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Rate and frequency of urease inhibitor application for minimizing ammonia emissions from beef cattle feedyards
- Parker, D.B., Pandrangi, S., Greene, L.W., Almas, L.K., Cole, N.A., Rhoades, M.B., Koziel, J.A.
- Transactions of the ASAE 2005 v.48 no.2 pp. 787
- beef cattle, concentrated animal feeding operations, cattle manure, ammonia, gas emissions, odor emissions, urease inhibitors, odor control, application rate
- Reduction of ammonia emissions from animal feeding operations is important from the perspective of environmental policy and its impact on agriculture. A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate how rate and frequency of urease inhibitor application affect ammonia emissions from simulated beef cattle feedyard manure surfaces. The urease inhibitor N-(n-butyl)thiophosphoric triamide (NBPT) was applied at rates of 0, 1, and 2 kg ha(-1), at 8, 16, and 32 day frequencies, and with or without simulated rainfall. Synthetic urine was added every two days to the manure surface. Gaseous ammonia was trapped by bubbling through a sulfuric acid solution using a vacuum system and analyzed for nitrogen using automated procedures. NBPT applied every 8 days was most effective, with the 1 and 2 kg NBPT ha(-1) treatments resulting in 49% to 69% reduction in ammonia emission rates, respectively. The 8-day, 1 kg NBPT ha(-1) treatments had the most promising benefit/cost ratios of 0.48 to 0.60. Simulated rainfall reduced the ammonia emission rates from 1% to 25% as compared to the non-rainfall treatments, although the differences were not statistically different. The use of NBPT for reducing ammonia emissions looks promising; however, possible buildup of urea in the pen surface may require a higher NBPT application rate with time.