Nutrient excretion and soil greenhouse emission from excreta of overwintering beef cows fed forage-based diets supplemented with dried distillers’ grains with solubles

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Donohoe, Gwendolyn R.
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A study was conducted to examine the impact of diet and cold weather on the excretion of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from beef cows, and the potential for these nutrients to be lost to waterways or as greenhouse gases (GHG). Feces and urine were collected from mature cows fed low-quality forage supplemented with DDGS to 0%, 10%, and 20% ww-1 in the fall of 2008 and winter of 2009. A detailed nutrient analysis was performed to determine forms of N and fractions of P in excreta. Feces, urine, and a simulated bedding pack were then applied to grassland to determine soil GHG emission. Cattle receiving DDGS supplementation excreted greater proportions of labile P in feces and greater concentrations of P in urine. The 20% DDGS diets had greater nitrous oxide emission from urine patches and greater proportions of available N in urine and feces.
nitrous oxide, phosphorus, nitrogen, overwintering beef cows, urine, feces, forage, dried distillers' grains with solubles