Methane (CH4) emissions from cattle feedlots and dairies could represent a large component of agriculture's greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory. A significant source of CH4 is anaerobic lagoons used to store and process manure slurries. Understanding these systems is a crucial step in quantifying the carbon budgets of livestock operations. New open-path CH4 analyzers provide a method for measuring CH4 emissions from waste lagoons on a near continuous basis. The resulting data will help to better quantify GHG emissions related to beef and milk production. At a commercial dairy in northeastern Colorado during 2011 – 2012, emissions of CH4 were measured at the on-site waste lagoon (3.1-ha) using a micrometeorological measurement technique called eddy covariance (EC). The only method to directly measure fluxes of energy and trace gases at the field-scale, EC is widely utilized around the globe to quantify carbon and water budgets for a variety of ecosystems and landscapes. Methane fluxes peaked around 7 mol m^-2 d^-1 in mid- to late-summer 2012, with much variability from Jul – Oct (5 +/- 1.4 mol m^-2 d^-1). Yearly carbon budgets for the release of methane from the lagoon will be examined as well.
Kira Shonkwiler, Colorado State University, Dept of Atmospheric Science email@example.com
Dr. Jay Ham, Colorado State University, Dept of Soil and Crop Sciences, Christina Williams, Colorado State University, Dept of Soil and Crop Sciences
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