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J Environ Qual. 2016 Nov;45(6):1979-1987. doi: 10.2134/jeq2016.02.0056.

Effects of Feeding Encapsulated Nitrate to Beef Cattle on Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Their Manure in a Short-Term Manure Storage System.


A study was conducted to investigate effects of feeding encapsulated nitrate (EN) to beef cattle on ammonia (NH) and greenhouse gas emissions from their manure. Eight beef heifers were randomly assigned to diets containing 0 (control), 1, 2, or 3% EN (55% forage dry matter; EN replaced encapsulated urea in the control diet and therefore all diets were iso-nitrogenous) in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Urine and feces collected from individual animals were reconstituted into manure and incubated over 156 h using a steady-state flux chamber system to monitor NH, methane (CH), carbon dioxide (CO), and nitrous oxide (NO) emissions. Urinary, fecal, and manure nitrate (NO)-N concentration linearly increased ( < 0.001) with feeding EN, and urinary urea concentration tended to be lower ( = 0.078) for EN versus Control. The hourly emissions of NH, CO, and NO (mg head h) were not affected, although NH emission rates tended to be lower ( = 0.070) for EN compared with Control at 0 to 12 h. Cumulative NH, CO, and NO emissions over 156 h were not affected, but CH emissions were less (4.5 vs. 7.4 g head; = 0.027) for EN compared with Control. In conclusion, although NH emissions were initially lower for EN manures, total NH emitted over 156 h was not affected. Dietary EN lowered CH emissions from manure, and, despite greater NO concentrations in EN manure, NO emissions were not affected in this short-term incubation.

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