Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, and Ammonia Emissions from Digested and Separated Dairy Manure during Storage and Land Application


U.S. Department of Agriculture - Ag Data Commons (USDA-NAL)


Barford and Carol


This data set includes measurements of greenhouse gas (GHG) and ammonia fluxes from dairy manure, with accompanying measurements of manure physical and chemical characteristics. The manure was collected from two farms in the Great Lakes region and subjected to varying treatments of anaerobic digestion and liquid-solid separation. Farm 1 was a private farm with a 2,560-cow diary herd. Manure was collected three times daily using skid steers. Both digestion and separation of manure were performed at Farm 1. Farm 2 was the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center in Prairie du Sac, WI with a 350-cow herd and manure collected by scrape daily. Farm 2 had a separator but no digester.

Gas fluxes from manure of each treatment type were monitored both from manure storage barrels ("Storage_GHG" tab of dataset), and from field-applied manure ("Field_GHG" tab). The "Manure" tab gives information about the manure chemical and physical characteristics after treatment (i.e. after digestion and/or separation) and during barrel storage. The "Soil" tab gives information about soil chemical contents during the time period of flux measurements from field-applied manure. Manure storage was during November 2013 – May 2014. In May 2014 the stored manure was surface-applied and immediately incorporated on 3.3 m^2 plots at Farm 2 in a randomized block design, at a rate of 320 kg N/ha. Field corn (maize) was planted in the plots. Note that gas fluxes are given as cumulative mass flux over the monitoring period, with sampling approximately once a week during storage (November 2013 – May 2014) and field monitoring (May 2014 – September 2014). The instrument used to measure both storage barrel and field fluxes was a "Gasmet" brand Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy gas analyzer. Each flux sample was taken over 7 minutes with gas concentrations measured every 20 seconds. Flux data from different manure fraction "treatments" are reported as the measured fluxes, and also as the fluxes normalized to a raw manure (i.e. whole, wet manure) weight basis.

This experiment is part of the project called “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Dairy Production Systems of the Great Lakes Region,” also known as the Dairy Coordinated Agricultural Project (Dairy CAP). The Dairy CAP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (award number 2013-68002-20525). The main goal of the Dairy CAP is to improve understanding of the magnitudes and controlling factors over GHG emissions from dairy production in the Great Lakes region. Using this knowledge, the Dairy CAP is improving life cycle analysis (LCA) of GHG production by Great Lakes dairy farms, developing farm management tools, and conducting extension, education and outreach activities.


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