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Livestock Production
Monday, August 28, 2006 9:38:50 AM
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Practices to reduce ammonia emissions from livestock operations

 
Stanley R. Johnson

 

 

This is a clear and well presented paper on the various practices that would reduce ammonia emissions on farms.

 

These practices can be applied to animal housing, manure and compost storage areas, and land where manure is applied. This document provides an overview of control practices for each situation, highlights their advantages and disadvantages, and allows producers to make informed choices after evaluating production and economic aspects of their operations.

 

In livestock facilities, ammonia results primarily from the breakdown of urea (present in urine) by the enzyme urease (excreted in feces).

 

In poultry, urease is excreted with uric acid. Undigested feed protein and wasted feed are additional sources of ammonia in animal production systems.

 

Strategies to reduce ammonia from animal housing focus primarily on preventing ammonia formation and volatilization, or downwind transmission of ammonia after it is volatilized. Four practices used to control ammonia emission from livestock housing are discussed

 

Filtration and Biofiltration-Biofilters have been developed primarily to reduce emissions from the deep-pit manure ventilation exhausts, and, to a lesser extent, from the building exhaust. It can effectively and inexpensively reduce exhaust odors.

 

Impermeable Barriers-Windbreak walls or air dams have proven effective in reducing both downwind dust particle concentrations and odor concentration. Windbreak walls have been constructed with 10-foot _ 10-foot pipe frames and tarpaulins, and placed at the end of swine-finishing buildings, immediately downwind of the exhaust fans. Downwind dust and odor concentrations were reduced on demonstration facilities.

 

Landscaping- Landscaping acts as a permeable filter for particle emissions, slowing the emission movement and diluting the concentrations of emissions. Trees and shrubs act as biofilters for fine particles.

 

Dietary Manipulation-The most promising dietary manipulation consists of supplying non-ruminants with the amino acids they need, including crystalline ones, instead of supplying feeds based on crude protein. In swine, dairy, and poultry, nitrogen excretion is reduced by approximately 8.5 to 10 percent for each one-percentage unit reduction in dietary crude protein

 

Besides these four main methods, other aspects of reducing ammonia emissions were also discussed, such as urine/feces segregation. The article also provide advice on dry manure storage and additives.

 
 

For more of the article, please click here

 

Article made possible through the contribution of the Iowa State University

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