In mid-July, a start was made at Dairy Campus on measuring emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia from solid floors and an aerated straw shed. This is done in the environmental stable at this test location in Leeuwarden. Various adjustments have been made to the floor system for this. This measurement round is part of the project "Effect of solid floors on the emission of greenhouse gases from a dairy barn".
In the trial we will look at the variation in emissions from 2 housing systems, namely the free-stall barn and the bedded pack barn. Many dairy farmers keep their dairy cows in a free stall barn with a slatted floor and cellar. In this system, methane emissions from manure are about a quarter of the total methane emissions from a dairy barn in the Netherlands. A solid floor may reduce these emissions. When modifying the barn, a farmer can choose a new solid floor or a renovation option that covers the existing slatted floor.
Different floor systems in environmetal barn
For this trial, adjustments were therefore made to the environmental stable at Dairy Campus this spring. This trial is part of the Livestock & Climate research and is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The existing slatted floor is covered in one section with a closed 'renovation floor' made of rubber and fitted with a manure scraper with a lockable deposit to the existing manure cellar.
A prefabricated solid concrete floor has also been installed in other sections of the environmental stable. In practice, this floor is laid when the existing floor needs to be replaced. This floor is also equipped with a manure scraper with a lockable deposit to the existing manure cellar. Manure and urine are transported to the underlying manure cellar every hour or every two hours on both floors. The emissions are compared with those from two sections with a slatted floor.
Bedded pack barn with plastic floor or straw bed
In addition to the cubicle shed, emissions are also measured from two housing systems without cubicles. One of these is a draining plastic free-flow floor that separates the thin fraction from the solid manure. This manure is then removed by a manure robot. The other is a bedded pack barn with straw bed that is aerated daily. The manure and urine are absorbed by the straw and eventually converted into rough organic manure. There is a great deal of interest in this type of barn from organic dairy farming, as it may be an emission-friendly alternative to the pot barn. These departments are also compared with those with a free stall barn and slatted floor.
This research was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the context of climate policy