Published field experimental data [11, 15, 19] were used to compare measured NH3(g) losses following applications of urine or aqueous urea to pasture soils with values predicted by a simplified ammonia volatilization model . Total measured losses were generally in close agreement with predictions. For example, predicted losses following applications of urine to a ryegrass-white clover pasture in Canterbury, New Zealand were 20.7% in summer and 22.4% in autumn and were highly correlated with measured losses of 21.5% and 24.4% respectively (r = 0.998).
The model was also tested for instantaneous rate of ammonia gas loss at 33 discrete sampling times for the summer experiment. Correlations were again highly significant (r = 0.951 for urine and r = 0.885 for urea).
The interception of urine solution by herbage and litter on the pasture surface is discussed and was shown to account for some of the discrepancies between measurements and predictions. Soil surface pH was confirmed as an important factor in determining the extent of ammonia gas loss, and the practicalities of measuring this parameter under field conditions are presented. It was concluded that the model offers the potential for predicting ammonia volatilization losses following urine or aqueous urea applications to short pasture in non-leaching, non-nitrifying environments.
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Sherlock, R., Goh, K. Dynamics of ammonia volatilization from simulated urine patches and aqueous urea applied to pasture. III. Field verification of a simplified model. Fertilizer Research 6, 23–36 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01058162
- Ammonia volatilization
- soil-surface pH