Auditing and Assessing Air Quality in Concentrated Feeding Operations1231Contribution from the USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Res. Laboratory, Bushland, TX 79012, in cooperation with the Texas Agricultural Exp. St., Amarillo, and West Texas A&M Univ., Canyon.2Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the USDA.3Presented at the Annual ARPAS Symposium Current and Future On-Farm Auditing and Assessment, San Antonio, TX, July, 2007. Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2008 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. The potential adverse effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) on the environment are a growing concern. The air quality issues of most concern to CAFO vary but generally include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases, and odors. Air pollutants may be regulated by federal and state laws or by nuisance complaints. The United States Environmental Protection Agency, and poultry, swine, and dairy industries recently agreed to the National Air Emissions Monitoring System to fund research on atmospheric emissions from production farms in the United States. Air quality regulations may be based on actual emissions, atmospheric concentrations, or human perception, or via limiting the size or location of CAFO. Measuring the concentrations or emissions of most air pollutants is expensive and complex. Because of spatial and temporal variability, concentrations and emissions must be measured continuously over an extended period of time. Because different methods or models can give different results with the same data set, a multitude of methods should be used simultaneously to assure emissions are reasonable. The "best" method to measure concentrations andemissions will depend upon atmospheric concentrations, cost, facility characteristics, objectives, and other factors. In the future, requirements formonitoring of air emissions from CAFO will probably increase. Reliable processbased models need to be developed so that emissions of air pollutants can be estimated from readily obtained diet, animal, facility, and environmental variables. Auditors will need to be trained in a variety of disciplines including animal sciences, chemistry, engineering, micrometeorology, instrumentation, modeling, and logic.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cole, N. A., Todd, R., Auvermann, B., & Parker, D.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • February 2008