Nitrogen transformations and greenhouse gas emissions during composting of manure from cattle fed diets containing corn dried distillers grains with soluble and condensed tannins.

Hao, X., Benke, M.B., Li, C.L., Larney, F.J., Beauchemin, K.A., and McAllister, T.A. (2011). "Nitrogen transformations and greenhouse gas emissions during composting of manure from cattle fed diets containing corn dried distillers grains with soluble and condensed tannins.", Animal Feed Science and Technology, 166-167, pp. 539-549. doi : 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2011.04.038  Access to full text

Abstract

Condensed tannins (CT) in ruminant diets reduce ruminal N degradation, but there is little research on how these phenolic compounds alter N metabolism during manure composting. This study investigated effects of CT additives in cattle diets on N content and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manure composting. This open windrow composting experiment consisted of two replications and three treatments being: (1) CK: manure from cattle fed a diet containing 860 g/kg barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grain, 90 g/kg barley silage and 50 g/kg supplement on a dry matter (DM) basis, (2) DDGS: diet similar to (1) with 400 g/kg corn (Zea mays L.) dried distillers grain with solubles (DDGS) replacing barley grain, and (3) DDGS + CT: diet as described in (2) but with the addition of 25 g/kg DM Acacia mearnsii CT. After 56 days of composting (Phase 1), windrows in each treatment were thoroughly mixed and divided into four portions. Two portions received additional mature compost (100 kg/tonne DM) as a source of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) and the other two received none. Portions were moved into individual bins for 57 days (Phase 2) of composting, followed by 104 days (Phase 3) of composting. Adding NOB had no effect on final compost properties or GHG emissions. Total C, total N and NH4+ in final compost were higher (P<0.001) in DDGS + CT than in the DDGS and CK treatments, increasing the value of the compost as a fertilizer. Including CT in the diet did not affect CO2, CH4 or N2O emissions during composting. Results demonstrate that substituting DDGS for barley at 400 g/kg and adding 25 g/kg CT to cattle diets increases the agronomic value of the manure and compost as fertilizer without increasing GHG emissions.