Assessment of nitrogen content in buffalo manure and land application costs

(in lingua inglese)

Results show that there is lower nutrient content in buffalo manure than in cattle manure. This agrees with findings of Campanile et al. (2010). Immediate incorporation is the most environmentally sustainable manure application technique when ammonia volatilisation is considered, but it is the most expensive (approx.1.19 €/kg of nitrogen per field). It also requires longer lead-time, mainly in the two pre-sowing periods; pre-sowing periods are extremely short in southern Italy.

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Articoli tecnico scientifici o articoli contenenti case history
Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012

da Alessia De Giosa

Estratto del testo
Abstract Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) livestock for mozzarella cheese production plays a fundamental role in the economy of southern Italy. European and
Italian regulations consider nitrogen content in buffalo manure to be the
same as that of cattle manure. This study aimed to assess whether this
assumption is true. The first aim of the study was to assess nitrogen con-
tent in buffalo manure. Samples were taken from 35 farms to analyse nitro-
gen and phosphorous concentration in the manure. Analysis confirmed a
lower nitrogen concentration (2%) in buffalo manure. A secondary aim of
the study was to evaluate whether manure application techniques that are
apparently less suitable, e.g. splash plate spreader, could be feasible. The
cost of different methods of land application of manure and their charac-
teristics were evaluated on the basis of one operational cycle. Considering
losses for volatilisation, and taking into account cost assessment, the
immediate incorporation of buffalo manure (nitrogen content 2%) is a
suitable method of ammonia volatilisation. However, it is expensive and
involves high fuel consumption in relation to the environmental benefit. Introduction Buffalo livestock farming is typical of southern Italy, especially in the Region of Campania, with more than 250,000 heads of buffalo.
Buffalo are bred to produce milk that is used to make mozzarella
cheese. Until now, the nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) content
of buffalo manure has been likened to that of dairy cattle, but
empirical observations do not suggest any actual analogy. Over
recent years, agronomic manure management has been common
practice (Burton and Turner, 2003). This approach was set out in
the 1991 Nitrates directive (European Commission, 1991) and has
since then received the attention of the scientific community. To
assess the potential agronomic use of buffalo manure, it would be
more appropriate to consider a wide range of impact categories to
determine at which handling stage the highest reduction in impact
can be achieved (Prapaspongsa et al., 2010). Also, agronomic man-
agement is possible if it is reasonably cheap and compatible with
agronomic schedules and with the conditions of soil workability
(Mueller et al., 2003). The compatibility of manure management according to agronomic schedules is very complex in the Province of Caserta because the
typical cropping system on a livestock farm is based on corn silage
as main crop and ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) as winter intercrop
(typically 3 cuttings from November to March followed by green
manure of crop residues). In this context, it is not always easy to
reconcile the optimal time frame with that of manure management
and, although this is an important issue in many European regions,
it is not always considered (Burton and Turner, 2003). Furthermore, the energy costs of manure management also need to be considered, and a more pragmatic assessment of the different
alternatives available for an integrated management is needed. The
sustainability of an agronomic management approach should also
be taken into account by considering the energy costs of spreading.
It is important to consider greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide
(N2O) and methane (CH4) that have global warming potential
(GWPs) of 275 and 62, respectively, over a 20-year time span. GWPs
are a measure of the relative radiative effect of a given substance
compared to carbon dioxide (CO2), integrated over a chosen time
span (Houghton et al., 2001). Ammonia (NH3) is also an interesting
factor; this is not a greenhouse gas but it is one of the main causes
of rain acidification. Webb et al. (2010) gave a full review of the
importance of the problems of gaseous emissions from animal
manure and a comparison of the options aiming to reduce emissions
from the application of manure. On the other hand, some authors
have presented an economic analysis to assess the cost:benefit ratio
in spreading operations (McGechan and Wu, 1998; Huijsmans et al.,
2003, 2004). Their results are not always encouraging since the cost Correspondence: Lorenzo Boccia, Department of Agricultural Engineering
and Agronomy, University of Naples Federico II, via Università 100, 80055
Portici (NA), Italy. Tel. +39.081.2539151. E-mail: Key words: Bubalus bubalis, buffalo manure, manure management, spread-
ing techniques, spreading costs. Acknowledgements: this assessment of nutrient content in buffalo manure
was funded by the Region of Campania under the project Actions for an inte-
grated strategy for the management of some biomass produced in agriculture.
This project is part of the region''s Programme of assistance in scientific
experimentation, information, research and consultancy in agriculture. The
Region of Campania was not involved in the study design, data collection,
analysis or interpretation, the writing of the report, or in the decision to sub-
mit the paper for publication. Received for publication: 3 June 2012.
Accepted for publication: 29 August 2012. ©Copyright S. Faugno et al., 2012
Licensee PAGEPress, Italy
Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13
doi:10.4081/jae.2012.e13 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution Noncommercial License (by-nc 3.0) which permits any noncom-
mercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the orig-
inal author(s) and source are credited. Assessment of nitrogen content in buffalo manure and land application costs Salvatore Faugno,1 Stefania Pindozzi,1 Roberta Infascelli,1 Collins Okello,1,2
Maria Nicolina Ripa,3 Lorenzo Boccia1
1Department of Agricultural Engineering and Agronomy, University of Naples Federico II, Portici
(NA), Italy; 2Gulu University, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Uganda;
3Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Energy, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
[page 86] [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; volume XLIII:e13 Non-commercial use only of spreading is not always offset by the agronomic value of nutrients
applied, mainly because nitrogen losses of up to 70% can occur
immediately after spreading (Huijsmans and De Mol, 1999; Sommer
and Olesen, 2000; Huijsmans et al., 2003; Rohde and Etana, 2005). Management of buffalo livestock manure in Campania is complex because of the large herds, often exceeding 100 per farm. Farms nor-
mally run to over 50 hectares but are scattered over a large geograph-
ical area. Therefore, spreading operations cover a large area. The
number of heads per livestock herd is high in some areas; the ratio
of heads per ha of usable agricultural surface exceeds 10 head/ha
(Infascelli et al., 2010). Infascelli et al. (2009) found a discrepancy between modelling of nitrate leaching and monitoring of the groundwater. Also, no spatial
correlation between nitrogen production in livestock farms and
nitrate concentration in groundwater was found (Infascelli et al.,
2009). This strengthens the hypothesis that the agronomic use of
manure is not economically feasible or not always feasible basing
onunder an agronomic schedule. The first aim of the study was to
characterise buffalo manure to understand the nitrogen content and
to assess if it is comparable to that of cattle. The only currently available data are from Campanile et al. (2010) who reported tests carried out mainly on individual animals. A sec-
ondary aim is to establish the relationship between the actual nitro-
gen input to the field and manure management costs by highlight-
ing fuel consumption for spreading. Consequently, the goal is to
assess whether the improvement of spreading operations, consider-
ing the actual nitrogen content, is economically viable. The final
aim is to establish the fossil fuel consumption for spreading in order
to identify the actual consequences of the management practices in
terms of impact. Materials and methods Buffalo manure To assess nitrogen content in buffalo manure, samples were taken from 35 farms in the Province of Caserta, southern Italy. The Province
of Caserta, in the north-west of the Region of Campania, southern Italy,
consists of a broad plain between the rivers Volturno and Garigliano.
The climatic conditions and soil fertility guarantee excellent conditions
for agriculture and livestock farming. The 35 selected farms represent
typical livestock farms in the Caserta area in terms of management and
organisation. Figure 1 shows the geographical distribution of the farms
sampled in the study area. Most of the farms are located in a restricted
area characterised by a large number of heads of buffalo (approx.
170,000) and a total agricultural area of approximately 100,000 ha. Most of the farms sampled have only one storage tank to take the manure from both the milking and dry buffalo. This is typical of the
farms in the region. Nevertheless, samples were also taken from farms
that have different manure storage systems. Samples were collected
from manure storage tanks rather than directly from the animal excre-
tion because the concentration in storage tanks was considered to be
more representative (Peters et al., 2003; Redding et al., 2007). Manure
sampling was carried out according to the procedure described by
Peters et al. (2003). In order to ensure homogenisation of manure in
the storage tank before sampling, the manure underwent mechanical
mixing for approximately one hour. However, not all farms were
equipped with a mechanical mixer; on these farms, samples were taken
from different parts of the tank, and manually homogenised and test
samples were then taken. Liquid fractions were sampled from the tank
using Coliwasa Waste Samplers (Peters et al., 2003). The solid samples [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] [page 87] Article Figure 1. Farm locations and sampling in the province of Caserta. Non-commercial use only [page 88] [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] were also collected from different parts around the manure pile and
were mixed using a shovel. Sub-samples were taken from the homoge-
neous mixture by a quartering method. Each sample was collected into
a clean plastic container and was transported in a portable cooler box
to the laboratory for analysis. Analysis was repeated for 20 of the 35
farms, resulting in 55 samples, from March to November 2009. Dry Matter was measured using a muffle following the method described by Wolf et al. (1997). Total nitrogen was determined by the
Kjeldahl method, after acidification with H2SO4 and mineralisation of
the sample. Manure was analysed for Total Kjeldahl N following the 7A2
method (Rayment and Higginson, 1992). PO43- was measured using the
PhosVer® 3 reagent (Hach Co., Loveland, CO, USA). Concentration of
orthophosphate was estimated from the absorbance of the sample
measured at 890 nm using a DR2000 spectrophotometer (Hach Co.).
Ammonia nitrogen and nitrates were determined by a colorimetric
method with Hach reagents, after filtration with activated carbon and
dilution (Peters et al., 2003). The different samples were classified as milking, dry or mix depend- ing on the tanks from which they were taken. The milking samples
were taken from manure storage tank of milking buffalo that are fed a
diet that is richer in protein, while the dry samples were from the
sheds of dry buffalo that are fed a diet containing higher fibre with
lower protein content. The mix samples were from the storage tank of
manure taken from the sheds of both dry and milking buffalo. The
average value ( μ), the variance (s2), the standard deviation (s) and the coefficient of variation of the measured parameters were calculat-
ed on a spreadsheet. Manure spreading management In this study, we compared the energy requirements of the splash plate spreader for surface spreading, and for the trailing foot for the
immediate incorporation of manure into the soil. The energy require- ments of the two techniques were then compared with that of a tractor-
drawn mineral fertiliser spreader. For surface spreading, some authors
reported nitrogen losses from volatilisation of 68% of total ammonia
nitrogen (TAN) on arable land and 77% on grassland (Huijsmans et al.,
2001, 2003). These nitrogen losses vary appreciably according to some
external factors, such as temperature and radiation, hour of applica-
tion, type of soil, and presence of crops, etc. (Webb et al., 2010). We
assumed there would be less conservative nitrogen losses from volatil-
isation of 50% of surface spreading calculated by total ammoniacal
nitrogen (TAN) content of the manure. Nitrogen losses from volatilisa-
tion are lower using the immediate incorporation technique (Webb et
al., 2010). With this method, nitrogen losses in the range of 17% can be
achieved on arable land (Huijsmans et al., 2003). Furthermore, imme-
diate incorporation assures reduced P losses by runoff (Osei et al.,
2003; Redding et al., 2007). In this study, we considered two different operational systems according to Gaakeer: a) an 85 kW tractor either pulling a 10 m3 spread-
er tank with splash plate or carrying a 1.5 t mineral fertiliser spreader;
and b) a 100 kW tractor pulling a 10 m3 spreader tank with a trailing
foot for immediate incorporation. The financial investment in cost of tractors, tank trailers and injec- tors was estimated by considering prices reported in the directory of
farm machinery (m&ma, 2004), updated in 2011, according to the
guidelines of the Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT, 2011). Operating
costs were evaluated according to the guidelines set out on the web
Macgest database. The main parameters are reported in Table 1. To calculate operating costs, we considered that the value of the trac- tor, tank trailer and spreader depreciates over ten years. The interest
rate was assumed to be 6.5%, the residual value to be 10% of the
replacement cost, and the cost of insurance to be 0.8% of the value at
half-life. The machinery repair and operating costs were assumed to be
50% and 25% of the cost of a new tractor, respectively. Maintenance Article Table 1. Assessment of cost per hour. Cost Annual Annual Insurance Machinery General Self-repair Outside Cost per h ( ') use depreciation storage costs costs repair costs (bare rental) (h) ( ' /h) ( ' /h) ( ' /h) ( ' /h) ( ' /h) ( ' /h) ( ' /h) 85 kW tractor 54,000 1000 7.51 0.24 0.06 0.32 1.18 2.70 12.01 100 kW tractor 61,000 1000 8.49 0.27 0.06 0.37 1.18 3.05 13.42 10 m3 spreader tank 27,000 500 7.51 0.24 0.1 0.32 1.77 2.25 12.19 with splash plate spreader 10 m3 spreader tank 32,500 500 9.04 0.29 0.10 0.39 1.77 2.71 14.30 with trailing foot Mineral fertiliser 7500 100 10.43 0.33 0.24 0.45 1.77 0.75 13.97 spreader 1500 kg Table 2. Fuel consumption of a tractor with spreader tank in different operating conditions. Tare Cr Pulling Speed Drawbar ηg Tractive Power Specific fuel Consumption Consumption (kg) Coefficient force (m/s) power efficiency applied consumption per h per km of rolling (N) (kW) (-) (kW) (g/kWh) (L/h) (L/km) resistance ( - ) Full load on dirt track 15,000 0.03 4414.5 5.5 24.3 0.6 40.5 250 10.1 0.51 Unladed on dirt track 5000 0.03 1471.5 10 14.7 0.6 24.5 250 6.1 0.17 Full load in field with 15,000 0.1 1471.5 3 44.1 0.6 73.6 250 18.4 1.70 splash plate spreader Full load in field 15,000 0.1 29,715 1.5 44.6 0.6 74.3 250 18.6 3.44 with trailing foot Unloaded in field 5000 0.1 4905 3 14.7 0.6 24.5 250 6.1 0.57 Cr, coefficient of rolling resistance; N, pulling force in Newtons. Non-commercial use only labour costs were assumed to be 11.8 '/h, given that the cost for skilled labour is assumed to be 11.8 '/h according to the average pay scales in southern Italy. This cost was appreciably less than the 14 '/h assessed by Huijsmans et al. (2004) in other European Regions. Table 2 shows
fuel consumption obtained by considering the requirements of the dif-
ferent working conditions. The manure application rate was assumed to be 25 m3/ha according to Huijsmans et al. (2004). Considering a splash plate spreader with a
net working width of 8 m (Huijsmans et al., 2001), the tractor needs to
travel 500 m to spread the contents of a 10 m3 tanker in the field. We
assumed an additional trip of 250 m from the field to the road.
Therefore, spreading involves a round trip of 750 m characterised by
the fully loaded tank in one phase and an empty tank in the other.
Considering the same application rate of 25 m3/ha for immediate incor-
poration, and the networking width of 4 m, a tractor must travel 1000 m
to spread the contents of a 10 m3 tanker in the field plus 250 m to rejoin
the road. Therefore, spreading using immediate incorporation entails a
round trip of 1250 m. It was assumed that the manure storage tank is
located 2000 m away from the spreading area. This corresponds to a
farm typical of the area studied, characterised by several small plots
totalling approximately 50 ha connected by unpaved rural roads. In assessing the actual field conditions, we considered a 50 ha farm, a cropping system based on corn silage (Zea mays) as main crop, and
ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) as winter intercrop, and nitrogen
requirements of 20 t/year. These nitrogen requirements are in accor-
dance with the Regional Fertilization Plan (Region of Campania, 2011)
that recommends nitrogen requirements of 150 kg/ha and 250 kg/ha for
ryegrass and corn silage, respectively. Two scenarios were assessed;
the first was that 40% of the nitrogen is from manure and the other that
all the nitrogen is from a chemical source. The cost of urea in 2011 was
1 ' per kilo of nitrogen. Calculations were made on the basis of a fertiliser spreader of 15 m effective width, used to spread urea or mineral fertiliser, and spreading
1500 kg of fertiliser containing 750 kg of nitrogen in one trip. As a
result, it is possible to apply fertiliser over 7.5 ha, at a rate of 100 kg of
nitrogen per ha, in one cycle. With these assumptions, we found that a
fertilising cycle would involve a round trip of 5 km under the conditions
reported in Table 3. Results Buffalo manure Figures 2 to 4 summarise monthly results for nutrient content in the different storage tanks. The average values and statistical data are reported in Table 4.
Trends in monthly rainfall and mean rainfall values have an impact on the dilution of the manure samples and were, therefore, recorded by
five weather stations in the study area (Table 5). The ratio between ammonia nitrogen and total nitrogen is reported in Table 6; these were between 0.47 and 0.13 during the periods with
the highest and the lowest rainfall, respectively. The mean value of nitrogen content is 1950 mg/L, i.e. 2 kg per m³ of manure (Table 7). Mean values of the two nutrients investigated are
reported in the Table 7. Spreading management Results of the study showed that the fuel consumption for spreading 10 m3 is 2.35 litres when using a splash plate spreader. The effective
operation time is approximately 13.5 min. When the time for loading
and stoppages are considered, a complete cycle takes 21 min and costs
24.2 '/h. For immediate incorporation of 10 m3, fuel consumption is [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] [page 89] Article Figure 2. Average total nitrogen monthly concentration in the
different storage tanks.
Figure 3. Average monthly ammoniacal nitrogen concentration
in the different storage tanks.
Figure 4. Average orthophosphate concentration in the different
storage tanks.
Non-commercial use only [page 90] [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] 4.93 litres, the effective operative time is 22 min, the total operative
time, considering loading and stoppages, is approximately 29.4 min
and costs 39.52 '/h. while the effective working time was 22 min. A complete cycle of chemical fertilising requires approximately 60 min with an N content of 750 kg. Diesel fuel consumption for this cycle
was 5.07 litres and total cost was 25.98 '/h. Table 8 shows the total cost for each application method. For manure N content, a tank of 10 m3 carries approximately 20 kg of total nitrogen, 5 kg of which are ammoniacal nitrogen. In the case of
manure application with a splash plate spreader, considering losses for
ammonia volatilisation, effective N uptake in the soil is approximately
17.5 kg per cycle. On the other hand, the contribution of nitrogen to the
soil with the immediate incorporation of manure, considering losses
for ammonia volatilisation, is equal to approximately 19 kg of nitrogen
per cycle. However, the fuel consumption, in this last case, increases to
4.94 litres. To compare the effectiveness of manure application with chemical fertilisation, we considered the same soil nitrogen uptake for each
method. The cost of chemical fertilisation with effective N-uptake of
17.5 kg (i.e. the N-uptake with (splash plate spreader), was approxi-
mately 18.5 ', consuming approximately 0.12 litres of diesel fuel. The cost of chemical fertilisation with effective N-uptake of 19 kg (i.e. the
N-uptake with immediate incorporation) was approximately 20.05 ', consuming 0.13 litres of diesel fuel. Discussion The mean value of nitrogen content of buffalo manure was found to be 1950 mg/L. This is lower than that reported in literature for cattle:
range 2000-7000 mg/L and 4200-8100 mg/L for liquid and solid manure,
respectively (Burton and Turner, 2003). However, all legislation and
calculations for the agronomic use of buffalo manure in the Region of
Campania awere formulated on the basis of the value of nitrogen con-
tent of cattle manure. Nitrogen content in manure storage tanks of
milking buffalo is higher than nitrogen content in tanks of dry herds.
This is probably explained by the difference in feeding regimes which
is characterised by more protein for milking buffalo compared to more
fibre for dry herds. Results show ammonia nitrogen content (0.6 kg/m³)
to be 1-4.9 kg/m³ lower than that reported in literature (Burton and
Turner, 2003). There is a 30% difference in variance and standard devi-
ation of nitrogen concentration between samples but these are consis-
tent with the values reported by Campanile et al. (2010). Such variabil-
ity could be explained by the variation in feeding regimes, exposure of
the field to rain water, and the high level of rainfall in 2009, especially
in April, May and June. Final results show nitrogen content to be lower in buffalo manure than in cattle manure (2% buffalo manure, 3% cattle manure), even
though national legislation has been based on statistics for cattle Article Table 3. Fuel consumption of a tractor with fertiliser in different operating conditions. Speed Power to Tare Cr Axle ηg Engine Specific Consumption Consumption (m/s) fertiliser (kg) Coefficient power efficiency power fuel per h per km (PTO) of rolling (kW) (-) (kW) consumption (L/h) (L/km) (kW) resistance (g/kWh) ( - ) Full load on dirt track 5.5 0 8000 0.03 12.9 0.9 14.4 250 3.60 0.18 Unloaded on dirt track 10 0 6500 0.03 19.1 0.9 21.3 250 5.31 0.15 Full load in field 3 10 8000 0.1 23.5 0.9 37.3 250 9.32 0.86 Unloaded in field 3 0 6500 0.1 19.1 0.9 21.3 250 5.31 0.45 PTO, power take off; Cr, coefficient of rolling resistance. Table 4. Measured nutrient concentration in storage tanks, mean (μ) variance (s2), standard deviation (s) and coefficient of variation. N total N-NH3 PO4 Milking Dry Mix Milking Dry Mix Milking Dry Mix μ (mg/L) 2444 1310 2078 714 339 472 1199 807 981 s2 633,194 106,716 293,218 26,479 16,957 4267 351,804 52,893 266,268 s 796 327 585 182 146 71 663 257 557 CV (%) 33% 25% 28% 25% 43% 15% 55% 32% 57% CV, coefficient of variation; N, nitrogen; N-NH3, ammoniacal nitrogen; PO4, phosphate. Table 5. Average monthly rainfall at 5 weather stations in 2009. Rainfall (mm) Weather station Jan Feb March April May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Alife 205.5 42.9 177.6 75.2 44.9 122.5 31.2 4.1 40.7 41.8 135.4 120.2 Castel Morrone 344.8 54.4 239.6 114.4 78.8 130.4 10.8 22.8 68 169.4 231.8 154.4 Presenzano 286.4 54.9 167.8 83 37.6 120.4 10.2 11.7 71.2 43.6 163.5 206.1 Sessa Aurunca 248 47.6 149.7 85.9 37 113.2 20.2 0 63.7 59.9 182.6 221.2 Vitulazio 246.6 35 161.8 97.4 63.4 165.2 8.6 0 75 74.8 205.8 162.8 Non-commercial use only manure. However, recent legislation in some Italian regions, such as
Campania and the Emilia Romagna, consider lower amounts of nitro-
gen for buffalo. The lower nitrogen content in buffalo manure confirms
the experience of local farmers; they have seen that buffalo manure has
a lower fertilising power than cattle manure. This lower nitrogen con-
tent is explained by the reduced diet given to buffalo and by assess-
ments made in 2010 by Campanile et al. based on buffalo physiology.
Results from territorial studies (Infascelli et al., 2010) in the Caserta
area on the low nitrate pollution in groundwater in relation to the num-
ber of animals in that area, agree with a lower nutrient content in buf-
falo manure. The ratio between ammonia nitrogen and total nitrogen is
lower in summer (Table 6). This is linked to the ammonia losses by
volatilisation from tanks during the hotter months of the year.
According to these results, nitrogen content (equal to 2% in a spreader
tank) must be taken into account when calculating spreading costs for
buffalo manure. Conclusions Results show that there is lower nutrient content in buffalo manure than in cattle manure. This agrees with findings of Campanile et al.
(2010). Immediate incorporation is the most environmentally sustain-
able manure application technique when ammonia volatilisation is
considered, but it is the most expensive (approx.1.19 '/kg of nitrogen per field). It also requires longer lead-time, mainly in the two pre-sow-
ing periods; pre-sowing periods are extremely short in southern Italy.
Maize should be sown as soon as it is possible to work the field after
the winter rains. This is almost in contrast with the frequent and
lengthy spreading that has to be carried out to empty the storage tanks
after winter. Fertilising before sowing ryegrass, at the end of summer,
is more appropriate in years with very heavy rain. Also, McGechan and
Wu (1998) and Huijmans et al. (2004) reported similar findings in
terms of field application cost. However, if fuel requirements are con-
sidered, withfor the immediate incorporation method, approximately
2.5 litres of extra fuel per cycle are needed to reduce ammonia in the
environment by 2.5 kg. It could be interesting to make a life cycle
assessment to evaluate the ecological benefits of these practices. The of findings of this study are not in complete agreement with those of Osei et al. (2003) who concluded, especially referring with
respect to P losses, that manure incorporation would be the best man-
agement practice with acceptable costs to producers. Adding fuel
requirements and application time to these costs may provide different
results. With regard to energy resources and the environment, the
splash plate spreader could be the preferred option, even if there are
high ammonia losses for volatilisation, with the advantages of a much
quicker operational time. In conclusion, use of a system that reduces
dilution in buffalo manure on the farm appears to be essential.
Furthermore, this study indicates the need to consider all factors hav-
ing a significant impact on the decision as to the best manure manage-
ment option to adopt. Local conditions, and also technological options
such as drying by exploiting the excess heat in the co-generators,
should also be taken into account. References Burton C.H., Turner C. 2003. Manure management '' treatment strate- gies for sustainable agriculture, 2nd ed. Wrest Park-Silsoe (Silsoe
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it/concimazione/guida.htm Campanile G., Neglia G., Vecchio D., Di Palo R., Gasparini B., Zicarelli L. 2010. Protein nutrition and nitrogen balance in buffalo cows.
CAB Rev. Perspect. Agric. Vet. Sci. Nutr. Nat. Res. 5:1-8. European Commission. 1991. ''Nitrates'' directive, 91/676/EEC. In: Official Journal L 375, 31/12/1991, pp. 0001-0008. Gaakeer W.A. 1998. Mestaanwendingsgids''98, technische gegevens en prijzen. Wageningen Pers, Wageningen, The Netherlands, p 47. Houghton JT, Ding Y, Griggs DJ, Noguer M, van der Linden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K, and Johnson CA (eds.), IPCC Working group. 2001.
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Press, Cambridge, UK. Available from: Huijsmans J.F.M., De Mol R.M. 1999. A model for ammonia volatiliza- tion after surface application and subsequent incorporation of [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] [page 91] Article Table 7. Nutrient mean ( μ), variance (s2), standard deviation (s) and coefficient of variation in buffalo manure. Nutrient Statistical parameters μ (mg/L) s2 s CV (%) Ntot 1960 334,717 579 30 N- NH3 508 36,241 190 37 PO4 996 38,696 197 20 N, nitrogen; N-NH3, ammoniacal nitrogen; PO4, phosphate; CV, coefficient of variation. Table 8. Time and cost of manure application with two different methods, and of spreading chemical fertiliser. Type of fertiliser Time Fuel Cost ( ' /cycle) /application method per cycle consumption Tractor Implement Labour Fuel Fertiliser Total (min) (L) rental cost Manure surface spreading 21.00 2.35 4.20 4.27 4.14 1.53 0 14.14 (10 m3, 0.4 ha) Manure immediate incorporation 29.50 4.93 6.60 7.03 5.80 3.21 0 22.64 (10 m3, 0.4 ha) Chemical fertiliser surface spreading 60 5.07 12.01 13.97 11.8 3.30 750 791.08 (750 kg N, 7.5 ha) N, nitrogen. Non-commercial use only [page 92] [Journal of Agricultural Engineering 2012; XLIII:e13] manure on arable land. J. Agr. Eng. Res. 74:73-82. Huijsmans J.F.M., Hol J.M.G., Hendriks M.M.W.B. 2001. Effect of appli- cation technique, manure characteristics, weather and field condi-
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Neth. J. Agr. Sci. 49:323-42. Huijsmans J.F.M., Hol J.M.G., Vermeulen G.D. 2003. Effect of applica- tion method, manure characteristics, weather and field conditions
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