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An ecoregion-specific ammonia emissions inventory of Ontario dairy farming: Mitigation potential of diet and manure management practices

Chai, L., Kröbel, R., MacDonald, D., Bittman, S., Beauchemin, K.A., Janzen, H.H., McGinn, S.M., Vanderzaag, A. (2016). An ecoregion-specific ammonia emissions inventory of Ontario dairy farming: Mitigation potential of diet and manure management practices, 126 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.11.030

Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The Canadian ammonia (NH3) emissions model and a survey of dairy farm practices were used to quantify effects of management on emissions from dairy farms in Ontario Canada. Total NH3 emissions from dairy farming were 21 Gg NH3-N yr-1 for the four ecoregions of the province. Annual emission rates ranged from 12.8 (for calves in ecoregions of Manitoulin-Lake Simcoe-Frontenac) to 50 kg NH3-N animal-1 yr-1 (for lactating cows in ecoregions of St. Lawrence Lowlands) (mean of 27 kg NH3-N animal-1 yr-1). The St. Lawrence Lowlands ecoregion had the highest emission rate because more dairy manure was managed as solid manure in that ecoregion. Total dairy cattle N intake (diet-N) was 81 Gg N yr-1, 23% of which was retained in animal products (e.g., milk, meat, and fetus), 47% was returned to the land, and 30% was emitted as gas (i.e., NH3-N, N2O-N, NO-N, and N2-N) and nitrate-N leaching/runoff. Ammonia volatilization constituted the largest loss of diet-N (26%), as well as manure-N (34%). Reducing the fraction of solid manure by 50% has the potential to mitigate NH3 emissions by 18% in Ontario ecoregions.

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