Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Open-Lot Cattle Feedyards: A Review. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nitrous oxide (NO) emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations, including cattle feedyards, have become an important research topic. However, there are limitations to current measurement techniques, uncertainty in the magnitude of feedyard NO fluxes, and a lack of effective mitigation methods. The objective of this review was to assess NO emission from cattle feedyards, including comparison of measured and modeled emission rates, discussion of measurement methods, and evaluation of mitigation options. Published annual per capita flux rates for beef cattle feedyards and open-lot dairies were highly variable and ranged from 0.002 to 4.3 kg NO animal yr. On an area basis, published emission rates ranged from 0 to 41 mg NO m h. From these studies and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emission factors, calculated daily per capita NO fluxes averaged 18 10 g NO animal d (range, 0.04-67 g NO animal d). This variation was due to inconsistency in measurement techniques as well as irregularity in NO production and emission attributable to management, animal diet, and environmental conditions. Based on this review, it is clear that the magnitude and dynamics of NO emissions from open-lot cattle systems are not well understood. Further research is required to quantify feedyard NO fluxes and develop cost-effective mitigation methods.

published proceedings

  • J Environ Qual

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Waldrip, H. M., Todd, R. W., Parker, D. B., Cole, N. A., Rotz, C. A., & Casey, K. D.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Waldrip, Heidi M||Todd, Richard W||Parker, David B||Cole, N Andy||Rotz, C Alan||Casey, Kenneth D

publication date

  • November 2016