ABSTRACT: Livestock manure is a significant source of ammonia (NH3) emissions. In the atmosphere, NH3 is a precursor to the formation of fine aerosols that contribute to poor air quality associated with human health. Other environmental issues result when NH3 is deposited to land and water. Our study documented the quantity of NH3 emitted from a feedlot housing growing beef cattle. The study was conducted between June and October 2006 at a feedlot with a one-time capacity of 22,500 cattle located in southern Alberta, Canada. A backward Lagrangian stochastic (bLS) inverse-dispersion technique was used to calculate NH3 emissions, based on measurements of NH3 concentration (open-path laser) and wind (sonic anemometer) taken above the interior of the feedlot. There was an average of 3146 kg NH3 d(-1) lost from the entire feedlot, equivalent to 84 microg NH3 m(-2) s(-1) or 140 g NH3 head(-1) d(-1). The NH3 emissions correlated with sensible heat flux (r2 = 0.84) and to a lesser extent the wind speed (r2 = 0.56). There was also evidence that rain suppressed the NH3 emission. Quantifying NH3 emission and dispersion from farms is essential to show the impact of farm management on reducing NH3-related environmental issues.
Journal of Environmental Quality 36(6):1585-90. · 2.32 Impact Factor