Mapping & managing urine patches to reduce nitrous oxide emissions
NZAGRC, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research (MWLR), Pastoral Robotics Limited and AgResearch in New Zealand are exploring targeted management of urine patches deposited directly onto pasture by grazing animals, which is the primary source of direct N2O and indirect N2O emissions in these systems (from deposition of volatilised ammonia and leached nitrate).
This work is important to determine cost savings from potentially applying significantly less inhibitor technologies to targeted areas, as opposed to applying the treatment over large unaffected areas. Critical factors to estimate emissions from urine patches were also determined. Findings supported existing scientific knowledge in this field that simulated urine patches (often uniformly wetted) do not correctly emulate natural dispersion of urine patches and thus provided new insights for better emission estimation from N2O emissions from grazing animals.