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Concentrated animal feeding operation - Wikipedia
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Showing of 30 pages in this report. Creation Information Creator: Unknown. Who People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content. As proposed by La Notte et al. The three types of meadows have distinctive geo-spatial, botanical and management patterns Gubert, : valley floor meadows are located around the villages in the valley bottom, have low slope steepness and are intensively fertilized and cut eutrophic , with poor botanical diversity; slope meadows are located at higher altitudes in steeper areas, have a less intensive cutting and fertilization regime mesotrophic , with intermediate botanical diversity; species-rich meadows are located in marginal areas, with bad accessibility and low mechanizability, have very low utilization intensity oligotrophic and are characterized by an outstanding botanical value.
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The three types of meadow identified have different forage productivity and fertilization requirements Gubert, In order to determine necessary nitrogen input through organic fertilization, and consequently necessary digestate volumes, a nitrogen balance was calculated for each meadow type, using the nitrogen balance formula proposed by MIPAAF Y , expected forage production, calculated using on-site productivity data provided by Scotton et al. B , nitrogen removal coefficient, calculated using on-site forage quality data provided by Scotton et al. N c , nitrogen availability from previous crops, not applicable for permanent grassland;.
N f , nitrogen availability from fertilization of the previous year, not applicable for digestate;. A n , net natural nitrogen inputs from dry and wet deposition and from the mineralization of the organic matter;. F c , nitrogen input from mineral fertilization, set equal to 0 as fertilization occurs only through digestate;.
K 0 , nitrogen efficiency coefficient for organic fertilization, calculated according to MIPAAF depending on soil type and spreading period;. Excretions during grazing on hay meadows was not considered, as hay meadows are not subject to grazing. Nitrogen input from mineral fertilization was set equal to zero, as mineral nitrogen is not used by farms on hay meadows due to unfavorable cost-benefit ratio.
As mentioned above, expected forage production Y and nitrogen removal coefficient B were calculated using forage quantity and quality data available for the area of interest, collected on 10 different sampling sites by Scotton et al. This allows to adapt calculation to the site-specific production potential of hay meadows. Nitrogen input from organic fertilization F 0 was calculated for each meadow type and represents the sustainable yearly amount of nitrogen to be spread through digestate on cut meadows per unit of area ha.
As to net natural nitrogen inputs A n , dry and wet deposition as well as mineralization of the organic matter were considered. For nitrogen deposition, the standard value of 20 kg nitrogen per hectare and year proposed by MIPAAF was adopted. Rihm and Achermann report for Switzerland an average total nitrogen deposition of Asel proposes for Austria a value of 20 kg nitrogen per hectare and year in nitrogen balancing on permanent grasslands.
Net nitrogen from mineralization of organic matter was set equal to zero, as a permanent meadow subject to adequate cutting and organic fertilization reaches, on the long run, an equilibrium between nitrogen release and immobilization in the organic matter of the soil T'Mannetje and Jarvins, Theiss and Kasper et al. The net meadow area of a plot does not always correspond to the area on which effluent spreading is allowed.
National and local legislation define spreading restrictions for livestock effluents, in order to minimize the impact of organic fertilization on other human activities i. These restrictions reduce the net meadow area on which each farm is allowed to spread organic fertilizers. Spreading restrictions for liquid effluents 1 are summarized in Table 2. In order to identify and measure areas excluded from effluent application, spreading restrictions were spatialized using available layers from the Geo-Cartographic Portal of the Autonomous Province of Trento PAT, and, where applicable, implementing the necessary buffer zones.
Collected agro-botanical data were used for the localization of humid grasslands.
Consequently, the meadow plot shapefile was intersected with the spreading restriction shapefile to highlight meadow areas where spreading is not allowed. Table 2. Criteria adopted for the spatial definition of areas with spreading restrictions for liquid livestock effluents.
This is an empirical hydrological method which allows to estimate surface runoff of a water precipitation depending on soil texture and soil cover. The spreading of liquid digestate was considered as comparable to a water precipitation, since the produced digestate is expected to have a very low dry-matter content. Representative effluent samples collected in Predazzo and digested at the Edmund Mach Foundation showed a total solids content around 5.
The Runoff Curve Number method requires, in first instance, the definition of the soil hydrological group A, B, C or D , which basically depends on soil texture. In the area of interest, soil texture data was available from Scotton et al. According to the USDA-SCS classification, all considered soils could be ascribed to the hydrological group B: soils in this group have moderately low runoff potential when thoroughly wet as water transmission through the soil is unimpeded, have typically loamy sand or sandy loam textures and the saturated hydraulic conductivity in the least transmissive layer between the surface and 50 centimeters ranges from The soil hydrological group, together with soil cover cut meadow , determine a table-based, non-dimensional Curve Number CN of This value was corrected for available soil moisture by the Antecedent Moisture Condition AMC factor, which was taken at the highest level moist soil for precautionary reasons.
Given an AMC factor of 1. CN is correlated to the potential maximum retention after runoff begins S , in inches, according to the formula:.
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At a CN value of On its turn, S is correlated to runoff Q , in inches, according to the formula:. For a precipitation lower than or equal to the initial abstraction, surface runoff can be considered equal to zero. However, several studies show that this ratio is too high when compared to field measurements Jiang, ; Hawkins et al. A lower initial abstraction ratio determines a lower threshold precipitation amount for runoff and, accordingly, a lower maximum amount of digestate that can be spread on hay meadows.
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As a consequence, more surface is necessary to spread a given amount of digestate. This choice was supported by the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection as a precautionary measure to minimize the risk of surface-runoff. The above described methodological steps allow to define, for each meadow plot, the meadow type, the corresponding yearly sustainable nitrogen input from organic fertilization, the net meadow surface available for spreading and, ultimately, the quantity of effluent which could be spread to cover actual nitrogen requirements on a yearly basis.
Additional information about runoff-related threshold volumes of effluents was used to generate an agronomically viable and environmentally sustainable spreading plan, consisting of different volumes and frequencies of slurry application during the growing season depending on meadow type. Spreading plans could be spatially implemented both at the plot and at the farm scale. The seven farms surveyed breed dairy cows predominantly in free housing with slurry-based effluent management.
The declared total number of dairy cows was equal to units, while the number of young cattle under 24 months was equal to units. Nitrogen reaching the field was equal to 39, kg per year, corresponding to 9, cubic meters effluent volume. Total effluent stock capacity was equal to 13, cubic meters. This data was used not only for calculating nitrogen balances at the farm scale, but also for dimensioning the anaerobic digestion plant and its stock volumes. The use of standard field nitrogen values proposed by national legislation presents two main limits.
On the one hand, nitrogen excretions are calculated for intensive dairy farms of plain areas and may be over-estimated when applied to more extensive farming systems in mountain areas. For instance, the Region Valle d'Aosta in the North-Western Italian Alps has introduced lower nitrogen excretion values for local breeds compared with non-local ones Francesia et al.
On the other hand, nitrogen losses occurring from excretion to the field are standardized and cannot be differentiated depending on effluent management practices. Adaptation of standard field nitrogen values to specific situations and to alpine conditions can therefore improve overall accuracy of calculation. Total meadow surface cultivated by the seven farms, net of non-productive areas, was equal to Spatial distribution of meadow plots on a single-farm basis confirm a high degree of land fragmentation and dispersion, as already assessed and measured by Bittante in over 1, dairy farms of the Province of Trento.
Due to the high degree of land parcelization and of land turn-over between farms, agro-botanical surveys were conducted independent of existing utilization patterns on all meadow surfaces of the Community of Predazzo, including agricultural land cultivated by farms not joining the anaerobic digestion project. At an aggregate level, 20 different agro-botanical types of meadows were recorded on approximately hectares, ranging from oligotrophic, species-rich Nardus stricta grasslands to over-fertilized, almost mono-specific lowland Agropyron repens meadows. Slope areas were dominated by swards of the Centaure-transalpinae-Triseteum flavescentis community, while valley bottoms were predominantly characterized by more productive meadows of the Centaureo carniolicae-Arrhenaterum elatioris community.
To date, the case study of Predazzo represents the vastest area of cartographic implementation of Scotton et al. As previously described, the agro-botanical classification of cut meadows proposed by Scotton et al. However, it allows to identify both meadows with outstanding ecological value, because of species-diversity or rarity, and meadows with agronomic problems related to utilization intensity, showing distrophic botanical compositions e. For the sake of transferability to farmers, the meadow plots managed by the seven farms were subsequently classified in three macro-categories.
This classification allowed to cartographically identify As expected, considering the geo-morphological and pedological traits of the area, meadows with low intensification potential slope meadows and species-rich meadows represented the majority of cultivated land. Figure 2 shows a cartographic detail of agro-botanical meadow typization in a sample area of Predazzo. Figure 2. Cartographic detail of agro-botanical typization of cut meadows in a sample area of Predazzo. For each meadow type, a nitrogen balance was computed according to Equation 1.