Researchers with Colorado State University's (CSU) College of Agriculture were recently awarded $1.15 million to study nitrogen and ammonia emissions related to cattle feedlots in Colorado and the High Plains. This funding will support research lead by professors from CSU's Institute for Livestock and the Environment and the CSU College of Agriculture.

The livestock industry on Colorado’s eastern slope has been implicated as a primary source of nitrogen emissions, a cause of ecosystem degradation in Rocky Mountain National Park. Funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help researchers document how much nitrogen comes from feedlots. The research aims to measure ammonia and other pollutants from a Greeley-based cattle feedlot and evaluate the influence of factors that govern emissions levels, such as cattle diet, weather, and manure management, and the impact on regional patterns of nitrogen and ammonia deposition.

The data will then be used to develop a computer model that predicts nitrogen emissions from all feedlots along the Front Range of northern Colorado and patterns of deposition in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The model predictions will be used to identify opportunities for reducing emissions during key seasons or at key sources.

The multi-disciplinary, collaborative research effort is receiving strong support from private feedlot operators in Greely and from the National Park Service.

Learn more about the research and plans for developing best management practices for reducing ammonia emissions at the CSU website at www.today.colostate.edu/.