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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 5, p. 1416-1422
     
    Received: Nov 4, 2009


    * Corresponding author(s): bryan.woodbury@ars.usda.gov
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doi:10.2134/jeq2009.0438

Using Electromagnetic Induction Technology to Predict Volatile Fatty Acid, Source Area Differences

  1. Bryan L. Woodbury *a,
  2. Roger A. Eigenberga,
  3. Vince Varela,
  4. Scott Leschb and
  5. Mindy J. Spiehsa
  1. a USDA–ARS, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE 68933
    b Riverside Public Utilities–Resource Division, Riverside, CA. Assigned to Associate Editor Robert S. Dungan

Abstract

Subsurface measures have been adapted to identify manure accumulation on feedlot surfaces. Understanding where manure accumulates can be useful to develop management practices that mitigate air emissions from manure, such as odor or greenhouse gases. Objectives were to determine if electromagnetic induction could be used to predict differences in volatile fatty acids (VFA) and other volatiles produced in vitro from feedlot surface material following a simulated rain event. Twenty soil samples per pen were collected from eight pens with cattle fed two different diets using a predictive sampling approach. These samples were incubated at room temperature for 3 d to determine fermentation products formed. Fermentation products were categorized into acetate, straight-, branched-chained, and total VFAs. These data were used to develop calibration prediction models on the basis of properties measured by electromagnetic induction (EMI). Diet had no significant effect on mean volatile solids (VS) concentration of accumulated manure. However, manure from cattle fed a corn (Zea mays L.)–based diet had significantly (P ≤ 0.1) greater mean straight-chained and total VFA generation than pens where wet distillers grain with solubles (WDGS) were fed. Alternately, pens with cattle fed a WDGS-based diet had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater branched-chained VFAs than pens with cattle fed a corn-based diet. Many branched-chain VFAs have a lower odor threshold than straight-chained VFAs; therefore, emissions from WDGS-based diet manure would probably have a lower odor threshold. We concluded that diets can affect the types and quantities of VFAs produced following a rain event. Understanding odorant accumulation patterns and the ability to predict generation can be used to develop precision management practices to mitigate odor emissions.

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