Nitrous oxide fluxes from a commercial beef cattle feedlot in Kansas

Orlando A. Aguilar, Ronaldo Maghirang, Charles W. Rice, Steven L. Trabue, Larry E. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emission of greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide (N2O), from open beef cattle feedlots is becoming an environmental concern; however, research measuring emission rates of N2O from open beef cattle feedlots has been limited. This study was conducted to quantify N2O emission fluxes as affected by pen surface conditions, in a commercial beef cattle feedlot in the state of Kansas, USA, from July 2010 through September 2011. The measurement period represented typical feedlot conditions, with air temperatures ranging from -24 to 39°C. Static flux chambers were used to collect gas samples from pen surfaces at 0, 15, and 30 minutes. Gas samples were analyzed with a gas chromatograph and from the measured concentrations, N2O fluxes were calculated. Median emission flux from the moist/muddy surface condition was 2.03 mg m-2 hour-1, which was about 20 times larger than the N2O fluxes from the other pen surface conditions. In addition, N2O peaks from the moist/muddy pen surface condition were six times larger than emission peaks previously reported for agricultural soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalAir, Soil and Water Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Feedlot surface emissions
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Nitrous oxide flux
  • Static flux chambers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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