Greenhouse in Agriculture - Grazing Systems

The potential of inhibitors for the mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions from animal production systems in south-eastern Australia

Scientific staff:

Project leader: Kevin Kelly, DPI Tatura

Other scientists: Graeme Ward, John Graham, Sally Officer, Richard Eckard


  • To demonstrate and quantify the mitigation potential of inhibitors to reduce direct nitrous oxide emissions from urinary deposition.
  • To define of the mitigation potential and timing of inhibitor applications required to optimise efficacy.
  • To define of the impact on pasture DM production and nutritive characteristics through the use of inhibitors.


The 2006 Australian Greenhouse Gas Inventory, attributes about 15.6% of greenhouse gas emissions to agriculture, of which methane accounts for 12.1% and nitrous oxide (N2O) 3.5%. Animal production systems in Australia are a significant contributor to nitrous oxide emissions from soil, with the Australian Greenhouse Gas Inventory attributing about 27% of the nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils to direct emissions from animal production, principally the return of urine and manure to pasture and rangelands (DCC 2008a).  A further, 26% of emissions from soils is attributed to indirect losses such as nitrogen in run-off, leaching and ammonia volatilisation associated with animal returns.

This project will use automatic chambers to intensively study N2O losses from urine patches in south west Victoria, using a range of application timings of both urine and an inhibitor.  Coupled with this will be satellite sites where the same treatments are applied across a range of climate and soils conditions, with these sites monitored for soil mineral N fractions and DM production. This project will assist in improving our understanding of emissions from urinary returns under Australian conditions and the mitigation potential of inhibitors.

Core site

A core site will be established at DemoDAIRY, Terang (38o14’S, 142o55’E), in south west Victoria.  Terang has a long term average annual rainfall of about 780 mm (111 year mean).  The core site will be used to study gaseous emissions using an automated system linking 8 enclosure chambers to a Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) to measure N2O, CO2 and CH4 emissions.

Satellite sites

Associated with the core site a further 5 sites in south west Victoria, will have the same treatments applied and sampled for soil mineral N status and potentially pasture production.  These sites aim to cover a range of the soil types and climatic conditions (rainfall principally) typical of this region

Commencement date: April 2009     Completion date: June 2012


Top of Page   Home   Contact us  Back © Greenhouse in Agriculture
Site maintenance by Richard Eckard