Determining seasonal greenhouse gas emissions from ground-level area sources in a dairy operation in central Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural production operations are recognized as an important air quality issue. A new technique following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Method TO-14A was used to measure GHG emissions from ground-level area sources (GLAS) in a free-stall dairy operation in central Texas. The objective of this study was to quantify and report GHG emission rates (ERs) from the dairy during the summer and winter using this protocol. A weeklong sampling was performed during each season. A total of 75 and 66 chromatograms of air samples were acquired from six delineated GLAS (loafing pen, walkway, barn, silage pile, settling basin, and lagoon) of the same dairy during summer and winter, respectively. Three primary GHGs--methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O)--were identified from the dairy operation during the sampling periods. The estimated overall ERs for CH4, CO2, and N2O during the summer for this dairy were 274, 6005, and 7.96 g head(-1)day(-1), respectively. During the winter, the estimated overall CH4, CO2, and N2O ERs were 52, 7471, and 3.59 g head(-1)day(-1), respectively. The overall CH4 and N2O ERs during the summer were approximately 5.3 and 2.2 times higher than those in the winter for the free-stall dairy. These seasonal variations were likely due to fluctuations in ambient temperature, dairy manure loading rates, and manure microbial activity of GLAS. The annualized ERs for CH4, CO2, and N2O for this dairy were estimated to be 181, 6612, and 6.13 g head(-1)day(-1), respectively. Total GHG emissions calculated for this dairy with 500 cows were 2250 t of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.

published proceedings

  • J Air Waste Manag Assoc

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Borhan, M. S., Capareda, S., Mukhtar, S., Faulkner, W. B., McGee, R., & Parnell, C. B.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Borhan, MS||Capareda, Sergio||Mukhtar, Saqib||Faulkner, William B||McGee, Russell||Parnell, Calvin B

publication date

  • January 2011