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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Waste Management

Gaseous Nitrogen and Carbon Losses from Pig Manure Derived from Different Diets


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 2, p. 698-706
    Received: July 23, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): gerard.velthof@wur.nl
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  1. Gerard L. Velthof *a,
  2. Jaap A. Nelemansb,
  3. Oene Oenemaa and
  4. Peter J. Kuikmana
  1. a Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
    b Department of Soil Quality, Wageningen University and Research Center, P.O. Box 8005, 6700 EC Wageningen, the Netherlands


Manipulation of the diets of pigs may alter the composition of the manure and thereby the environmental and agricultural qualities of the manure. Laboratory studies were performed to quantify the effect of manipulation of pig diets on the chemical composition of the derived manure (slurry), the potential emission of methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) during anaerobic storage of the manure, and the potential nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emission after application of the manure to soil. The diets differed in contents of crude protein and salt (CaSO4), and the type and contents of nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP). Emissions of NH3 and CH4 during storage were smaller at a low than at a high dietary protein content. The emission of NH3 was significantly related to the contents of ammonium (NH4), total N, and pH. The emission of CH4 was significantly related to contents of dry matter, total C, and volatile fatty acids in the manure. The effect of manure composition on N2O emission markedly differed between the two tested soils, which points at interactions with soil properties such as the organic matter content. These types of interactions require soil-specific recommendations for mitigation of N2O emission from soil-applied pig manure by manipulation of the diet. From the tested diets, decreasing the protein content has the largest potential to simultaneously decrease NH3 and CH4 emissions during manure storage and N2O emission from soil. An integral assessment of the environmental and agricultural impact of handling and application of pig manure as a result of diet manipulation provides opportunities for farmers to maximize the value of manures as fertilizer and soil conditioner and to minimize N and C emissions to the environment.

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Copyright © 2005. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA