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Ammonia emissions from the field application of liquid dairy manure after anaerobic digestion or mechanical separation in Ontario, Canada

Evans, Leigh, VanderZaag, Andrew C., Sokolov, Vera, Baldé, Hambaliou, MacDonald, Doug, Wagner-Riddle, Claudia, Gordon, Robert
Agricultural and forest meteorology 2018 v.258 pp. 89-95
ammonia, ammonium nitrogen, anaerobic digestion, application rate, dairy farming, dairy manure, emissions, farmers, liquid manure, liquids, models, pH, spring, wind tunnels, Ontario
Anaerobic digestion (AD) and solid-liquid separation (SLS) are manure treatment strategies used on dairy farms. These treatments change manure characteristics, such as pH, dry matter, and total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN) which affect ammonia (NH3) emissions after field application. This study used eight wind tunnels (1 m2 each) to compare the effects of application season and dairy manure treatment (AD vs SLS) on NH3 emissions. The highest cumulative NH3 emissions were seen in the spring from the AD manure treatment, which had higher TAN and pH compared to SLS. On the other hand, when normalized by TAN application rate there was no significant difference between AD and SLS manure in either spring (52 and 54% of TAN after 22 d, respectively) or fall (26% and 27% of TAN after 15 d, respectively). This suggests that if farmers adjusted application rates based on TAN content, NH3 emissions from applied AD manure could be minimized. Results were compared to the Ammonia Loss from Field Applied Manure (ALFAM) model. The model characterized the temporal pattern of emissions reasonably well in spring, but not fall. The model generally overestimated NH3 emissions during the first 24 h after application, and underestimated emissions after incorporation from day 2 to 22.