Beside the fact that you’re making “free”, or at least very cheap Ammonium sulfate fertilizer, treating your manure with SuperCal SO4 makes it cheaper to heat your buildings.
This is due to a simple rule of chemistry called Specific Heat.
Specific Heat is the measure of the heat energy required to increase the temperature of a unit quantity of a substance by a certain temperature interval. In simple terms it is how much propane does it take to raise the temperature in your barn 1 degree.
When you use SuperCal SO4 to stabilize ammonia in the manure, it is not released to the atmosphere of the barn. The specific heat of ammonia gas is 1.55. Water’s specific heat is 1. Normal atmosphere is comprised of mainly Nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen (21%). The specific heat of Nitrogen gas is 0.777 and Oxygen is 1.33. Their combined specific heat is 0.885.
It takes 1.75 times more energy to heat ammonia as it does air! WOW!
Normal air has 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argon, 0.03% Carbon Dioxide and the last 0.7% is comprised of 13 other elements. In poultry barns ammonia can quickly become the 5th or 6th most abundant element, when it should be the lest abundant. Ammonia levels can get as high as 220 ppm but generally range from 7 to 177 ppm
Simply put if it would take 88.5 gallons of propane to heat a barn with normal air content and it would take 155 gallons to heat a barn that is 125ppm ammonia. In barns that have high ammonia there is the added cost of running exhaust fans, and the cost of heating air only to have it sucked out.
You thought fertilizer was expensive!
There are also other costs of high ammonia:
During winter, when ventilation rates are low, the ammonia concentrations in many houses will exceed the levels recommended by industry groups of maximum 50 ppm at bird level. However Anderson et al. (1964) showed that ammonia levels as low as 20 ppm compromised the immune system of chickens, making them more susceptible to diseases and damaged the respiratory system of the birds.
Treating your manure with SuperCal SO4 will result in higher rates of gain and lower death loss.
Ammonia emission of more than 100 lb of ammonia per day per site triggers federal reporting requirements through the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). According to Iowa State you could be emitting 1.5 lbs to 11.66 lbs per hour of ammonia.
Treating your manure with SuperCal SO4 will keep the government and paper work out of your life.
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!