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Livestock emissions play an important role in environmental impact.
This study is aimed to quantify the excretion of nitrogen in lactating buffaloes by comparing four different management types of livestock.
The data obtained were subjected to statistical processing to evaluate any significant differences between the farm’s object of the study achieved with different systems (management effect).
The DM administered was found to be similar for the conventional and biological conduction farm, being lower in the family farm and significantly lower in sustainable conduction.
The amount of nitrogen excreted (%N intake) varied from 69.8% for buffaloes bred in the organic farm to 75.8% for the sustainable farm.
However, this trend tends to balance out when comparing the amount of total nitrogen eliminated. Therefore, the efficiency of dietary nitrogen use (nitrogen excreted in the feces expressed as percentage of total nitrogen eliminated) was 48.0, 30.8, 45.2 and 44.0 respectively for family, conventional, organic and sustainable.
All these data show that, overall, the most efficient management system for using nitrogen, both in terms of performance (milk production) and in terms of environmental impact (excretion of nitrogen) is the biological one.
Finally, the data obtained confirmed the clear difference in the use of nitrogen between the buffalo and bovine species, leading to the conclusion that buffaloes should be considered separately from cattle in counting the environmental impact from nitrogen pollution.
High variability among the farms, related to different environmental impacts, was probably related to different management and feeding plan. Therefore, it would be advisable to consider them separately from cattle in calculating the adult bovine unit/ha (UBA/ha) for the disposal of livestock waste. Giving greater attention to the sustainability of the administered ration appears hence to be a promising strategy for the mitigation of nitrogen impact on the environment.
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