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Project will study greenhouse gas emissions from manure storage

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PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental Systems (DES) is seeking farm partners for a study of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manure storage sites.

Methane is an important GHG emitted from manure storages. New York State (NYS) has begun an intensive effort to reduce methane emissions in support of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Despite its significance in air quality and climate change, the sources and quantities of methane from dairy farms are uncertain. DES has a project to help define the existing impacts of methane from manure storage and the potential treatments to reduce it. The project aims to improve GHG emission estimates and provide observational evidence to support best practices to reduce emissions from dairy farms in NYS.

DES will measure air methane concentration using a backpackable gas analyzer around and near the perimeter of in-ground, long-term storages of dairy manure about once monthly for at least two years and up to 30 months. A drone for vertical and aerial methane measurements and a ground-based meteorological station will be used to construct methane emission flux estimates. Initial visits will include sampling for nitrous oxide (another GHG) using a similar gas concentration analyzer.

The temperature within each long-term manure storage will also be measured. Influent and effluent from each storage will be sampled to determine volatile solids content and nutrient content (ammonia, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, total phosphorus, potassium) to try to refine a predictive equation.

DES will include each of the following dairy manure storage types that have a known input, a scheduled emptying, and are not excessively influenced by surrounding barns. Satellite/remote storages may be possible.

  1. Raw manure
  2. Raw manure separated liquid
  3. Digested manure, unseparated
  4. Digested manure, separated liquid
  5. Digested manure + food waste, unseparated
  6. Digested manure + food waste, separated liquid

Results will inform how to help dairy farms establish a baseline and then move towards sustainability. Please contact us with potential sites to be considered for inclusion in the study.

Lauren Ray (ler25)
Peter Wright (pew2)

Angela George (ag2292)

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