New Study Quantifies Dairy Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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A new study unveiled today, including research from an Idaho laboratory, details for the first time how large-scale dairy facilities contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases. The research was conducted by Agricultural Research Service scientists at the ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Lab in Kimberly, Idaho.

The year-long project monitored emissions of ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from an Idaho dairy with 10,000 milk cows, 20 open-lot pens, two milking parlors, a hospital barn, a maternity barn, a manure solid separator, a 25-acre wastewater storage pond and a 25-acre compost yard.

The results indicate that, on an average day, the facility generated 3,575 pounds of ammonia, 33,092 pounds of methane and 409 pounds of nitrous oxide.

Results of the study were published in the Journal of Environmental Quality.

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