Optimising manure management for GHG outcomes

H.G. van der Meer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper focuses on improvements to livestock manure management to reduce environmental pollution and emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Livestock manures contain large amounts of plant nutrients and organic matter (OM). Structural changes to livestock production and ample supply of cheap chemical fertilisers have decreased the interest and possibilities of farmers in using manure for the fertilisation of crops and grasslands and maintenance of soil fertility. As a result, many livestock producers dispose of manure as cheaply as possible causing serious pollution of soil, water and atmosphere. In addition, livestock production systems contribute to climate change by emission of the GHG carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Careful recycling of livestock manures to fertilise crops and grasslands and improve soil fertility is considered the most suitable and cost-effective option for environmentally friendly disposal. Manure management legislation in The Netherlands is described to explain the principles. These include complete collection of faeces and urine of confined livestock, adaptation of the period and rate of manure application to the N and P requirements of crops, and use of manure collection, storage and application techniques aiming at low ammonia (NH3) losses. Effects of sustainable manure management on GHG emissions are described. Optimising the period, rate and technique of manure application to crops and grassland causes effective utilisation of manure N and reduces direct and indirect losses of N2O. In addition, effective recycling of manure nutrients and OM allows a reduction in the use of chemical fertilisers and fossil energy and contributes to the maintenance or improvement of the carbon content of agricultural ecosystems. The relatively high costs of sustainable manure management stimulate farmers to optimise feed conversion and minimise manure production per unit of product by good livestock feeding and management practices. High feed conversion efficiency reduces CH4 emission by enteric fermentation and may reduce feed imports and related GHG emissions. In addition, it is shown that livestock categories differ widely in feed conversion efficiency and N and P excretion per unit of product. Finally, anaerobic digestion of livestock slurries provides a valuable energy source and reduces CH4 emission of stored slurry and, possibly, N2O emission after field application of the slurry.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages38-45
    JournalAustralian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
    Volume48
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Fingerprint

    animal manure management
    Manure
    greenhouse gases
    animal manures
    Livestock
    Gases
    greenhouse gas emissions
    methane
    livestock
    nitrous oxide
    feed conversion
    grasslands
    livestock production
    crops
    recycling
    Environmental Pollution
    soil fertility
    soil organic matter
    ammonia
    Fertilizers

    Keywords

    • nitrous-oxide emissions
    • quality native hay
    • cattle slurry
    • ammonia emission
    • dinitrogen emissions
    • fertilizer nitrate
    • methane emission
    • dairy farms
    • new-zealand
    • grassland

    Cite this

    van der Meer, H.G. / Optimising manure management for GHG outcomes. In: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 2008 ; Vol. 48, No. 1-2. pp. 38-45.
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    author = "{van der Meer}, H.G.",
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    Optimising manure management for GHG outcomes. / van der Meer, H.G.

    In: Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, Vol. 48, No. 1-2, 2008, p. 38-45.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    AU - van der Meer, H.G.

    PY - 2008

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    N2 - This paper focuses on improvements to livestock manure management to reduce environmental pollution and emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Livestock manures contain large amounts of plant nutrients and organic matter (OM). Structural changes to livestock production and ample supply of cheap chemical fertilisers have decreased the interest and possibilities of farmers in using manure for the fertilisation of crops and grasslands and maintenance of soil fertility. As a result, many livestock producers dispose of manure as cheaply as possible causing serious pollution of soil, water and atmosphere. In addition, livestock production systems contribute to climate change by emission of the GHG carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Careful recycling of livestock manures to fertilise crops and grasslands and improve soil fertility is considered the most suitable and cost-effective option for environmentally friendly disposal. Manure management legislation in The Netherlands is described to explain the principles. These include complete collection of faeces and urine of confined livestock, adaptation of the period and rate of manure application to the N and P requirements of crops, and use of manure collection, storage and application techniques aiming at low ammonia (NH3) losses. Effects of sustainable manure management on GHG emissions are described. Optimising the period, rate and technique of manure application to crops and grassland causes effective utilisation of manure N and reduces direct and indirect losses of N2O. In addition, effective recycling of manure nutrients and OM allows a reduction in the use of chemical fertilisers and fossil energy and contributes to the maintenance or improvement of the carbon content of agricultural ecosystems. The relatively high costs of sustainable manure management stimulate farmers to optimise feed conversion and minimise manure production per unit of product by good livestock feeding and management practices. High feed conversion efficiency reduces CH4 emission by enteric fermentation and may reduce feed imports and related GHG emissions. In addition, it is shown that livestock categories differ widely in feed conversion efficiency and N and P excretion per unit of product. Finally, anaerobic digestion of livestock slurries provides a valuable energy source and reduces CH4 emission of stored slurry and, possibly, N2O emission after field application of the slurry.

    AB - This paper focuses on improvements to livestock manure management to reduce environmental pollution and emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Livestock manures contain large amounts of plant nutrients and organic matter (OM). Structural changes to livestock production and ample supply of cheap chemical fertilisers have decreased the interest and possibilities of farmers in using manure for the fertilisation of crops and grasslands and maintenance of soil fertility. As a result, many livestock producers dispose of manure as cheaply as possible causing serious pollution of soil, water and atmosphere. In addition, livestock production systems contribute to climate change by emission of the GHG carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Careful recycling of livestock manures to fertilise crops and grasslands and improve soil fertility is considered the most suitable and cost-effective option for environmentally friendly disposal. Manure management legislation in The Netherlands is described to explain the principles. These include complete collection of faeces and urine of confined livestock, adaptation of the period and rate of manure application to the N and P requirements of crops, and use of manure collection, storage and application techniques aiming at low ammonia (NH3) losses. Effects of sustainable manure management on GHG emissions are described. Optimising the period, rate and technique of manure application to crops and grassland causes effective utilisation of manure N and reduces direct and indirect losses of N2O. In addition, effective recycling of manure nutrients and OM allows a reduction in the use of chemical fertilisers and fossil energy and contributes to the maintenance or improvement of the carbon content of agricultural ecosystems. The relatively high costs of sustainable manure management stimulate farmers to optimise feed conversion and minimise manure production per unit of product by good livestock feeding and management practices. High feed conversion efficiency reduces CH4 emission by enteric fermentation and may reduce feed imports and related GHG emissions. In addition, it is shown that livestock categories differ widely in feed conversion efficiency and N and P excretion per unit of product. Finally, anaerobic digestion of livestock slurries provides a valuable energy source and reduces CH4 emission of stored slurry and, possibly, N2O emission after field application of the slurry.

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    KW - cattle slurry

    KW - ammonia emission

    KW - dinitrogen emissions

    KW - fertilizer nitrate

    KW - methane emission

    KW - dairy farms

    KW - new-zealand

    KW - grassland

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