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The importance of agricultural nitrogen emissions to western nitrogen deposition.
Baron, Jill1, Mosier, Arvin 2, 1 2
ABSTRACT- Crop and livestock agricultural production systems are important contributors to NH3 and NOx emissions. We developed NH3 and NOx emission inventories for the State of Colorado and the South Platte River Basin from available records of stationary and mobile sources, confined and pastured livestock, and fertilizer application rates per crop in order to compare the strength of the sources. Regional and statewide estimates can be valuable information to guide NOx emissions reduction policy, in that they help evaluate whether reductions from mobile and stationary sources alone are sufficient to bring about changes in ecological condition. The South Platte River Basin is a highly productive agricultural region, helping Colorado to rank 4th in the US for confined/fed cattle production and sheep and lamb production. It ranks 11th for pig production. Colorado ranks 4th for winter wheat and 12th for corn production. Ammonia emissions from livestock (dairy and beef cattle, pigs, poultry, and sheep) are roughly estimated at 11.5 million kg N yr-1 for 10 counties of the South Platte Basin. Combined irrigated and dryland crops and native rangeland emissions of both NH3 and NOx are roughly estimated at 16.0 million kg N yr-1. NOx emissions from mobile and stationary sources in this densely populated region are 106.9 million kg N yr-1. Approximately 20% of the total N emissions of the South Platte Basin therefore come from agricultural emissions.
KEY WORDS: agriculture, emissions, nitrogen, livestock