Publications by authors named "Deanne Meyer"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Fecal Microbial Communities in a Large Representative Cohort of California Dairy Cows.

Front Microbiol 2019 16;10:1093. Epub 2019 May 16.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States.

Improved sequencing and analytical techniques allow for better resolution of microbial communities; however, the agriculture field lacks an updated analysis surveying the fecal microbial populations of dairy cattle in California. This study is a large-scale survey to determine the composition of the bacterial community present in the feces of lactating dairy cattle on commercial dairy operations. For the study, 10 dairy farms across northern and central California representing a variety of feeding and management systems were enrolled. The farms represented three typical housing types including five freestall, two drylot and three pasture-based management systems. Fresh feces were collected from 15 randomly selected cows on each farm and analyzed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. This study found that housing type, individual farm, and dietary components significantly affected the alpha diversity of the fecal microbiota. While only one Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) was common among all the sampled individuals, 15 bacterial families and 27 genera were shared among 95% of samples. The ratio of the families to was significantly different between housing types and farms with pasture fed animals having a higher relative abundance of . A majority of samples were positive for at least one OTU assigned to and 31% of samples contained OTUs assigned to . However, the relative abundance of both taxa was <0.1%. The microbial composition displays individual farm specific signatures, but housing type plays a role. These data provide insights into the composition of the core fecal microbiota of commercial dairy cows in California and will further generate hypotheses for strategies to manipulate the microbiome of cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6532609PMC
May 2019

Optimizing accuracy of sampling protocols to measure nutrient content of solid manure.

Waste Manag 2019 Feb 26;85:121-130. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

Department of Animal Science, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address:

Precise applications of manure to cropland can help optimize productivity and minimize environmental nutrient losses. Applying manure precisely is a challenge because the nutrient content of manures is inherently variable and the accuracy of sampling protocols are unknown. This study aimed to quantify the accuracy of sampling protocols for static solid manure piles considering both the number and depth of grab samples entering a composite sample. Over 35 grab samples were collected from each of ten static piles of dairy manure in California's Central Valley. Grab samples were individually analyzed for dry matter (DM), ash, total nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous concentrations. Resampling simulations quantified the precision and bias of sampling protocols varying in both grab sample number and depth. Results showed that number of grab samples required for measurements to meet an accuracy standard of ±10% of the true value varied significantly by pile makeup. Over 25 grab samples were often required for multi-source manure piles, where an average of six grab samples were required from single source piles. The DM concentration of manure piles decreased at depths greater than 0.4 m, and sampling simulations showed that measurements were biased unless 70-80% of grab samples were collected from the pile interior. Both the number and location of grab samples necessary to create a representative composite require resource investments by farmers, and should be considered to manage nutrient applications cropland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2018.12.021DOI Listing
February 2019

Optimizing accuracy of protocols for measuring dry matter and nutrient yield of forage crops.

Sci Total Environ 2018 May 14;624:180-188. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Department of Animal Science, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address:

Farmers around the world must precisely manage nutrients applied to and removed from crop fields to maintain production and without causing nutrient pollution. This study is the first to quantify the baseline accuracy of current industry measurement protocols and achievable accuracy from intensifying protocols for measuring dry matter (DM), nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P) yields from forage crops harvested for silage. The 'true' DM and nutrient yields of three fields each of corn, sorghum, and small grain were intensively measured by weighing and sampling every truckload of harvested forage. Simulations quantified the accuracy of practical sampling protocols by repeatedly subsampling the complete dataset for each field to measure average truckload weight and average DM and nutrient concentrations. Then uncertainty was propagated to DM, N, P, and K yield calculations using standard error equations. Yields measured using current industry protocols diverged from the true yields of some fields by more than ±40%, emphasizing the need for improved protocols. This study shows that improving average DM and nutrient concentration measurements is unlikely to improve accuracy of yield measurements if average load weight is not precisely measured. Accuracy did not come within 27% of true yields without weighing all truckloads on some fields even when DM and nutrient concentration measurements were perfectly accurate. Once all truckloads were weighed, the timing of forage sample collection to measure average DM concentration had the greatest impact on accuracy; precision improved by an average of 6.2% when >3 samples were evenly spaced throughout the harvest compared to the same number of consecutive samples. All crop fields are affected by within field variation in growing conditions that results in heterogeneity in DM and nutrient yield. Globally, this study provides foundational methodology to quantitatively evaluate and improve yield measurement protocols that ultimately support sustainable crop production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.203DOI Listing
May 2018

Mass balance analyses of nutrients on California dairies to evaluate data quality for regulatory review.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Feb 18;579:37-46. Epub 2016 Nov 18.

Department of Animal Science, One Shields Avenue, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address:

Effective regulations may help reduce nitrate contamination of groundwater from agriculture. Dairy farmers in California must maintain a ratio below 1.4 of total nitrogen (N) applied to total N-removed (N-Ratio) on cropland receiving manure application. In annual reports to the regulatory agency, farmers detail nutrients applied to cropland, removed in harvests, and exported off farm. Data were extracted from all available annual reports for 62 dairies from 2011, 2012, and 2013. Excretions of N, phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) were calculated using reported herd demographics and standard excretion equations from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Calculated nutrient excretion values were compared to the reported values of manure nutrients applied to cropland and exported off farm. Reported N-Ratios were compared to mass balance simulations exploring variable crop yields and alfalfa management. In the nutrient excretion balance, the distribution of the percent of N and P recovered in manures applied or exported peaked at 24% (median=31%) and 26% (median=53%) of excreted, respectively. The distribution of recovered K was fairly uniform from 0% to 300% (median=146%) of excreted K. In N-ratio simulations, 62% and 66% of all reported N-ratios were lower than their respective simulated N-ratio, assuming alfalfa crops received no N fertilization and minimal fertilization (26% of N-removed in harvest) respectively. When simulated crop yields were normally (sd=0.25) or Student's t distributed (df=154) around expected crop yields, 28% and 57% of all reported ratios fell within the 95% confidence interval of the simulations, respectively. Low and erratic recovery rates of excreted P and K existed. Additionally, reported N-Ratios were generally lower and more varied than necessary for farmers to maintain crop yields while complying with regulations. Greater understanding of low recovery rates is needed before data are used to assess the impact of regulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.092DOI Listing
February 2017

Gas emissions from dairy cows fed typical diets of Midwest, South, and West regions of the United States.

J Environ Qual 2012 Jul-Aug;41(4):1228-37

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Gas emissions were determined for dairy cows fed three diets formulated to represent feed ingredients typical of the Midwest, South, or West regions of the United States. Dairy cows were housed and monitored in 12 environmentally controlled rooms (4 cows diet). Two experiments were performed, representing two lactation stages (initial days in milk were 115 ± 39 d in Stage 1 and 216 ± 48 d in Stage 2). The results demonstrated that the combination of different dietary ingredients resulted in different gas emissions while maintaining similar dry matter intake (DMI) and milk yield (MY). Diet effect on ammonia (NH) emissions was more prominent in Stage 1. During Stage 1, cows fed the Midwest diet had the highest daily NH emission, corresponding to the highest crude protein (CP) concentration among the three regions. The differences in NH emissions (39.0%) were much larger than the percent difference in CP concentrations between diets (6.8%). Differences in N intake, N excretion, or milk urea N alone may not serve as a strong indicator of the potential to reduce NH emissions. Lower emissions of methane (CH) per unit DMI or per unit MY were observed for cows offered the South diet during Stage 1 as compared with that from cows offered the Midwest or West diets. No diet effect was observed for hydrogen sulfide (HS) emission per unit S intake, nor for nitrous oxide (NO) emission. The measured NH and CH emissions were comparable, but the NO emissions were much higher than those reported for tie-stall dairy barns in the literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2011.0435DOI Listing
August 2012

Ammonia emission factors for open-lot dairies: direct measurements and estimation by nitrogen intake.

J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2005 Jun;55(6):826-33

Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

Ammonia (NH3) emissions contribute to the formation of secondary particulate matter (PM) 10 microm and under (PM10). Dairies are significant sources of NH3 in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of California, where the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM10 is frequently exceeded. Detailed descriptions of diets, animal demographics, and production levels were obtained for two commercial open-lot dairies in the SJV and used to compute nitrogen intake for each feeding group (g N day(-1)). Models derived from nutrition trials with cows, heifers, and calves were used to estimate urea-N excretion from N intake. Air NH3 concentrations were also measured at the same dairies over 1-week periods in February 1999. NH3 fluxes calculated from vertical profiles of concentrations at two or three locations downwind of the dairies were augmented with estimates of flux based on single-height concentrations measured at five or six additional downwind locations to compute NH3 emission rates. NH3 emission potentials, estimated from urea-N excretion, exceeded NH3 emission rates measured by the micrometeorological methods by 1.5- and 3-fold on the two dairies. A diurnal pattern in NH3 emission factors based on measurements showed peak emission occurring between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at both dairies. NH3 emission potentials and measured NH3 emission rates were higher for Dairy 2, which reported feeding heifers dietary crude protein in excess of National Research Council recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10473289.2005.10464660DOI Listing
June 2005

Ammonia flux from open-lot dairies: development of measurement methodology and emission factors.

J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2005 Jun;55(6):816-25

Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

Ammonia emissions contribute to the formation of secondary particulate matter (PM) and violations of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Ammonia mass concentration measurements were made in February 1999 upwind and downwind of an open-lot dairy in California, using a combination of active bubbler and passive filter samplers. Ammonia fluxes were calculated from concentrations measured at 2, 4, and 10 m above ground at three locations on the downwind edge of the dairy, using micrometeorological techniques. A new method was developed to interpolate fluxes at six additional locations from ammonia concentrations measured at a single height, providing measurements at sufficient spatial resolution along the downwind border of the dairy to account for the heterogeneity of the source. PM measured up- and downwind of the dairy demonstrated insignificant ammonium particle formation in the immediate vicinity of the dairy and negligible contribution of dissociated ammonium nitrate to measured ammonia concentrations. Ammonium nitrate concentrations measured downwind of the dairy ranged from 26 to 0.26 microg m(-3) and from 2 to 43% of total PM2.5 mass concentrations. Measured ammonia fluxes showed that liquid manure retention ponds represented relatively minor sources of ammonia in winter on the dairy studied. Ammonia emission factors derived from the measurements ranged from 19 to 143 g head(-1) day(-1), showing an increase with warmer, drier weather and a decrease with increased relative humidity and lower temperatures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10473289.2005.10464659DOI Listing
June 2005
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