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Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Methane Emissions from a Dairy Operation in North China Plain

Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Methane Emissions from a Dairy Operation in North China Plain Hindawi Publishing Corporation Advances in Meteorology Volume 2011, Article ID 190234, 7 pages doi:10.1155/2011/190234 Research Article Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Methane Emissions from a Dairy Operation in North China Plain 1 1, 2 1 3 4 Zhiling Gao, Huijun Yuan, Wenqi Ma, Jianguo Li, Xuejun Liu, and Raymond L. Desjardins College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071000, China Baoding Municipal Environmental Monitoring Station, Baoding 071000, China College of Animal Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071000, China College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijng 100193, China Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0C6 Correspondence should be addressed to Zhiling Gao, zhilinggao@hotmail.com Received 22 August 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011 Academic Editor: Hann-Ming Henry Juang Copyright © 2011 Zhiling Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In China, dairy cattle managed in collective feedlots contribute about 30% of the milk production and are believed to be an important contributor to national methane emissions. Methane emissions from a collective dairy feedlot in North China Plain (NCP) were measured during the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons with open-path lasers in combination with an inverse dispersion technique. Methane emissions from the selected dairy feedlot were characterized by an apparent diurnal pattern with three peaks corresponding to the schedule of feeding activities. On a per capita basis, daily methane emission rates of −1 −1 these four seasons were 0.28, 0.32, 0.33, and 0.30 kg head d , respectively. In summary, annual methane emission rate was −1 −1 −1 112.4 kg head yr associated with methane emission intensity of 32.65 L CH L of milk and potential methane conversion factor Y of 6.66% of gross energy intake for mature dairy cows in North China Plain. 1. Introduction In China, management practices are frequently different from one dairy facility to another; hence, large uncertainties The dairy cow population in China has increased from in the inventory estimates are anticipated. 40,000 animals to 13.25 million animals during the period Dairy cattle in China are being managed in different of 1949–2006. Dairy production has become one of the most types of dairy facilities. Based on the number of animals, profitable and increasing industries in the agriculture sector these facilities are either classified as intensive, collective, in China. For example, in 2008, the GDP originated from or household level operations [5]. As reported by Ma et Chinese dairy industry was 101.5 billion, which accounted al. [6], about 45%, 29.3%, and 25.9% of the Chinese for about 10% of the total animal production and about 3.0% dairy cow population is held in household, collective, and of totalagriculturalproduction[1]. intensive dairy facilities, respectively, and the collective dairy Considerable efforts have been made to estimate enteric feedlot has been considered a transition phase that links methane emissions from dairy cows in China in order to the transformation from household to intensive level. For improve the accuracy of national methane inventory [2–4]. example, the management of manure in collective systems These inventories are mainly based on the Intergovernmental is similar with the intensive facility but the feed composition Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodology. However, and feeding activities might differ from pen to pen because many studies have demonstrated that methane emissions it is mainly determined by separate owners. As a result, from ruminants are strongly influenced by factors such the methane emission factors from dairy cows in collective as feeding activity, composition of feedstuffs, and use of facilities should be different from those in household additives, which are not included in the IPCC methodology. or intensive facilities due to different feeds management. 2 Advances in Meteorology Therefore, measurements are required to quantify these Background concentration emission factors in order to improve the accuracy of present 8 7 6 methane inventories as well as to evaluate the effectiveness 4 3 2 1 of mitigation strategies for reducing methane emission from the dairy industry. A previous measurement carried out in North China has been published by Gao et al. [7]. However, more actual measurement results are required because, firstly, in that study, methane emissions from dairy feedlot were quantified only in fall and winter seasons; secondly, herd composition in that dairy operation only represents one of management practices in North China. Therefore, to fully characterize the methane emissions at whole farm scale during a full year and enhance our understanding on the impact of herd composition on methane emissions, in this study, we used similar measurement techniques and strategies as Gao et al. Scale (m) [7] to quantify methane emissions from a collective dairy 0 20406080 100 feedlot in Baoding, North China. The objectives of this study were to: (1) further confirm the temporal pattern of Animal pen methane emissions, (2) calculate annual emission rates, and Laser path 3-D sonic (3) estimate the potential methane conversion factor Y for dairy cattle managed in collective dairy operation in North Figure 1: Overview of the feedlot and an illustration of the loca- China Plain. tions of instruments. Laser-path labeled 1 was used for the winter period and the path labeled 2 was used for the spring, summer, and fall periods. 2. Material and Methods 2.1. Experimental Site. A collective dairy feedlot in Baoding city in North China Plain was selected for characterizing and Table 1: Average animal population and density for each pen dur- quantifying methane emissions at whole farm scale. Four ing the summer period. field campaigns during winter (Dec. 1 to 31 in 2009), spring 2 −1 Pen ID Total population (head) Density (m head ) (Mar. 17 to Apr. 11 in 2010), summer (Jun. 13 to Jul. 17 in 1 210 29.2 2010), and fall (Oct. 29 to Nov. 16 in 2010) seasons were 2 188 32.7 carried out respectively. Around the dairy operation, there 3 187 32.8 were no other significant methane sources within 1 kilometer of the measurement site. 4 177 34.7 5 156 39.4 2.1.1. Description of Feedlot. Within this dairy operation, all 6 173 35.5 the dairy cattle including milking cows, dry cow, heifers, and 7 180 34.1 calves were managed in 8 large pens as shown in Figure 1. 8 169 36.3 The total area of the feedlot was 4.91 ha and the total capacity was about 1800 heads. The dairy population of this operation during the four seasons varied from 1204 to 1519 with an 2.1.2. Dairy Operation. Dairy cattle were fed three times average of 1345 heads. The herd distribution within these a day at 4:30 am, 11:30 am, and 4:30 pm, respectively. eight pens during the summer is given in Table 1. The average Each feeding period lasted about one hour. As shown in 2 −1 density ranged from 29.2 to 39.4 m head .Effort was made Table 2, the ration mainly included fermented corn silage to separate calves less than 3 months from mature cows, that and concentrate diet. Only a few farmers fed corn grain is, calves were usually fenced in a mini pen (approximately and soybean meal at this feedlot. Lactating cows were 3 ∗ 3m ) close to the shelter within a regular pen at the milked twice a day between 4:30–6 : 30 am and 4:30–6:30 corner. pm. The milk production per milking cow was about In addition, there were shelters for feeds storage between −1 −1 14.5 ± 1.7 kg head d with the fat and protein contents pens 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, and 7 and 8 (Figure 1). Alley- of 3.4% and 3.0%, respectively. The fat and protein corrected ways (approximately 1.5–3.0 m wide) for moving milking −1 −1 (FPCM) milk production was 13.2 ± 1.55 kg head d [8]. cows from dairy pens to the milking hall were between pens 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6 and 7. The feedlot floor was paved with bricks. Manure in the feedlot was removed periodically 2.2. Methane Measurement. An open-path laser system and collected for either mushroom or vegetable cultivation. (GasFinder MC, Boreal Laser Inc. Edmonton, Canada) was Of the dairy population, about 54% of herd were lactating used to measure methane concentrations. It works in the cows, the rest were dry cows and heifers over one year age near Infrared (1653 nm) and consists of a laser transmitter and calves (6–12 month) (Table 2). head and a reflector. The laser beam is transmitted from Shelter Road Shelter Road Shelter Road Shelter Advances in Meteorology 3 Table 2: Herd structure and feed composition during the four seasons. −1 −1 −1 −1 −1 −1 Items Heads Corn silage (kg head d ) Concentrates (kg head d ) Total dry matter intake (kg head d ) Lactating cows 722 10.48 9.25 19.73 Nonlactating cows 216 9.55 2.49 12.04 Heifer (12–24 months) 238 8.68 4.87 13.55 Calves (3–12 months) 103 3.71 2.36 6.07 Calves (<3months) 66 the control unit to the transmitter head via a fiber-optic publications because it is capable of mimicking numerical cable and then directed to a retroreflector through the trajectories efficiently and provide accurate emission air. In-field calibration showed that the actual detection estimates. sensitivity of the open-path laser system was 2-3 ppm ∗ m In addition, the data filtering criteria for the 15-min (equivalent to about 0.03 ppm with apathlengthof100m) average micrometeorological parameters suggested by [10, and also showed that the concentration measurements were 11] were used in order to satisfy the assumptions in Wind underestimated; thus, a correction factor of 1.06 obtained Trax. Thus, periods with parameters that did not fulfill the from this in-field test was used for all the measurements. following requirements were rejected: Laser sensors and reflectors were installed on two masts −1 (1) u∗ > 0.15 m s , within the feedlot. The laser path length was 123 m for path 1 and 124 for path 2 . The heights of both laserpaths (2) |L| > 10 m (eliminate extremely stable or unstable were 2.4 m (Figure 1). Methane background concentrations micrometeorological cases), were measured at north side of the feedlot when the wind (3) z < 0.15 m (in this feedlot environment, z greater 0 0 was northerly during each measurement period. Methane than 0.15 m was associated with erroneous wind concentrations were recorded every second and the 15-min profile), averages were stored. (4) the percentage of touchdown covered feedlot area of total feedlot area was greater than 20%. This value 2.3. Micrometeorological Measurements. A Gill 3-D sonic might be varied with size of emission sources from anemometer (Gill Instrument Ltd. Lymington, UK), in- 5% [11] to 40–50% [12, 13]. stalled on a mast near the center of the feedlot at a height of 6 m above the ground surface, was used to characterize the micrometeorological conditions of the feedlot (Figure 1). 2.5. Gross Energy Intake. During each measurement period, The measurement height was determined with the assump- the dry matter intake for lactating cows and nonlactating cows andheifers wasmeasured(Table 2). For each category, tion that the characteristics of the internal boundary layer within the feedlot area can be measured when the ratio 20 animals were selected and the fresh feeds including silage of the sonic sensor height to fetch ratio is less than 0.1. and concentrates were weighted on farm and the respective In our case, this ratio varied from 0.04 to 0.05 with wind samples were taken into lab for analysis. The average feed directions. During all measurement periods, wind velocities intakes of 20 animals for each category were used for the and temperature were measured at a frequency of 10 Hz. calculation of energy intake and methane conversion factor Raw wind parameters were sampled using EdiSol and Y . calculated for 15-min intervals using EdiRe software package both developed by University of Edinburgh. These data are 3. Results and Discussion utilized to compute the feedlot wind parameters used in 3.1. Variations in the Methane Concentration. Measurements the bLS dispersion technique such as u∗, Obukhov stability outside the feedlot showed that methane background con- length (L), roughness length (z ), wind direction (β), and centration varied from 1.82 to 1.91 ppm .Hourlymean standard deviations of the velocity components (σ ). u,v,w methane concentration within the feedlot during each measuring periods is shown in Figure 2. These varied from 2.4. Calculation of Methane Emission Rates. The software approximately 2.05 ppm to about 7.34 ppm . Thus, is the v v WindTrax (http://www.thunderbeachscientific.com/)was minimal methane concentration rise over the background used to calculate methane emissions (Q ). This software bLS was about 0.1-0.2 ppm , which was substantially larger than package is based on the bLS dispersion model described the resolution of open-path laser system of 0.03 ppm . by Flesch et al. [9, 10]. The model assumes a diabatic logarithmic mean wind profile and traditional Monin- Obukhov Similarity Theory (MOST) relationships for the 3.2. Diurnal Pattern of Methane Emissions. After applying turbulent statistics [10]. By assuming an ideal surface layer the data filtering criteria given in Section 2.4, emission associated with a stationary atmosphere, the wind statistics estimates were calculated using WindTrax package. During can be determined with the sonic-derived parameters (U, the four measurement periods, the wind direction varied β, z , L and σ ). This technique has been successfully from 0 to 359 degrees, indicating that emissions from the 0 u,v,w used to quantify emissions from animal facilities in many entire feedlot were observed. In order to obtain an unbiased 4 Advances in Meteorology 10 10 8 8 6 6 4 4 2 2 0 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 (a) (b) 10 10 4 4 2 2 0 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 (c) (d) Figure 2: Hourly mean methane concentrations at 2.4 m during winter (a), spring (b), summer (c), and fall (d) measurement periods. Bars indicate the range of concentration within ± standard deviation. emission estimate for each measurement period, that is, not during winter, spring, summer, and fall. Through this overweighted toward a particular time of day, hourly average study, differences of about 21% were observed between emission rates were calculated using an ensemble average summer and winter. This apparent difference might be partly of usable 15-min estimates during each hour across each attributed to the relatively lower methane emissions from seasonal measurement period [12, 14, 15]. For all cases, at manure within the feedlot due to the low temperature during least 11 estimates were available for each hour. the winter period [20, 21]. Methane emission rates during By using the above strategy, hourly methane emission summer and spring are very similar yet considerably greater rates on per capita basis for winter, spring, summer, and than during winter time. fall seasons are presented in Figure 3. Hourly emissions In order to understand the relationship between methane −1 per capita varied from 6.8 to 23.1 g hr (winter), 7.0 to emission rates and temperatures, further analysis was con- −1 −1 21.6 g hr (spring), 9.9 to 22.6 g hr (summer), and 2.1 to ducted. Hourly average air temperatures for each hour −1 30.1 g hr (fall), respectively. For measurement seasons of during each measurement season were calculated, where winter and spring, three methane emission peaks during the mean daily air temperatures during winter, spring, a day were observed, starting at approximately 5:00 am, summer, and fall seasons were −3.2, 9.5, 27.3, and 8.3 C, 11:30 am and 4:00 pm, peaking at 7:00 am, 12:00 am, respectively. The average daily methane emission rates and and 6:00 pm, and lasting about 2–5 fours. However, this the corresponding air temperatures are plotted in Figure 4. pattern in summer and fall seasons was not as clear as winter It can be seen that methane emission rate appeared to and summer seasons. These peaks appear to correspond to increase with air temperature, which to some extent confirms the feeding activities [11, 16]. Similar patterns have been the temperature impact on methane emission reported by previously reported by Kinsman et al. [17] and Gao et al. [7]. [22]and Amon et al.[23]. Butsuchtemperature-derived In addition, measurements on a beef feedlot also showed a influence is still debatable due to an error of approximately similar pattern related to the feeding time [14]. 15% with the inverse dispersion technique used in this study [12, 24], and more measurements are required to examine this issue. 3.3. Seasonal Pattern of Methane Emissions. When calculating the methane emission rate on an animal basis, the con- tribution by calves less than three months was neglected 3.4. Annual Methane Emission Rates from this Dairy Oper- [18, 19]. Based on this procedure, the emissions rate on a per ation. Annual methane emission on a per animal basis −1 −1 animal basis were 0.28, 0.32, 0.33, and 0.30 kg head d , from this collective dairy feedlot was calculated by averaging respectively, associated with an error of 0.04, 0.05, 0.05, emission rates of four measurements. Given an error of 15% −1 −1 and 0.04 kg head d (this error is estimated with an 15% of the inverse dispersion technique, the calculated methane −1 −1 error of the bLS model suggested by Harper et al. [11]) emission rate of 112.4 ± 16.9 kg animal yr includes the Methane concentration (ppm ) v Methane concentration (ppm ) Methane concentration (ppm ) Methane concentration (ppm ) v Advances in Meteorology 5 40 40 10 10 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 Time of the day Time of the day (a) (b) 40 40 30 30 10 10 0 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 Time of the day Time of the day (c) (d) Figure 3: Diurnal patterns of methane emissions over the feedlot during winter (a), spring (b), summer (c), and fall (d) seasons. Bars indicate the uncertainty of hourly averaged methane emission rates and arrows indicate the timing of feeding activities on this feedlot. −1 −1 146 kg animal yr by Laubach and Kelliher [26], and 118– 40 0.5 −1 −1 121 kg animal yr by Grainger et al. [27]. It appears that this emission factor is close to the lower end of the range 30 0.4 presented in the literature, which may be due to the relatively 20 0.3 low methane emission rates of heifers. In order to better compare the emission rate of mature cows (i.e., lactating 0.2 and nonlactating cows) in this study to literatures, further 0.1 0 calculations for only lactating and nonlactating cows were made with the assumption that the methane emission rates −10 0 −1 −1 of heifers and calves (3–12 months) were 40 kg animal yr Winter Spring Summer Fall −1 −1 [28] and 62 kg animal yr [29], respectively. By consider- Measurement seasons ing the herd structure showed in Table 2, ensemble annual −1 −1 Mean temperature methane emission rate of 132.5 ± 19.9 kg animal yr CH emission for mature cattle of lactating and nonlactating cows was obtained, which falls into the middle emission rates range in Figure 4: Daily methane emission rates and average temperature the literature. during winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons. Methane emission intensity based on milk production basis was calculated using the obtained methane emis- sion rate and milk production on the basis of milk fat enteric emissions from lactating, nonlactating cows, heifers, content of 4.0% and protein content of 3.3% [8]. It and calves (3–12 months) and emissions from manure within showed that, in our study, a methane emission intensity the feedlot. This value is very similar in comparison with a −1 −1 of 0.023 kg± 0.003 CH kg d of milk (i.e., 32.65 ± previous study by Gao et al. [7] also carried out in Baoding. 4.78 L CH /L of milk) was obtained. This value is similar to If we assume the methane emission rate from manure 4 −1 −1 that of 32.2 L CH /L of milk in apreviousstudy by;Gao et al. was about 10 kg animal yr [21], further calculations can −1 [7] but higher than other literatures such as 24.9 L CH kg be made to obtain the ensemble average enteric emission 4 −1 of milk by Verge` et al. [30], 21.4 L CH kg of milk by Sauer rate of dairy cattle including lactating, nonlactating cows, 4 −1 et al. [31] and 20.6 L CH kg of milk by Kinsman et al. [17], heifers, and calves (3–12 months), which was 102.4 kg CH −1 −1 which appears to confirm the relatively low milk productivity animal yr . in China [7]. Many studies have quantified methane emissions from dairy cattle using various methods. For example, McGinn et al. [25] who used the same measurement technique 3.5. Calculation of Methane Conversion Factor (Y ). It has for a whole herd with lactating and nonlactating cows, been reported in the literature that methane conversion heifers, and less than one year calves obtained slightly factors (Y ) for ruminant livestock ranged from 4.0% to greater emissions. From a global view, a relatively wider 10% [32]. In order to estimate Y for mature cows in our range of emission factors was obtained for lactating study, several assumptions were made based on a previous −1 −1 cows: 142–146 kg CH animal yr by Kinsman et al. [17], study [7]. As described above, the methane emission rate of −1 −1 CH emission rate CH emission rate 4 CH emission rate (kg head d ) −1 −1 −1 −1 (g head hr ) (g head hr ) Mean air temperature ( C) CH emission rate CH emission rate 4 4 −1 −1 −1 −1 (g head hr ) (g head hr ) 6 Advances in Meteorology enteric fermentation for our mature dairy cattle was esti- [3] D. Hongmin, L. Erda, L. Yue, R. Minjie, and Y. 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Sauer, V. Fellner, R. Kinsman et al., “Methane output and lactation response in holstein cattle with monensin or unsaturated fat added to the diet,” Journal of Animal Science, vol. 76, no. 3, pp. 906–914, 1998. [32] K. R. Lassey, “Livestock methane emission: from the individ- ual grazing animal through national inventories to the global methane cycle,” Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol. 142, no. 2–4, pp. 120–132, 2007. [33] J. Li, Modern Dairy Cattle Production, China Agricultural University Press, Beijing, China, 2007. [34] J. Wang, Modern Dairy Breeding, China Agriculture Press, Beijing, China, 2006. [35] K. Johnson,M.Huyler, H. Westberg,B.Lamb, andP.Zimmer- man, “Measurement of methane emissions from ruminant livestock using a SF6 tracer technique,” Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 359–362, 1994. [36] D. A. Boadi and K. M. 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Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Methane Emissions from a Dairy Operation in North China Plain

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Hindawi Publishing Corporation Advances in Meteorology Volume 2011, Article ID 190234, 7 pages doi:10.1155/2011/190234 Research Article Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Methane Emissions from a Dairy Operation in North China Plain 1 1, 2 1 3 4 Zhiling Gao, Huijun Yuan, Wenqi Ma, Jianguo Li, Xuejun Liu, and Raymond L. Desjardins College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071000, China Baoding Municipal Environmental Monitoring Station, Baoding 071000, China College of Animal Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071000, China College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijng 100193, China Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0C6 Correspondence should be addressed to Zhiling Gao, zhilinggao@hotmail.com Received 22 August 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011 Academic Editor: Hann-Ming Henry Juang Copyright © 2011 Zhiling Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In China, dairy cattle managed in collective feedlots contribute about 30% of the milk production and are believed to be an important contributor to national methane emissions. Methane emissions from a collective dairy feedlot in North China Plain (NCP) were measured during the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons with open-path lasers in combination with an inverse dispersion technique. Methane emissions from the selected dairy feedlot were characterized by an apparent diurnal pattern with three peaks corresponding to the schedule of feeding activities. On a per capita basis, daily methane emission rates of −1 −1 these four seasons were 0.28, 0.32, 0.33, and 0.30 kg head d , respectively. In summary, annual methane emission rate was −1 −1 −1 112.4 kg head yr associated with methane emission intensity of 32.65 L CH L of milk and potential methane conversion factor Y of 6.66% of gross energy intake for mature dairy cows in North China Plain. 1. Introduction In China, management practices are frequently different from one dairy facility to another; hence, large uncertainties The dairy cow population in China has increased from in the inventory estimates are anticipated. 40,000 animals to 13.25 million animals during the period Dairy cattle in China are being managed in different of 1949–2006. Dairy production has become one of the most types of dairy facilities. Based on the number of animals, profitable and increasing industries in the agriculture sector these facilities are either classified as intensive, collective, in China. For example, in 2008, the GDP originated from or household level operations [5]. As reported by Ma et Chinese dairy industry was 101.5 billion, which accounted al. [6], about 45%, 29.3%, and 25.9% of the Chinese for about 10% of the total animal production and about 3.0% dairy cow population is held in household, collective, and of totalagriculturalproduction[1]. intensive dairy facilities, respectively, and the collective dairy Considerable efforts have been made to estimate enteric feedlot has been considered a transition phase that links methane emissions from dairy cows in China in order to the transformation from household to intensive level. For improve the accuracy of national methane inventory [2–4]. example, the management of manure in collective systems These inventories are mainly based on the Intergovernmental is similar with the intensive facility but the feed composition Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodology. However, and feeding activities might differ from pen to pen because many studies have demonstrated that methane emissions it is mainly determined by separate owners. As a result, from ruminants are strongly influenced by factors such the methane emission factors from dairy cows in collective as feeding activity, composition of feedstuffs, and use of facilities should be different from those in household additives, which are not included in the IPCC methodology. or intensive facilities due to different feeds management. 2 Advances in Meteorology Therefore, measurements are required to quantify these Background concentration emission factors in order to improve the accuracy of present 8 7 6 methane inventories as well as to evaluate the effectiveness 4 3 2 1 of mitigation strategies for reducing methane emission from the dairy industry. A previous measurement carried out in North China has been published by Gao et al. [7]. However, more actual measurement results are required because, firstly, in that study, methane emissions from dairy feedlot were quantified only in fall and winter seasons; secondly, herd composition in that dairy operation only represents one of management practices in North China. Therefore, to fully characterize the methane emissions at whole farm scale during a full year and enhance our understanding on the impact of herd composition on methane emissions, in this study, we used similar measurement techniques and strategies as Gao et al. Scale (m) [7] to quantify methane emissions from a collective dairy 0 20406080 100 feedlot in Baoding, North China. The objectives of this study were to: (1) further confirm the temporal pattern of Animal pen methane emissions, (2) calculate annual emission rates, and Laser path 3-D sonic (3) estimate the potential methane conversion factor Y for dairy cattle managed in collective dairy operation in North Figure 1: Overview of the feedlot and an illustration of the loca- China Plain. tions of instruments. Laser-path labeled 1 was used for the winter period and the path labeled 2 was used for the spring, summer, and fall periods. 2. Material and Methods 2.1. Experimental Site. A collective dairy feedlot in Baoding city in North China Plain was selected for characterizing and Table 1: Average animal population and density for each pen dur- quantifying methane emissions at whole farm scale. Four ing the summer period. field campaigns during winter (Dec. 1 to 31 in 2009), spring 2 −1 Pen ID Total population (head) Density (m head ) (Mar. 17 to Apr. 11 in 2010), summer (Jun. 13 to Jul. 17 in 1 210 29.2 2010), and fall (Oct. 29 to Nov. 16 in 2010) seasons were 2 188 32.7 carried out respectively. Around the dairy operation, there 3 187 32.8 were no other significant methane sources within 1 kilometer of the measurement site. 4 177 34.7 5 156 39.4 2.1.1. Description of Feedlot. Within this dairy operation, all 6 173 35.5 the dairy cattle including milking cows, dry cow, heifers, and 7 180 34.1 calves were managed in 8 large pens as shown in Figure 1. 8 169 36.3 The total area of the feedlot was 4.91 ha and the total capacity was about 1800 heads. The dairy population of this operation during the four seasons varied from 1204 to 1519 with an 2.1.2. Dairy Operation. Dairy cattle were fed three times average of 1345 heads. The herd distribution within these a day at 4:30 am, 11:30 am, and 4:30 pm, respectively. eight pens during the summer is given in Table 1. The average Each feeding period lasted about one hour. As shown in 2 −1 density ranged from 29.2 to 39.4 m head .Effort was made Table 2, the ration mainly included fermented corn silage to separate calves less than 3 months from mature cows, that and concentrate diet. Only a few farmers fed corn grain is, calves were usually fenced in a mini pen (approximately and soybean meal at this feedlot. Lactating cows were 3 ∗ 3m ) close to the shelter within a regular pen at the milked twice a day between 4:30–6 : 30 am and 4:30–6:30 corner. pm. The milk production per milking cow was about In addition, there were shelters for feeds storage between −1 −1 14.5 ± 1.7 kg head d with the fat and protein contents pens 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, and 7 and 8 (Figure 1). Alley- of 3.4% and 3.0%, respectively. The fat and protein corrected ways (approximately 1.5–3.0 m wide) for moving milking −1 −1 (FPCM) milk production was 13.2 ± 1.55 kg head d [8]. cows from dairy pens to the milking hall were between pens 2 and 3, 4 and 5, and 6 and 7. The feedlot floor was paved with bricks. Manure in the feedlot was removed periodically 2.2. Methane Measurement. An open-path laser system and collected for either mushroom or vegetable cultivation. (GasFinder MC, Boreal Laser Inc. Edmonton, Canada) was Of the dairy population, about 54% of herd were lactating used to measure methane concentrations. It works in the cows, the rest were dry cows and heifers over one year age near Infrared (1653 nm) and consists of a laser transmitter and calves (6–12 month) (Table 2). head and a reflector. The laser beam is transmitted from Shelter Road Shelter Road Shelter Road Shelter Advances in Meteorology 3 Table 2: Herd structure and feed composition during the four seasons. −1 −1 −1 −1 −1 −1 Items Heads Corn silage (kg head d ) Concentrates (kg head d ) Total dry matter intake (kg head d ) Lactating cows 722 10.48 9.25 19.73 Nonlactating cows 216 9.55 2.49 12.04 Heifer (12–24 months) 238 8.68 4.87 13.55 Calves (3–12 months) 103 3.71 2.36 6.07 Calves (<3months) 66 the control unit to the transmitter head via a fiber-optic publications because it is capable of mimicking numerical cable and then directed to a retroreflector through the trajectories efficiently and provide accurate emission air. In-field calibration showed that the actual detection estimates. sensitivity of the open-path laser system was 2-3 ppm ∗ m In addition, the data filtering criteria for the 15-min (equivalent to about 0.03 ppm with apathlengthof100m) average micrometeorological parameters suggested by [10, and also showed that the concentration measurements were 11] were used in order to satisfy the assumptions in Wind underestimated; thus, a correction factor of 1.06 obtained Trax. Thus, periods with parameters that did not fulfill the from this in-field test was used for all the measurements. following requirements were rejected: Laser sensors and reflectors were installed on two masts −1 (1) u∗ > 0.15 m s , within the feedlot. The laser path length was 123 m for path 1 and 124 for path 2 . The heights of both laserpaths (2) |L| > 10 m (eliminate extremely stable or unstable were 2.4 m (Figure 1). Methane background concentrations micrometeorological cases), were measured at north side of the feedlot when the wind (3) z < 0.15 m (in this feedlot environment, z greater 0 0 was northerly during each measurement period. Methane than 0.15 m was associated with erroneous wind concentrations were recorded every second and the 15-min profile), averages were stored. (4) the percentage of touchdown covered feedlot area of total feedlot area was greater than 20%. This value 2.3. Micrometeorological Measurements. A Gill 3-D sonic might be varied with size of emission sources from anemometer (Gill Instrument Ltd. Lymington, UK), in- 5% [11] to 40–50% [12, 13]. stalled on a mast near the center of the feedlot at a height of 6 m above the ground surface, was used to characterize the micrometeorological conditions of the feedlot (Figure 1). 2.5. Gross Energy Intake. During each measurement period, The measurement height was determined with the assump- the dry matter intake for lactating cows and nonlactating cows andheifers wasmeasured(Table 2). For each category, tion that the characteristics of the internal boundary layer within the feedlot area can be measured when the ratio 20 animals were selected and the fresh feeds including silage of the sonic sensor height to fetch ratio is less than 0.1. and concentrates were weighted on farm and the respective In our case, this ratio varied from 0.04 to 0.05 with wind samples were taken into lab for analysis. The average feed directions. During all measurement periods, wind velocities intakes of 20 animals for each category were used for the and temperature were measured at a frequency of 10 Hz. calculation of energy intake and methane conversion factor Raw wind parameters were sampled using EdiSol and Y . calculated for 15-min intervals using EdiRe software package both developed by University of Edinburgh. These data are 3. Results and Discussion utilized to compute the feedlot wind parameters used in 3.1. Variations in the Methane Concentration. Measurements the bLS dispersion technique such as u∗, Obukhov stability outside the feedlot showed that methane background con- length (L), roughness length (z ), wind direction (β), and centration varied from 1.82 to 1.91 ppm .Hourlymean standard deviations of the velocity components (σ ). u,v,w methane concentration within the feedlot during each measuring periods is shown in Figure 2. These varied from 2.4. Calculation of Methane Emission Rates. The software approximately 2.05 ppm to about 7.34 ppm . Thus, is the v v WindTrax (http://www.thunderbeachscientific.com/)was minimal methane concentration rise over the background used to calculate methane emissions (Q ). This software bLS was about 0.1-0.2 ppm , which was substantially larger than package is based on the bLS dispersion model described the resolution of open-path laser system of 0.03 ppm . by Flesch et al. [9, 10]. The model assumes a diabatic logarithmic mean wind profile and traditional Monin- Obukhov Similarity Theory (MOST) relationships for the 3.2. Diurnal Pattern of Methane Emissions. After applying turbulent statistics [10]. By assuming an ideal surface layer the data filtering criteria given in Section 2.4, emission associated with a stationary atmosphere, the wind statistics estimates were calculated using WindTrax package. During can be determined with the sonic-derived parameters (U, the four measurement periods, the wind direction varied β, z , L and σ ). This technique has been successfully from 0 to 359 degrees, indicating that emissions from the 0 u,v,w used to quantify emissions from animal facilities in many entire feedlot were observed. In order to obtain an unbiased 4 Advances in Meteorology 10 10 8 8 6 6 4 4 2 2 0 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 (a) (b) 10 10 4 4 2 2 0 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 (c) (d) Figure 2: Hourly mean methane concentrations at 2.4 m during winter (a), spring (b), summer (c), and fall (d) measurement periods. Bars indicate the range of concentration within ± standard deviation. emission estimate for each measurement period, that is, not during winter, spring, summer, and fall. Through this overweighted toward a particular time of day, hourly average study, differences of about 21% were observed between emission rates were calculated using an ensemble average summer and winter. This apparent difference might be partly of usable 15-min estimates during each hour across each attributed to the relatively lower methane emissions from seasonal measurement period [12, 14, 15]. For all cases, at manure within the feedlot due to the low temperature during least 11 estimates were available for each hour. the winter period [20, 21]. Methane emission rates during By using the above strategy, hourly methane emission summer and spring are very similar yet considerably greater rates on per capita basis for winter, spring, summer, and than during winter time. fall seasons are presented in Figure 3. Hourly emissions In order to understand the relationship between methane −1 per capita varied from 6.8 to 23.1 g hr (winter), 7.0 to emission rates and temperatures, further analysis was con- −1 −1 21.6 g hr (spring), 9.9 to 22.6 g hr (summer), and 2.1 to ducted. Hourly average air temperatures for each hour −1 30.1 g hr (fall), respectively. For measurement seasons of during each measurement season were calculated, where winter and spring, three methane emission peaks during the mean daily air temperatures during winter, spring, a day were observed, starting at approximately 5:00 am, summer, and fall seasons were −3.2, 9.5, 27.3, and 8.3 C, 11:30 am and 4:00 pm, peaking at 7:00 am, 12:00 am, respectively. The average daily methane emission rates and and 6:00 pm, and lasting about 2–5 fours. However, this the corresponding air temperatures are plotted in Figure 4. pattern in summer and fall seasons was not as clear as winter It can be seen that methane emission rate appeared to and summer seasons. These peaks appear to correspond to increase with air temperature, which to some extent confirms the feeding activities [11, 16]. Similar patterns have been the temperature impact on methane emission reported by previously reported by Kinsman et al. [17] and Gao et al. [7]. [22]and Amon et al.[23]. Butsuchtemperature-derived In addition, measurements on a beef feedlot also showed a influence is still debatable due to an error of approximately similar pattern related to the feeding time [14]. 15% with the inverse dispersion technique used in this study [12, 24], and more measurements are required to examine this issue. 3.3. Seasonal Pattern of Methane Emissions. When calculating the methane emission rate on an animal basis, the con- tribution by calves less than three months was neglected 3.4. Annual Methane Emission Rates from this Dairy Oper- [18, 19]. Based on this procedure, the emissions rate on a per ation. Annual methane emission on a per animal basis −1 −1 animal basis were 0.28, 0.32, 0.33, and 0.30 kg head d , from this collective dairy feedlot was calculated by averaging respectively, associated with an error of 0.04, 0.05, 0.05, emission rates of four measurements. Given an error of 15% −1 −1 and 0.04 kg head d (this error is estimated with an 15% of the inverse dispersion technique, the calculated methane −1 −1 error of the bLS model suggested by Harper et al. [11]) emission rate of 112.4 ± 16.9 kg animal yr includes the Methane concentration (ppm ) v Methane concentration (ppm ) Methane concentration (ppm ) Methane concentration (ppm ) v Advances in Meteorology 5 40 40 10 10 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 Time of the day Time of the day (a) (b) 40 40 30 30 10 10 0 0 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 0:00 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00 Time of the day Time of the day (c) (d) Figure 3: Diurnal patterns of methane emissions over the feedlot during winter (a), spring (b), summer (c), and fall (d) seasons. Bars indicate the uncertainty of hourly averaged methane emission rates and arrows indicate the timing of feeding activities on this feedlot. −1 −1 146 kg animal yr by Laubach and Kelliher [26], and 118– 40 0.5 −1 −1 121 kg animal yr by Grainger et al. [27]. It appears that this emission factor is close to the lower end of the range 30 0.4 presented in the literature, which may be due to the relatively 20 0.3 low methane emission rates of heifers. In order to better compare the emission rate of mature cows (i.e., lactating 0.2 and nonlactating cows) in this study to literatures, further 0.1 0 calculations for only lactating and nonlactating cows were made with the assumption that the methane emission rates −10 0 −1 −1 of heifers and calves (3–12 months) were 40 kg animal yr Winter Spring Summer Fall −1 −1 [28] and 62 kg animal yr [29], respectively. By consider- Measurement seasons ing the herd structure showed in Table 2, ensemble annual −1 −1 Mean temperature methane emission rate of 132.5 ± 19.9 kg animal yr CH emission for mature cattle of lactating and nonlactating cows was obtained, which falls into the middle emission rates range in Figure 4: Daily methane emission rates and average temperature the literature. during winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons. Methane emission intensity based on milk production basis was calculated using the obtained methane emis- sion rate and milk production on the basis of milk fat enteric emissions from lactating, nonlactating cows, heifers, content of 4.0% and protein content of 3.3% [8]. It and calves (3–12 months) and emissions from manure within showed that, in our study, a methane emission intensity the feedlot. This value is very similar in comparison with a −1 −1 of 0.023 kg± 0.003 CH kg d of milk (i.e., 32.65 ± previous study by Gao et al. [7] also carried out in Baoding. 4.78 L CH /L of milk) was obtained. This value is similar to If we assume the methane emission rate from manure 4 −1 −1 that of 32.2 L CH /L of milk in apreviousstudy by;Gao et al. was about 10 kg animal yr [21], further calculations can −1 [7] but higher than other literatures such as 24.9 L CH kg be made to obtain the ensemble average enteric emission 4 −1 of milk by Verge` et al. [30], 21.4 L CH kg of milk by Sauer rate of dairy cattle including lactating, nonlactating cows, 4 −1 et al. [31] and 20.6 L CH kg of milk by Kinsman et al. [17], heifers, and calves (3–12 months), which was 102.4 kg CH −1 −1 which appears to confirm the relatively low milk productivity animal yr . in China [7]. Many studies have quantified methane emissions from dairy cattle using various methods. For example, McGinn et al. [25] who used the same measurement technique 3.5. Calculation of Methane Conversion Factor (Y ). It has for a whole herd with lactating and nonlactating cows, been reported in the literature that methane conversion heifers, and less than one year calves obtained slightly factors (Y ) for ruminant livestock ranged from 4.0% to greater emissions. From a global view, a relatively wider 10% [32]. In order to estimate Y for mature cows in our range of emission factors was obtained for lactating study, several assumptions were made based on a previous −1 −1 cows: 142–146 kg CH animal yr by Kinsman et al. [17], study [7]. As described above, the methane emission rate of −1 −1 CH emission rate CH emission rate 4 CH emission rate (kg head d ) −1 −1 −1 −1 (g head hr ) (g head hr ) Mean air temperature ( C) CH emission rate CH emission rate 4 4 −1 −1 −1 −1 (g head hr ) (g head hr ) 6 Advances in Meteorology enteric fermentation for our mature dairy cattle was esti- [3] D. Hongmin, L. Erda, L. Yue, R. Minjie, and Y. Qichang, “An −1 −1 estimation of methane emissions from agricultural activities mated at 132.5 ± 19.9 kg animal yr . For the calculation in China,” Ambio, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 292–296, 1996. of total gross energy intake, daily dry matter intakes of corn [4] H. Dong, X. Tao, H. Xin, and Q. He, “Comparison of enteric silage and concentrate consumed by mature dairy cows were methane emissions in China for different IPCC estimation calculated by weighting the animal numbers and daily dry methods and production schemes,” Transactions of the Amer- matter intakes of each animal category; digestible energy ican Society of Agricultural Engineers, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 2051– corresponding to each component of feeds was obtained 2057, 2004. from Li [33] and Wang [34], and the estimated value of gross [5] C. Liu, China Dairy Year Book 2008, China Agricultural Press, energy intake (GE) for mature dairy cows was 303.28 MJ Beijing, China, 2008. −1 −1 animal d , where 36% and 64% of the total were provided [6] J. Ma, L. Gan, X. Qian, H. Tan, and D. Xu, “The present by corn silage and concentrate, respectively. Furthermore, status of milk industry in our country and the countermeasure lactating and nonlactating cows were assumed to have the of sustained growth,” Journal of Agricultural Mechanization same Y . With all the assumptions above, by using the IPCC Research , vol. 1, pp. 50–52, 2006 (Chinese). [7] Z. Gao, H. Yuan, W. Ma, X. Liu, and R. L. Desjardins, [21] Tier II methodology, the actual Y for mature dairy “Methane emissions from a dairy feedlot during the fall and cows in this facility was calculated to be 6.66%, which agrees winter seasons in Northern China,” Environmental Pollution, well with the IPCC suggested value of 6.5% for dairy cows. vol. 159, no. 5, pp. 1183–1189, 2011. However, this Y value is smaller than the value of 7.3% in [8] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a previous study by Gao et al. [7] and the results of 7.3% “Greenhouse gas emissions from the dairy sector: A life cycle and 7.1%; respectively, by Johnson et al. [35] and Boadi and assessment,” p. 18 and p. 32, 2010. Wittenberg [36] also for forage-fed mature cows. But it is [9] T. K. Flesch, J. D. Wilson, and E. Yee, “Backward-time much higher than the value of 2-3% for high concentrate Lagrangian stochastic dispersion models and their application feed or the value of 4-5% for highly digestible fiber feed to estimate gaseous emissions,” JournalofApplied Meteorology, [37, 38]. vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 1320–1332, 1995. [10] T. K. Flesch, J. D. Wilson, L. A. Harper, B. P. Crenna, and R. 4. Conclusions R. Sharpe, “Deducing ground-to-air emissions from observed trace gas concentrations: a field trial,” Journal of Applied In this paper, a combination of an inverse dispersion Meteorology, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 487–502, 2004. technique and open-path laser was used to quantify diurnal [11] T. K. Flesch, J. D. Wilson, L. A. Harper, R. W. Todd, and N. A. Cole, “Determining ammonia emissions from a cattle feedlot and seasonal patterns of methane emissions from a collective with an inverse dispersion technique,” Agricultural and Forest dairy feedlot in North China in winter, spring, summer, and Meteorology, vol. 144, no. 1-2, pp. 139–155, 2007. fall. As expected, daily methane emissions were characterized [12] L. A. Harper, T. K. Flesch, and J. D. Wilson, “Ammonia with a diurnal pattern with peaks corresponding to the emissions from broiler production in the San Joaquin Valley,” feeding schedule. We also found that the ensemble average Poultry Science, vol. 89, no. 9, pp. 1802–1814, 2010. methane emission rates during winter, spring, summer and [13] T. K. Flesch, R. L. Desjardins, and D. Worth, “Fugitive −1 −1 fall were 0.28, 0.32, 0.33, and 0.30 kg head d .Overall, methane emissions from an agricultural biodigester,” Biomass annual methane emission rate for dairy cattle in this collec- and Bioenergy, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 3927–3935, 2011. −1 −1 tive dairy feedlot was 112.4 ± 16.9 kg head yr associated [14] R. P. Van Haarlem, R. L. Desjardins, Z. Gao, T. K. Flesch, and −1 with methane emission intensity of 32.65± 4.78 L CH L of 4 X. Li, “Methane and ammonia emissions from a beef feedlot in milk and methane conversion factor of 6.66% of gross energy western Canada for a twelve-day period in the fall,” Canadian Journal of Animal Science, vol. 88, no. 4, pp. 641–649, 2008. intake for mature dairy cows. [15] Z. Gao, M. Mauder, R. L. Desjardins, T. K. Flesch, and R. 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