Turkey Air Facility Emissions Monitoring Underway in Iowa

June 1st, 2007

AMES, Iowa - The first extensively monitored turkey house air emissions project in the nation got underway in Iowa in early May. The project, led by Iowa State University researchers, will gather baseline data on ammonia and particulate matter emissions for one year.

Hongwei Xin, professor of agricultural and biosystems eningeering, leads the project. "Considerable progress has been made towards collection of baseline data on air emissions from U.S. animal feeding operations, including broilers, laying hens and swine," Xin said. "This is the first federally funded project that collects air emissions from U.S. turkey operations."

The measurements are being done at a commercial operation in central Iowa where tom turkeys are grown. Similar measurements are being done at the University of Minnesota Rosemount Research Farm where hen turkeys are grown.

At each site, part of an existing barn with mostly natural ventilation has been modified into a mechanically ventilated facility to accommodate more precise airflow measurements. The remaining naturally ventilated portion of each barn is being used to set the ventilation rate for the sampled section. The project also is monitoring the indoor air quality at several locations inside the natural ventilation section. State-of-the-art mobile air emissions monitoring labs developed at Iowa State make continuous monitoring possible.

"This project will help establish an objective, urgently needed database of ammonia and particulate matter emission factors from commercial turkey operations typical of the U.S. turkey industry," Xin said. "Ultimately, this project will impact the U.S. turkey and agricultural industry by helping to sustain its competitiveness and prosperity in the global economy."

Others in Iowa State's agricultural and biosystems engineering department involved in the turkey emissions monitoring project are Hong Li, postdoctoral research associate; Robert Burns, associate professor; Steve Hoff, professor; Jay Harmon, professor; Jacek Koziel, assistant professor; and Juliano De Abreu, doctoral graduate student. Collaborators at University of Minnesota are Larry Jacobson, professor and agricultural engineer, and Sally Noll, professor and poultry nutritionist.

The project is funded by the USDA National Research Initiative Program, with additional support from the Iowa Turkey Federation.


Hongwei Xin, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, (515) 294-4240, hxin@iastate.edu
Susan Thompson, Communications Service, (515) 294-0705, sander@iastate.edu