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A novel and effective technology for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from land-applied manures

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Hill, J., Redding, M. and Pratt, C. (2016) A novel and effective technology for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from land-applied manures. Animal Production Science, 56 (3). p. 362. ISSN 1836-0939


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AN15519


Land-applied manures produce nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas (GHG). Land application can also result in ammonia (NH3) volatilisation, leading to indirect N2O emissions. Here, we summarise a glasshouse investigation into the potential for vermiculite, a clay with a high cation exchange capacity, to decrease N2O emissions from livestock manures (beef, pig, broiler, layer), as well as urea, applied to soils. Our hypothesis is that clays adsorb ammonium, thereby suppressing NH3 volatilisation and slowing N2O emission processes. We previously demonstrated the ability of clays to decrease emissions at the laboratory scale. In this glasshouse work, manure and urea application rates varied between 50 and 150 kg nitrogen (N)/ha. Clay : manure ratios ranged from 1 : 10 to 1 : 1 (dry weight basis). In the 1-year trial, the above-mentioned N sources were incorporated with vermiculite in 1 L pots containing Sodosol and Ferrosol growing a model pasture (Pennisetum clandestinum or kikuyu grass). Gas emissions were measured periodically by placing the pots in gas-tight bags connected to real-time continuous gas analysers. The vermiculite achieved significant (P ≤ 0.05) and substantial decreases in N2O emissions across all N sources (70% on average). We are currently testing the technology at the field scale; which is showing promising emission decreases (~50%) as well as increases (~20%) in dry matter yields. This technology clearly has merit as an effective GHG mitigation strategy, with potential associated agronomic benefits, although it needs to be verified by a cost–benefit analysis.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:agriculture, greenhouse gas mitigation, manure management, nitrogen, vermiculite.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Conservation of natural resources
Animal culture > Other special topics
Live Archive:22 Mar 2016 02:24
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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