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Ammoniation of Cattlefeed on Bovine Methane emissions

  1. Apr 20, 2016 #1
    Has this study been done?
    It seems the ammoniation [using ammonium hydroxide] of low-quality straw to increase digestibility of the feedstock is an established practice. Also, cows are a pretty big producer of methane, a significant greenhouse gas. Does treating with ammonium hydroxide the cattlefeed increase or decrease bovine methane emissions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2016 #2
  4. Apr 20, 2016 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    There is a problem - only a fraction (lowest quality straw) of the ammoniated silage is usable, on better quality silage the ammonia causes circling disease in calves nursing on mothers fed ammoniated better silage. Quality in this sense is measured as a function of lignin (indigestible dry matter) content of silage.
    More indigestible = poorer quality == higher lignin content.

    Look up Listeriosis (pathogen is Listeria monocytogenes) for more details. pH of the silage consumed by the mother cow is the controlling factor.

    pdf for cattle farms: http://beef.unl.edu/cattleproduction/ammoniatingcropresidues
  5. Apr 20, 2016 #4

    Fervent Freyja

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    Yes, it states that it would reduce methane emissions, but also clearly states there are possible consequences to keep in mind.

    "The ammonia utilisation efficiency is as low as approximately 50%. The surplus ammonia is discharged into the environment after the ammonisation facilities are opened, which causes environmental pollution and threatens the health of animals and human beings."
  6. Apr 20, 2016 #5


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    Some UN information for you to digest

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