Accounting for uncertainties in ammonia emission from manure applied to grassland

P.W. Goedhart*, J.F.M. Huijsmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A recent study has raised doubts about the ammonia emission reduction achieved in the Netherlands when applying manure to grassland by means of low-emission techniques such as narrow band and shallow injection. The critics claim that percentages of ammonia released to the atmosphere associated with low-emission techniques might even overlap with that from surface broadcast spreading given the large alleged experimental uncertainties in measurements. Consequently, the rationale behind the regulations to which farmers are exposed is questioned. In this study, it is shown that the alleged large uncertainties were obtained by means of an erroneous statistical method and that the real uncertainties are much smaller. It is also shown that, even when there is a large uncertainty in individual measurements, previous conclusions about differences in emission between different manure application techniques are still valid. It is further argued in this study that uncertainty in the percentage of applied ammonia emitted is implicitly taken into account in any comparative statistical analysis conducted in the past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-602
JournalSoil Use and Management
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017

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