitigate Emissions from Tunnel-Ventilated Poultry Houses

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

The proceedings, “Mitigating Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations”, with expanded versions of these summaries can be purchased through the Midwest Plan Service.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Poultry (Broiler and Turkey)
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Environmental Barriers
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Dust, Ammonia, Odor

System Summary

Emissions of dust, gases and odor from poultry facilities pose major challenges for the poultry industry worldwide. Cost-effective technologies to abate emissions from modern tunnel-ventilated poultry houses are limited. In 2002 a three-row planting of trees was installed opposite two, 1.2 meter (4 ft) diameter tunnel fans to evaluate vegetative environmental buffers (VEB) as a means of mitigating emissions from the poultry house. The first row, 9.1 meters (30 ft) from the fans was 4.8 meter (16 ft) high bald cypress, followed by 4.3 meter (14 ft) high Leyland cypress and the outer most row of 2.4 meter (8 ft) high Eastern red cedar. Over the next six years the efficacy of these trees to reduce total dust, ammonia and odor was determined. Measurements were taken at 1.2 meter (4 ft) height on 47 days during peak fan operation with market-age broilers. The relative change in concentration across this 6.7 meter (22 ft) wide vegetative buffer found the VEB significantly reduced total dust, ammonia and odor by 56%, 54% and 26%, respectively. Meteorological conditions and the type of crop next to the VEB appeared to influence the efficacy of vegetation to reduce odor. Dust and ammonia concentration was influenced by these factors to a lesser degree. This suggests the use of trees as vegetative filters may offer a long-term, cost-effective means of partially abating emissions from houses. The local poultry industry trade association for the Delmarva Peninsula has hired a coordinator to implement tree plantings around farms to help abate emissions and to be proactive in addressing increasing neighbor-relations concerns.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Certain plants have the ability to absorb ammonia and capture particulates
  • Vegetation also acts as a sink for chemical constituents of odor
  • A properly designed windbreak aids in dispersion and dilutions of odors as well as reducing wind speed
  • A VEB planting has multiple goals; abate emissions, improve neighbor-relations, and provide shade and shelter of the house

Limitations

  • Growers need technical assistance on the proper design, implementation and care of VEB that is tailored to the unique features of each operation
  • Retrofitting a farm with VEB to capture emissions from all fans is difficult.
  • Species of tree and proper implementation influences time required for VEB to become effective in reducing emissions
  • VEB is a practical and multi-purpose BMP to partially abate emissions.

 

Cost

Average cost for implementing a VEB on an existing broiler farm is ~$5,500. Cost range from $1,500 for a limited one-row planting to provide a visual screen of the farm, and up to $12,000 for multi-row plantings around the outside perimeter of the poultry houses. There is limited information on design and efficacy of VEB plantings between houses. Locally, cost-share programs have provided support to cover most of the costs associated with implementing this program. Plantings to address neighbor-relations have been a driving factor in VEB establishment. An estimated 1/3 of all poultry farms have established VEB on the Delmarva Peninsula. A VEB is also a requirement for a new house loan from one of the major lending institutions.

Authors

George Malone1, Gary VanWicklen1, Stephan Collier1
1University of Delaware
Point of Contact:
George Malone, malone@udel.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Multi-pollutant Scrubbers for Removal of Ammonia, Odor, and Particulate Matter from Animal House Exhaust Air

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

The proceedings, “Mitigating Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations”, with expanded versions of these summaries can be purchased through the Midwest Plan Service.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine, Poultry
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Scrubber
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia, Odor, Particulate Matter

System Summary

In The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark packed-bed biotrickling filters and acid scrubbers for removal of ammonia from exhaust air of animal houses are off-the-shelf techniques for ammonia removal (70 – 95% average removal). At the moment a new generation of so-called “multi-pollutant scrubbers” is being developed and tested that not only removes ammonia but also aims for significant removal of odor and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from the air. Recently a 3-year research program has started that monitors and aims to improve the performance of five farm-scale multi-pollutant scrubber from different manufacturers. The preliminary results show that the average ammonia removal is relatively high (83%, n = 7) but that the average removal of odor (40%, n = 8) and particulate matter (PM10: 43%, n = 2; PM2.5: 42%, n = 2) needs to be improved further.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Ammonia scrubbers consist of two types: either acid scrubbers or biotrickling filters
  • Multi-pollutant air scrubbers usually consist of two or more scrubbing stages where subsequent removal of coarse dust, ammonia and odor takes place
  • Scrubber are mainly applied in pig housings with central ventilation ducts; application in poultry housings are scarce because of high dust concentrations
  • Already 10% of all exhaust air from pig houses The Netherlands is treated; this equals a treatment capacity of 79 million m3/hour

Limitations

  • Odor and dust removal is less effective than ammonia removal, at least for now
  • High concentrations of coarse dust result in blockage of packing material and increased energy use (pressure drop)
  • Costs are considered high, but multi-pollutant scrubbers provide an option for large scale livestock operations to remain in operation in areas nearby residential areas and sensitive ecosystems

Cost

Investment and operational cost of scrubbers for newly built production facilities in € / animal space.
Acid Scrubber Biotrickling Filter Multi-pollutant scrubber (3-stage water/acid/biotrickling)
Investment Costs 32.8 43.5 50.3
Operational Costs (year^1):
Depreciation (10%) 2.6 3.4 4.2
Maintenance (3%) 1.5 1.8 2.0
Interest (6%) 0.8 1.0 1.2
Electricity use ((€ 0.11 kWh^-1) 3.3 3.8 3.7
Water use (€ 1.0 m^-3) 0.6 1.7 0.6
Chemical use (€ 0.6 L^-1 H2SO4, 98%) 1.4 n/a 0.7
Water discharge [b 0.6 2.5 1.0
Total operational costs (year^-1) 10.8 14.3 13.5

[a] The investment costs are based on a maximum ventilation capacity of 60 m3 animal place-1 h-1.
[b] Water disposal costs are assumed of € 10/m3 for discharge from acid scrubbing and € 2/m3 for discharge from biotrickling or water scrubbing. For the multi-pollutant scrubber, discharge water from the biotrickling or water scrubbing step is reused in the acid scrubbing step. The systems do not include a denitrification unit which might significantly decrease water discharge costs.
[c] n/a = not applicable.

Authors

Roland W. Melse, Nico W.M. Ogink, Bert J.J. Bosma; Animal Sciences Group, Wageningen University and Research centre, The Netherlands
Point of Contact:
Roland W. Melse, roland.melse@wur.nl

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Significant Odor Reduction from a Highly Efficient Micro-ecosystem based on Biofiltration

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

The proceedings, “Mitigating Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations”, with expanded versions of these summaries can be purchased through the Midwest Plan Service.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Biofilter
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia, Hydrogen Sulfide, Particulate Matter, Odor

System Summary

Odor Cell Technologies LLC manufactures odor filtration technologies that attach to the exhaust ventilation of CAFO’s. These odor cells are approximately 1.2 m (4 feet) square hollow cubes with porous side walls filled with pine bark that vary in thickness depending upon the cfm and actual run-time of each stage of ventilation. Internal and external hydration is provided to the cells by a uniquely designed irrigation system controlled by timers and sensors. Odor cells utilize the principles of physical entrapment, water chemistry and microbial activity to dramatically improve air quality in and around agricultural and industrial facilities. Using the proven odor reducing principles inherent to composting, the organic odorous particles are entrapped, activated with moisture and attacked biologically at the point source. This allows naturally occurring bacteria to break down and cleanse gases and odors commonly found around these facilities. Odor Cell Technologies LLC‘s patented process creates a “micro-ecosystem” that significantly reduces odors and represents an environmentally friendly option to odor control. The successful installation of our technology has occurred on many sites throughout the Midwest.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Captures odorous organic particulate matter commonly produced by CAFO’s
  • Reduces NH3 and H2S concentrations
  • Utilizes an environmentally friendly filtering media, pine bark, that becomes biologically active with controlled hydration intervals
  • Cost efficient, durable, easily installed and maintained with positive aesthetic appeal
  • Ventilation efficiency can be easily monitored through physical inspection and static pressure measurements

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Limitations

  • Biofiltration is most effective on organic based odors and particulate matter
  • Media moisture levels need to be maintained between 30% and 65%
  • Static pressure requirements vary from .05 inches of water upon installation to .08 inches of water on a mature system
  • Pine bark may not be available at local retail outlets
  • Substitution of the recommended media may affect odor cell performance

Cost

Odor cell frames are constructed using stainless steel, DurameshTM hex netting, stainless steel tubing, nylon fittings and brass nozzles. These construction materials were chosen for durability and longevity due to the environment they will operate in. The following represents current pricing for the most common odor cells:

  • Standard P-8, $1200 plus $50 initial media fill
  • 5 inch odor cell, $1425 plus $65 initial media fill
  • 10 inch odor cell, $1650 plus $125 initial media fill
  • Porous rock base, approximately $20 per odor cell
  • Standard hydration package (Approximately $360 – timer, valves, control box, fittings , tubing, and hose)

Operational and maintenance costs are minimal. Media usage is approximately 10% per year. Hydration cycles can be controlled by an irrigation timer and rain sensor. A typical 1200 head swine finishing barn with 6 standard pit exhaust fans using all 10 inch odor cells would cost $11,130 upon installation (excluding shipping and labor) and $75 a year in operational expense. Assuming a complete change of media every 5 years, this equates to $.62 per pig space over 20 years or $.23 per pig produced over 20 years (assuming 2.6 turns per year).

Authors

Robert R. & Roger Treloar, Odor Cell Technologies LLC
Point of Contact:
Odor Cell Technologies LLC, odorcell@southslope.net

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Biofiltration: Mitigation for Odor and Gas Emissions from Animal Operations

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

The proceedings, “Mitigating Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations”, with expanded versions of these summaries can be purchased through the Midwest Plan Service.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine, Dairy
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Biofilter
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Hydrogen Sulfide, Ammonia, Methane, Volatile Organic Compounds, Odors

System Summary

A biofilter is simply a porous layer of organic material, typically wood chips or a mixture of compost and wood chips, that supports a population of microbes. Odorous building exhaust air is forced through this material and is converted by the microbes to carbon dioxide and water. The compounds in the air are transferred to a wet biofilm that grows on the filter material where microorganisms breakdown the odorous compounds.

Biofiltration can reduce odor and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions by as much as 95% and ammonia by 65%. The method has been used in industry for many years and was recently adapted for use in livestock and poultry systems. Biofilters work in mechanically ventilated buildings or on the pit fans of naturally ventilated buildings. Biofilters can also treat air vented from covered manure storage.

Two configurations of biofilters are being used to treat exhaust air from swine buildings: a horizontal media bed and a vertical media bed. Horizontal biofilters require more land area but are less expensive than vertical biofilters. Horizontal beds can be shallow (< 0.45 m) or deep (> 0.75 m).

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

Key factors influencing biofilter size and performance:

  • time the odorous gases spend in the biofilter
  • volume of air treated
  • moisture content of the filter material
  • sizing the biofilter media volume
  • selecting fans capable to push the air through the biofilter
  • choosing biofilter media

Limitations

  • Biofilters are only effective when there is a captured air stream
  • Media moisture content effects the biofilter performance, i.e. dry media results in poor odor reduction
  • Media porosity is related to the fan’s ability to move air through the biofilter. If media is less than 50% porosity most agriculture ventilation fans will not perform satisfactorily

Cost

Costs to install a biofilter include the cost of the materials—fans, media, ductwork, plenum—and labor. Typically, cost for new horizontal biofilter on mechanically ventilated buildings will be between $150 and $250 per 1,700 m3/hr (1,000 cfm). A vertical biofilter is approximately 1.5 times the cost of a horizontal biofilter. Annual operation/maintenance of the biofilter is estimated to be $5-$10 per 1,700 m3/hr (1,000 cfm). This includes the increase in electrical costs to push the air through the biofilter and the cost of replacing the media after 5 years.

Authors

R.E. Nicolai1, K.J. Janni2, D.R. Schmidt21South Dakota State University, 2University of Minnesota
Point of Contact:
Richard Nicolai, richard.nicolai@sdstate.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Practical Partial Biofiltration of Swine Exhaust Ventilation Air

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Biofilter
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Odor, Ammonia

System Summary

The mitigation technique discussed is to utilize biofiltration for a portion of swine barn ventilation air. The portion mitigated is that portion of air emitted into stable atmospheres. Stable atmospheres have poor vertical mixing potential and therefore gases and odors emitted tend to remain close to the earth’s surface and can therefore be sensed at longer distances downwind. It is impractical to mitigate all of the exhaust ventilation air required in swine housing. Techniques are needed that apply odor and gas mitigation to a portion of the ventilation air stream, when receptors might experience an odor event. Additionally, many barns incorporate combinations of fans and curtains (i.e. hybrid ventilated) to supply required ventilation air. Any mitigation strategy applied to barn ventilation air must be able to accommodate these hybrid ventilation systems as well.

Ventilation air exhausted during the heat of summer days is exhausted into an atmosphere that is, for the vast majority of times, very unstable providing excellent and natural mixing potential near the building source. In more stable atmospheres, typically present during the evening hours, biofiltration of a critical minimum amount of ventilation air (i.e. partial biofiltration) would reduce ammonia and odor emissions during those times when the potential for odor plumes to travel long distances is greatest. The overall effect would be a more attractive biofiltration strategy that maximizes ammonia and odor reduction potential when most needed.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Biofiltering of a critical minimum amount of ventilation air
  • Applies mainly to hybrid ventilated swine finishing facilities
  • Can be used as an odor “impact based” mitigation strategy

Limitations

  • Requires fan ventilation of barns up to about 81 m3/h-pig (48 ft3/min-pig)
  • Biofilter applications apply added stress to the ventilation system
  • Biofilters require ample water supply to keep the biofilter media in the 50-60% range

Cost

The biofilter application presented in this research required $4,959 for biofilter supplies and equipment including four new biofilter fans (300-head pig finishing room). Biofilter supplies, equipment, and construction labor resulted in a total implementation cost of $6,759 or $22.53/pig space. The added energy to operate the biofilter fans resulted in an additional $0.42/pig-produced.

Authors

Steven J. Hoff1, Jay D. Harmon1, Lide Chen1, Kevin A. Janni2, David R. Schmidt2, Richard E. Nicolai3, Larry D. Jacobson21Iowa State University, 2 University of Minnesota, 3South Dakota State University
Point of Contact:
Steven J. Hoff, hoffer@iastate.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Effects of Dietary Manipulation on Ammonia Emissions

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Swine
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Diet Modification
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia

System Summary

Dietary manipulation, such as lowering crude protein with amino acid supplementation or fiber addition, is an effective method to decrease ammonia emissions from swine finishing facilities. Lowering crude protein content of the diet with amino acid supplementation markedly reduces nitrogen excretion. In studies conducted for the entire finishing period (Bundy et al., 2008; Lachmann et al., 2007), lowering crude protein content by 3 percentage units with amino acid supplementation decreases total nitrogen excretion by approximately 30% and ammonium nitrogen concentration of the slurry by 37%. The decrease in nitrogen excretion reduces the concentration of ammonium in the slurry which in turn decreases ammonia emission. Results suggest a reduction in ammonia emission of up to 50% with the use of a low protein diet. Additionally, the reduction in ammonium concentration of the slurry also reduces slurry pH which affects ammonia volatilization. Addition of fiber sources to the diet reduces urinary urea excretion which can be degraded enzymatically to ammonia. Fiber addition affects nitrogen excretory patterns and reduces ammonium nitrogen concentration of the slurry which can lead to further reductions in ammonia emissions. The reduction in crude protein content or addition of fiber sources to swine diets can reduce or change nitrogen excretion patterns resulting in marked decreases in ammonia emissions for pigs housed in facilities with shallow pit, pull-plug waste storage systems.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • NH3 emissions from swine housing is dependent on the amount of nitrogen excreted
  • Swine typically excrete 30 to 50% of the nitrogen consumed
  • Reducing dietary crude protein with amino acid supplementation can markedly decrease nitrogen excretion
  • Addition of fiber sources to diets also has potential to influence nitrogen excretion patterns
  • These dietary manipulations can markedly decrease ammonia emissions from swine finisher facilities

Limitations

  • Correct estimation of the amino acid requirements of the pig is critical
  • Accurate supplementation of amino acids is critical to reduce risk on growth performance and carcass traits
  • Nutrient content of fiber sources is needed for diet formulation
  • Upper limits to crude protein reduction and fiber addition in diets
  • Cost of amino acid supplementation and use of nutritionist in formulation

Cost

The costs associated with dietary manipulation are solely dependent upon ingredient cost assuming growth performance and carcass traits are not adversely affected. Formulation of low protein diets involves the partial removal of soybean meal from the diet accompanied by replacement with corn and crystalline amino acids (lysine HCl, DL-methionine, L-threonine). Therefore, evaluation of implementation cost weighs the decrease in soybean meal costs versus the increase in corn and amino acid costs within the diet. Using March 2008 ingredient costs, diet costs for a conventional corn-soybean meal based diet and a low protein (-3%), amino acid supplemented diet are similar. Thus, assuming no difference in growth rate or feed intake, cost of gain and total feed cost for the finishing period are similar. Dietary costs need to be re-evaluated with changing ingredient costs.

Authors

Scott Carter, Mariela Lachmann, Justin Bundy; Oklahoma State University
Point of Contact:
Scott Carter, scott.carter@okstate.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Methane Emissions from Dairy Cattle

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Dairy
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Diet Modification
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Methane

System Summary

There are a large number of options that can potentially be used to mitigate methane emissions from dairy cattle. The basic result of using these approaches is an improvement in the efficiency of nutrient use in the animal and increased productivity. Methane emissions per unit of milk produced will decrease as a result of these changes. An important component is continuing to improve forage quality. Higher quality forages have higher digestibility in the cow and less methane emissions than lower quality forages. A second approach is to better balance the diet protein and carbohydrate fractions to improve the efficiency of both rumen fermentation and feed nutrient use. Methane emissions will be reduced as a result. There are also opportunities to provide specific feed additives to decrease methane emissions from the cow. Their use is currently limited due to lack of data to demonstrate their efficacy in lactating dairy cows. Ionophores are one feed additive that does have data indicating improved feed efficiency and decreased methane emissions.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

Potential mitigation options include:

  • Improved forage quality
  • Rations balanced to improve efficiency of rumen fermentation
  • Use of ionophores in rations

Limitations

  • Many options will require some financial investment
  • Management changes may be needed
  • Requires a systems approach
  • Feed additives that could be helpful in reducing methane emissions have not been tested in animal trials
  • Cost to benefit ratio cannot be defined for many practices that could be use

Cost

The cost of practices that could be implemented on a dairy farm to reduce methane emissions will be highly farm specific. Each farm will need to evaluate the available mitigation options to determine the best choices for their situation. The costs for implementation will also vary between farms due to differences in their current cost structures. The initial benefits to the farm will be improved efficiency of animal production, efficiency of nutrient use and improved profitability.

Authors

Larry Chase, Cornell University
Point of Contact:
Dr. L.E. Chase, lec7@cornell.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.

Effects of Sodium Bisulfate in Reducing Emissions from Dairy Cow Slurry

Reprinted, with permission, from the proceedings of: Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference.

This Technology is Applicable To:

Species: Dairy
Use Area: Animal Housing
Technology Category: Amendment (chemical)
Air Mitigated Pollutants: Ammonia, Methanol and Ethanol

System Summary

Sodium bisulfate may provide an effective management practice for the reduction of alcohols and ammonia emissions from dairy housing conditions. Application of sodium bisulfate (Parlor Pal) has been demonstrated to be effective in the mitigation of both ammonia and alcohols (methanol and ethanol) emissions from fresh dairy slurry. Ammonia emissions decrease with increasing levels of SBS treatment. Methanol and ethanol emissions also decrease with an increase in the amount of SBS applied.

Product should be applied to dairy drylots with a fertilizer spreader twice per week at a rate of 50 – 75 lb/1000 ft2 for control of ammonia, methanol, and ethanol emissions. However, SBS should not be spread evenly but rather topical around highly frequented cow areas (feed bunk, water troughs). Studies conducted at the University of California at Davis (UCD) showed reduction of ammonia of 61% from fresh manure. Application to enclosed drylots at UCD showed reductions of methanol and ethanol of 15-30%.

Applicability and Mitigating Mechanism

  • Emission of gaseous ammonia and alcohols from fresh slurry is dependent on pH, temperature, microbial activity and etc.
  • Bedding/surface manure pH is important factor for controlling NH3 volatilization
  • Application of SBS lowers pH of slurry and as a result reduces ammonia, methanol, and ethanol fluxes
  • Reduction in pH reduces bacterial population

Limitations

  • Sodium bisulfate must be applied consistently to manure to maintain constant emission reduction as the substance looses its effectiveness over time
  • In locations that are sensitive to salt or areas with existing high salt loading in soils, applications of SBS should be considered with care because sodium is on of its components
  • SBS is a mineral acid. Appropriate measures, as defined by the chemical supplier, should be used during the handling of SBS

Cost

Bulk cost of product delivered to the farm is $660.00/ ton. Application at 50 – 75 lb / 1000 ft2 2X / week equates to costs of between $33.00 – $49.50 / 1000 ft2 / week. Treatment of heavy use areas, approximately 30% of the total pen area, reduces total pen cost by 70%. Cost / cow assuming 4 cows / 1000 ft2 of pen area would be $2.48 – $3.71 / week treating only the heavy use areas.

Authors

Kim Stackhouse1, Jeffrey McGarvey2, Yuee Pan1, Yongijing Zhao1, Huawei Sun1, Wendi A. Jackson1, Lisa M. Nuckles1, Irina L. Malkina1, Veronica E. Arteaga1, and Frank M. Mitloehner 1University of California, Davis, 2 USDA-ARS, Albany CA
Point of Contact:
Frank Mitloehner, fmmitloehner@ucdavis.edu

The information provided here was developed for the conference Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Feeding Operations Conference held in May 2008. To obtain updates, readers are encouraged to contact the author.