Ammonia Losses from Outdoor Pig Fattening at Two Swedish Organic Farms

The Open Agriculture Journal 20 Feb 2012 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501206010027


Ammonia (NH3) emissions originate predominantly from manure. In outdoor pig production, excretory behaviour creates nitrogen (N) point loads. This study examined ammonia losses from pigs on grassland at two farms by calculating N field balances per pen and sub-areas preferred (P) and not preferred (NP) for excretion. Spatial variation in ammonia losses was measured with an equilibrium concentration method in one pen per farm during two years at the end of the fattening period. Cumulative ammonia losses during a fattening period were measured using a micrometeorological mass balance method. P sub-areas had 10- to 100-fold higher amounts of excreted N than NP sub-areas. Ammonia losses were higher from P sub-areas (0.056-1.843 g NH3 ha-1 hr-1) than from NP sub-areas (0.001-0.332 g NH3 ha-1 hr-1). Ammonia losses from NP sub-areas varied more widely. Cumulative NH3 losses were 28 kg pen-1. Gross NH3 losses were 0.66 kg N pig-1, representing 14% of excreted N.

Keywords: Ammonia losses, fattening pigs, grasslands, organic, outdoors.
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