Cotton harvesting emission factors based on source sampling Conference Paper uri icon


  • Air quality regulation across the U.S. is intensifying due to increasing public concern for environmental protection. Non-attainment status with Federal particulate matter (PM) air quality standards has forced air pollution regulators in some states to focus emission reduction efforts on previously exempt agricultural operations. Specifically, farmers in California and Arizona are required to obtain air quality permits for all crop production operations including harvesting, tillage, and planting. Producers are also required to submit conservation management plans detailing the actions the producer will take to reduce fugitive PM emissions from their operation. Permit fees and fines for violations add substantially to production costs. A problem faced by producers and regulators is the lack of accurate emission factors for many agricultural field operations including cotton harvesting. The objective of this work is to document the protocol and PM emission factors developed for a six row cotton picker using a novel source measurement technique. The area based TSP, PM10, and PM2.5 emission factors developed in this work are 1.64, 0.55, and 1.58E-03 kg ha-1, respectively (1.46, 0.49, and 1.41E-03 lb ac-1, respectively). In terms of PM emitted per harvested cotton mass, the TSP, PM10, and PM2.5 emission factors are 0.22, 0.07, and 2.15E-4 kg bale-1, respectively (0.48, 0.15, and 4.74E-4 lb bale-1, respectively). The average systematic uncertainty of the emission rate measurements is 2.78% indicating that the resulting emission factors likely accurately represent the emissions from the harvester. The use of accurate emission factors in the regulatory process will help regulators focus their emission reduction efforts on the most appropriate sources.

published proceedings

  • American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2008, ASABE 2008

author list (cited authors)

  • Wanjura, J. D., Faulkner, W. B., Parnell, C. B., Shaw, B. W., Capareda, S. C., & Lacey, R. E.

complete list of authors

  • Wanjura, JD||Faulkner, WB||Parnell, CB||Shaw, BW||Capareda, SC||Lacey, RE

publication date

  • January 2008