Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effect of dicyandiamide (DCD) on nitrous oxide emissions from cow urine deposited on a pasture soil, as influenced by DCD application method and rate

J. Luo A B , S. Ledgard A , B. Wise A and S. Lindsey A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Ruakura Research Centre, AgResearch Limited, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, New Zealand.

B Corresponding author. Email: Jiafa.Luo@agresearch.co.nz

Animal Production Science 56(3) 350-354 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15500
Submitted: 28 August 2015  Accepted: 28 October 2015   Published: 9 February 2016

Abstract

Animal urine deposited on pastoral soils during grazing is recognised as a dominant source of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. The nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide (DCD), is a potential mitigation technology to control N2O emissions from urine patches on grazed pastures. One delivery option is to include DCD in animal feed so that the DCD is targeted directly in the urine patch when excreted in the animal urine. The hypothesis tested in the present study was that DCD in urine, excreted by cows that were orally administered with DCD, would have the same effect as DCD added to urine after the urine is excreted. The study also aimed to determine the most effective DCD rate for reducing N2O emissions. Fresh dairy cow urine (700 kg N per ha) was applied to a free-draining silt loam pastoral soil in Waikato, New Zealand, in May (late autumn) or July (winter) of 2014, and was mixed with DCD at rates of 0, 10, 30 and 60 kg/ha. In late autumn, there was an equivalent treatment of urine (containing 60 kg DCD per ha) from DCD-treated cows. A static chamber technique was used to determine gaseous N2O emissions. An annual emission factor (EF3; the percentage of applied urine N lost as N2O-N) of 0.23% or 0.21% was found following late-autumn or winter applications of urine without DCD. Late-autumn application of urine containing DCD from oral administration to cows had the same significant reduction effect on N2O emissions as did DCD that was mixed with urine after excretion, at the equivalent DCD application rate of 60 kg/ha. Application of urine with DCD mixed with the urine after excretion at varying DCD rates showed a significant (P < 0.05) linear decrease in both N2O emissions and EF3 values.

Additional keywords: EF3, grazing, greenhouse gas, nitrification inhibitors, nitrogen.


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