Quantification of ambient p-cresol concentrations downwind of beef cattle feedyards
Livestock operations have become more concentrated in the Texas Panhandle, amplifying the need to manage odor and other nuisances while maintaining operational capabilities. As the cattle feeding industry sustains many small communities in the Texas Panhandle economically, it is imperative we develop greater understanding of odors and odor transport from beef cattle feedyards. Ambient concentrations of p-cresol, a significant odor component, was measured downwind of two beef cattle feedyards using thermal desorption tubes and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Downwind chemical concentrations of p-cresol were highest at the property line, but were drastically lower at the 0.8 km (0.5 mi) sampling locations and below most published odor thresholds at 2.4 km (1.5 miles). A sample obtained during stable atmospheric conditions 13 km (8 miles) downwind of a feedyard following a rain event had a noticeable odor and an elevated p-cresol concentration.