Greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions from grazing beef cattle in Alberta and Ontario Canada
Authors: Chai, L., R. Kr
Description: The agricultural production in Canada contributed 8% of the total national greenhouse gas [GHG, primarily in the form of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)] emissions and 85% of the atmospheric ammonia (NH3), with most emissions stemming from animal production, especially beef. The grazing system is one of the primary feeding operations used for beef production in Canada, quantifying emissions of GHG and NH3 from the grazing system is difficult due to varying pasture management, climate conditions, and animal activities over regions. Total emissions of enteric CH4, manure-CH4, direct and indirect N2O, and NH3 were estimated based on Canadian specific methods/models for beef cattle grazing in Alberta and Ontario. Region-specific information on climate (e.g., air temperature and precipitation), animals (e.g., body weight, weight gain, pregnancy, and lactating), and diet (e.g., digestible energy and crude protein content) was applied in emissions calculation. Emission factors of CH4, N2O, and NH3 based on per grazing cattle and per animal unit (one animal unit =500kg) were developed and compared between ecoregions in Alberta and Ontario. The effect of changes in grazing management such as the use of enclosed pasture or open ranges, percentage of alfalfa, and fertilization history, etc., climate conditions (e.g., monthly air temperature), and animal activities (e.g., congregation) on emissions was assessed. We also report on the potential beneficial management practices for mitigating emissions of CH4, N2O, and NH3 from beef cattle grazing.
Keywords: Beef production, grazing, enteric methane, ammonia, nitrous oxide, emission factors
Technical field: Biological Systems Engineering
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2015 Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB, 5-8 July 2015.
Session name: Biosystem Management IV - Climate Change
Citation: Chai, L., R. Kr
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering