Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Nitrogen Losses from Grazed Dairy and Animal Housing Systems

Jiafa Luo (Editor)
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China
AgResearch, Hamilton, New Zealand

Yan Li (Editor)
Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering (Shandong Province), Qilu University of Technology, Shandong Academy of Science, PR, China
Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China

Series: Green Research, Developments, and Programs
BISAC: SCI026000

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Stand-off pads and animal housing practices (i.e., animal confinement) are increasingly being used in animal grazing systems; these methods are introduced to avoid crop and soil damage, and because it makes herd management easier. The use of animal houses and stand-off pads to avoid grazing during the risk periods for nitrogen (N) losses could be an effective greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation technology, and contribute to the overall goal to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture. However, there is uncertainty about unintended consequences (or ‘pollution swapping’) from these farm systems. Such consequences include potential nitrous oxide (N2O), ammonia (NH3) and methane (CH4) losses from the animal confinement facilities themselves, and following land application of effluent/manure collected from these facilities. In this book, impacts of the use of stand-off pads and animal housing on farm system GHG emissions and N losses are assessed.

A literature review and targeted field surveys were conducted to investigate animal confinements and their use in the New Zealand grazing dairy farming systems (Chapter One). Data was collected from published literature and unpublished reports to assess GHG emissions, including N2O, NH3 and CH4, from animal confinements and the collection, storage and subsequent land application of the manure that was generated (Chapters Two-Four). Some potential management practices and technologies for reducing GHG emissions from animal confinements and the land application of animal manure and slurry were also evaluated (Chapters Two-Six). System analyses and life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of restricted grazing technologies were reviewed to identify the carbon footprints and cost-effectiveness of whole-farm systems associated with animal confinements (Chapters Seven and Nine). Additionally, the LCA methodology and cost effectiveness analysis were used to assess the total GHG emissions of dairy farm systems involving off-paddock facilities over the winter in Waikato and Southland in New Zealand (Chapters Eight and Ten). (Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Executive Summary

Chapter 1. Off-Grazing Animal Confinement Facilities and Their Use in New Zealand
Bob Longhurst and Jiafa Luo (AgResearch, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Chapter 2. Gaseous Emissions from Dairy Manure Collection in Animal Confinement Facilities
Jiafa Luo, Yan Li, Stuart Lindsey, Benjamin Woodward, Xinhao Gao, Yongping Jing, and Luji Bo (Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China, and others)

Chapter 3. Gaseous Emissions from Dairy Manure Storage
Jiafa Luo, Tony van der Weerden, Yan Li, Cecile de Klein, Emily Thom, Yongping Jing, Yingpeng Zhang, and Luji Bo (AgResearch, New Zealand, and others)

Chapter 4. Gaseous Emissions and Land Applications of Slurries and Solid Manures
Yan Li, Jiafa Luo, Yongping Jing, Yingpeng Zhang, Luji Bo, and Deshui Tan (Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China, and others)

Chapter 5. Dietary Manipulation as a Tool for Mitigating Nitrous Oxide Emissions
Sheree Balvert and Jiafa Luo (AgResearch, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Chapter 6. Optimal Cattle Manure Application Rates to Maximise Crop Yield and Minimise Risk of Nitrogen Loss to the Environment
Yongping Jing, Yan Li, Yingpeng Zhang, Jiafa Luo, Luji Bo, Ming Sun, and Ziwen Zhong (Institute of Agricultural Resources and Environment, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China, and others)

Chapter 7. A Review of the Life Cycle Assessment of Off-Grazing Technologies
Stewart Ledgard and Shelley Falconer (AgResearch, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Chapter 8. The Estimated Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Different Types of Housed/Restricted-Grazing Systems Used during the Winter in Southland and Waikato, New Zealand, Using Life Cycle Assessment
Stewart Ledgard and Shelley Falconer (AgResearch, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Chapter 9. A Review of the Cost-Effectiveness of Grazing-Off Practices
Femi Olubode-Awosola, James Turner and Akiko Horita (Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton, New Zealand, and others)

Chapter 10. Housed versus Restricted Winter Grazing Systems: A Cost Analysis in Southland and Waikato, New Zealand
Femi Olubode-Awosola, James Turner, and Akiko Horita (Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton, New Zealand, and others)

About the Editors

Index

“For the first time, this book brings together greenhouse gas emission and nitrogen losses from both grazed pastures and animal housing systems. This well-written book contains stand-alone chapters which provide coverage of a number of important issues and techniques of managing nitrogen losses that are not commonly covered in most text books focusing on nitrogen. This book, edited by two of the leading experts in nitrogen dynamics in soil, will be a valuable resource material for students, researchers, teachers, policy makers and above all farming community.” - Nanthi Bolan, Professor of Soil Science, Global Centre for Environmental Remediation, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, The University of Newcastle, Australia

"I have really enjoyed reading this book. As someone who has been involved in research on nutrient flows in the food production and consumption chain, I know there is a severe lack of knowledge to assess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from animal housing and grazing systems. The authors of this book describe system analyses and life cycle assessment (LCA) methods to identify the carbon footprints and cost-effectiveness of whole farm systems associated with animal confinements. The authors further illustrate the LCA methodology and cost effectiveness analysis in assessment of the total GHG emissions from example dairy farm systems. This book will serve as a reference to scientists and researchers who are working in the relevant environmental area. I am convinced that this book will be of great interest to many environmental scientists, agricultural scientists, ecological scientists and policy makers in the world." - Professor Lin Ma, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetic and Developmental Biology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

"New Zealand has relatively wet, but mild, winters and therefore grazing of pastures occurs all year round. However, grazing on wet soils can lead to degradation of soil structure, with subsequent adverse effects on pasture quality and production. Improvements in winter management of grazing include moving animals to stand-off pads. Recently in some parts of Europe and China, farmers are using more cost-effective out-wintering pads, “exercise” ground or woodchip corrals that are similar in design to stand-off pads in New Zealand. There is little information available on how stand-off pads affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This book reports on GHG emission data obtained from grazed systems involving stand-off pads and animal confinements. The impacts of stand-off pads on total GHG emissions from the whole dairy farm system, as well as cost effectiveness, are assessed. I recommend this book to researchers, university students, rural professionals and policy makers who are interested in environmental impacts of animal farming systems." - Hong J. Di, ONZM, FRSNZ, FNZSSS, FNZIAHS, Professor of Soil and Environmental Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, New Zealand

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