Beef cattle manure can serve as a valuable source of nutrients for crop production. However, emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) after land application may pose an odor nuisance to downwind populations. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of land application method, diet, soil moisture content, and time since manure application on VOC emissions. Manure was collected from feedlot pens where cattle were fed diets containing 0, 10, or 30% wet distillers grains with solubles (WDGS). Land application methods included surface-applying manure (i.e., no-tillage) or incorporating manure using disk tillage. The effects of soil moisture content on VOC emissions was determined by adding water to each of the plots approximately 24 h after manure application. Isovaleric acid, butyric acid, and 4-methylphenol contributed 28.9, 18.0, and 17.7%, respectively, of the total measured odor activity values. In general, the largest emissions of volatile fatty acids and aromatics were measured during the initial collection periods on the no-tillage plots under dry soil moisture conditions. Emissions of volatile fatty acids and aromatics were reduced after water additions because these compounds were stored in the soil-water matrix rather than released into the atmosphere. In contrast, sulfide emissions generally increased with the addition of the water, especially on the plots containing manure from the 30% WDGS diet. Sulfur content of manure increases with higher percentages of WDGS feed stock. Application method, diet, soil moisture content, and time since application should be considered when estimating VOC emissions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law