Optimizing farmyard manure and cattle slurry applications for intensively managed grasslands based on UK-DNDC model simulations

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Shah, S. H. H., Li, Y., Wang, J. and Collins, A. L. 2020. Optimizing farmyard manure and cattle slurry applications for intensively managed grasslands based on UK-DNDC model simulations. Science of the Total Environment. 714, p. 136672.

AuthorsShah, S. H. H., Li, Y., Wang, J. and Collins, A. L.

Fertilizer applications can enhance soil fertility, pasture growth and thereby increase production. Nitrogen fertilizer
has, however, been identified as a significant source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions fromagriculture if not
used correctly and can thereby increase the environmental damage costs associatedwith agricultural production.
The optimumuse of organic fertilizers requires an improved understanding of nutrient cycles and their controls.
Against this context, the objective of this research was to evaluate the scope for reducing N2O emissions from
grassland using a number of manure management practices including more frequent applications of smaller
doses and differentmethods of application.We used amodified UK-DNDCmodel and N2O emissions from grasslands
at Pwllpeiran (PW), UK during the calibration period in autumn, were 1.35 kg N/ha/y (cattle slurry) and
0.95 kgN/ha/y (farmyardmanure), and 2.31 kg N/ha/y (cattle slurry) and 1.08 kgN/ha/y (farmyardmanure) during
validation period in spring, compared to 1.43 kg N/ha/y (cattle slurry) and 0.29 kgN/ha/y (farmyard manure)
during spring at NorthWyke (NW), UK. The modelling results suggested that the time period between fertilizing
and sampling (TPFA), rainfall and the daily average air temperature are key factors for N2O emissions. Also, the
emission factor (EF) varies spatio-temporally (0–2%) compared to uniform 1% EF assumption of IPCC. Predicted
N2O emissions were positively and linearly (R2≈1) related with N loadings under all scenarios. During the scenario
analysis, the use of high frequency, lowdose fertilizer applications compared to a single one off application
was predicted to reduce N2O peak fluxes and overall emissions for cattle slurry during the autumn and spring seasons at the PWand NW experimental sites by 17% and 15%, respectively. These results demonstrated that an
optimized application regime using outputs from the modelling approach is a promising tool for supporting
environmentally-friendly precision agriculture.

KeywordsUK-DNDC; Emission factor; Farmyard manure; Greenhouse gases (GHG); Nitrous oxide; Cattle slurry
Year of Publication2020
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Journal citation714, p. 136672
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136672
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Jan 2020
PublisherElsevier Science Bv

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