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STUDY OF AIR QUALITY SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTIONS ON LARGE DAIRY FARMS IN OHIO
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005 701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18364)
Authors: L. Y. Zhao, M. Brugger, R. Manuzon, G. Arnold, and E. Imerman
Keywords: Dairy, air quality, dust, odors, carbon dioxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide
As dairy operations evolve towards larger, concentrated facilities, air quality on and around the
diary farms becomes a big concern. Data on air quality in and around large dairy facilities are
insufficient and very much needed.
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In this study, methodology and protocols to measure air quality on large dairy farms and to assess
farmers and neighbors exposure to aerial pollutants were developed. Preliminary data on air
quality spatial and temporal distributions on large diary farms were collected.
Measurements were made on two large diary farms with naturally ventilated free stall barns and
outside manure storage. These are typical new dairy operations in Ohio. Concentration of
hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) at 12 to 14 locations on each farm were measured in
three seasons using portable gas analyzers. Odor samples were collected at odor sources and
upwind and downwind locations. Dust was measured using a portable dust mass concentration
meter. Gas and dust levels inside the dairy buildings at one leeward location were continuously
monitored for four days in each season. In addition, indoor and outdoor temperature, relative
humidity and air velocity were measured to determine effects of these parameters on air quality.
The study found manure storage ponds has the most affect on air quality during warm and hot
seasons. Variation of air quality inside the dairy building is small. Inside, the average dust mass
concentrations range from 0.9 to 1.5 mg/m3 and ammonia concentrations range from 1.4 to 3
ppm in different seasons. Odor concentration inside the dairy building were in the range of 90 to
140 OU/m3, but near the manure storage ponds, it reached as high as 1256 OU/m3 during the hot
weather measurements. Weather conditions affected the outdoor dispersion of air emissions. At
500 feet from the barn and manure storage, gas levels were similar to upwind levels. The odor
levels at 500 ft downwind of the farms were high enough to raise concerns on hot and windy
Inside the building, the hydrogen sulfide concentration were not significant different from hour
to hour in a day and from day to day in a season. Hourly variations of dust concentration were
not significantly different during day time. Daily variation of mean ammonia concentrations
were significantly different, but hourly mean ammonia concentrations were not significantly
different among morning hours and afternoon hours of a day.