NITROUS OXIDE EMISSIONS FROM AN OPEN-LOT BEEF CATTLE FEEDYARD IN TEXAS Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Abstract. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas (GHG) with a global warming potential much greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Nitrous oxide is emitted from the manure-covered pen surfaces of open-lot beef cattle feedyards, and more than six million beef cattle are fed in the Southern Great Plains. A field research project was conducted to determine the temporal and spatial variability of N2O emissions from the pen surfaces of a commercial feedyard before and after simulated rainfall. Two week-long monitoring cycles were conducted in April and August 2018 in the Texas Panhandle. Temporal variability was assessed using six continuous automated flux chambers per pen, and spatial variability was assessed using a portable chamber at up to 61 locations in a single pen. Diurnal fluxes varied 5-fold to 10-fold over a 24 h period. Flux varied seasonally, with arithmetic means of 0.56 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1 in April and 3.21 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1 in August. Fluxes measured spatially across the pen surface over a 2 h period at midday were lognormally distributed, with April geometric and arithmetic means of -0.81 and 0.80 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1, respectively, and August geometric and arithmetic means of 0.095 and 2.6 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1, respectively. Fluxes peaked shortly after simulated rainfall. Arithmetic mean N2O-N flux for the 2 d after rainfall increased over the background level by 4.6-fold in April and 1.7-fold in August. Manure properties measured at the time of flux measurement were poorly correlated with N2O emissions and were of little value for predicting N2O emissions, which confirmed that further work is warranted on the biochemistry of feedyard manure. The results of this field research will help refine models for predicting N2O emissions from open-lot beef cattle feedyards and help to develop effective mitigation methods to conserve feedyard N. Keywords: Beef cattle, Flux chamber, Greenhouse gas, Manure, Nitrous oxide, Rainfall.

published proceedings

  • TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASABE

author list (cited authors)

  • Parker, D. B., Casey, K. D., Waldrip, H. M., Min, B. R., Woodbury, B. L., Spiehs, M. J., & Willis, W.

complete list of authors

  • Parker, DB||Casey, KD||Waldrip, HM||Min, BR||Woodbury, BL||Spiehs, MJ||Willis, W

publication date

  • January 1, 2019 11:11 AM