2 files

Quantification of nitrous oxide emissions and emission factors from beef and dairy cattle excreta deposited on grazed pastoral hill lands

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 13:37 authored by Jiafa LuoJiafa Luo, Surinder Saggar, Tony VanDerWeerden, Cecile DeKlein
Excreta deposition by grazing livestock is the single largest source of agricultural nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in New Zealand. N2O emissions and emission factors (EF3; percentage of excreta nitrogen emitted as N2O) from sheep, beef- and dairy-cattle excreta deposited can vary with differences in the hill land slope and disaggregation of EF3 based on slope may therefore result in a more accurate and improved inventory of national N2O emission. However, research data on N2O emissions from dairy cattle grazing on low and medium slopes of hill country or for beef cattle on low slopes is scarce. Field trials were therefore conducted in four regions of New Zealand on dairy-grazed (three regions) or sheep & beef cattle-grazed hill land (one region). N2O emissions were measured following dairy and beef cattle urine and dung application on low and medium sloping land in late autumn. Application of either cattle urine or dung increased N2O emissions which mostly varied with excreta type (urine vs dung), slope class (low vs medium) or region. However, there was no significant slope-effect for EF3 values for beef and dairy cattle excreta (urine or dung) from each individual region, or combined from the three dairy-grazed sites. These findings confirm our hypothesis that N2O EF3 values for excretal inputs on established dairy hill land on low and medium slopes are similar for dairy-grazed hill land. However, the sheep & beef cattle grazed sites had lower EF3 for excreta deposited on medium slope land than for excreted deposited on low slope land. Our results help the refinement of New Zealand’s country-specific variations in EF3 to improve the accuracy and transparency of farm-, regional- and national-scale N2O inventories. In addition, our findings could help farmers and policy-makers to devise strategies for reducing N2O emissions, by targeting mitigation technologies to areas and sources with high EF3


Rights statement

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No



Journal title

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment




Luo, J., Saggar, S., VanDerWeerden, T., & DeKlein, C. (2019). Quantification of nitrous oxide emissions and emission factors from beef and dairy cattle excreta deposited on grazed pastoral hill lands. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 270-271, 103–113. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2018.10.020


Ministry for Primary Industries;||Ministry for Primary Industries

Contract number


Job code


Usage metrics


    Ref. manager