Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, CH-8356 Ettenhausen

Housing systems and a concept to measure ammonia emissions in case of natural ventilation

The relevant housing systems and a suitable measuring concept have to be defined in order to improve the data base for ammonia emissions (NH3) from cattle farming. Statistics and an expert survey show that the proportion of loose housing facilities and outdoor exercise areas in Switzerland increased from 5 % in 1990 to around 40 % in 2010. Experts identified the most common situation in dairy cattle loose housing as a naturally ventilated single-building stable with cubicles, solid floors and an outdoor exercise yard alongside. The design of a measuring concept to quantify emissions should represent emissions from naturally ventilated stables and outdoor exercise areas without influencing livestock activity or the stable climate. The tracer ratio method is established for measurements in naturally ventilated stables. This enables real-time measurements under practical conditions. To derive emission factors, measurements on several commercial farms are required. The great climatic variation in outdoor climate housing systems over the course of the year can be recorded by means of measurements spread systematically throughout the year. Measurements were taken over 24 hour periods as well as high temporal resolution map daily patterns and short-term events. The interpretation of these emission data requires to record relevant accompanying parameters with information on the animals, feeding, housing and traffic area soiling as well as on management and climate.

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