Covered outdoor storage of manure

Technical Option | Generic Example

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Covered outdoor storage of manure is a technical option available for liquid slurry systems and has the potential for reducing ammonia (NH3) emissions. There are two types of efficiency levels for this measure:

  • Low to medium efficiency options using floating foils or polystyrene, and
  • High efficiency options using tension caps, corrugated iron or polyester


This measure is implemented at farm level.


The effect of covered storage on NH3 emissions will vary depending on the efficiency level (i.e. high vs. low). Typically the removal efficiency for low efficient systems is about 40%, with high efficiency storage offering approximately 80% removal efficiency. These values may increase if this measure is combined with others (such as low nitrogen feed, for example).

Furthermore, depending on the manure type and conditions in the storage, this measure can also influence emissions of CH4 and N2O.

Under covered manure storage conditions change from aerobic to anaerobic and CH4 emissions may increase (IPCC, 1997). The practice of storing manure varies across Europe, and particularly between Eastern and Western European countries (Safley et al., 1992), and although obtaining sufficiently detailed information at country-specific levels is difficult, it is assumed that an increase of 10% in CH4 emissions arise from manure management after introducing covers on manure storage (Klimont and Brink, 2004).

As for CH4, the effect on N2O emissions also depends on manure storage conditions. Contrary to CH4, though, the possible change in storage conditions from aerobic to anaerobic will lead to a decrease of N2O emissions. As such, a decrease of 10% in N2O emissions from animal waste management systems is assumed (Klimont and Brink, 2004).

Modelling this Measure

Modelling this measure can be achieved through the use of the GAINS model. Essentially assumptions regarding the adoption and share of a given control are made by national experts. GAINS then combines these assumptions with national energy forecasts and abated emission factors (i.e. inclusive of the removal efficiencies of the given control) and provides resulting emissions estimates. This provides modelled effects of this measure as compared to the level of emissions if this measure was not in place.

Furthermore, as with other agricultural measures it is possible to measure the effects of this measure either on its own, or when combined with others (such as low nitrogen feed and animal house adaptation, for example).


IPCC (1997) ‘Revised 1996 IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories’, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Paris

Safley, L.M., Casada, M.E., Woodbury, J.W., and Roos, K.F. (1992) ‘Global methane emissions from livestock and poultry manure’, EPA/400/1-91/048, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C.

Klimont, Z. and Brink, C. (2004) ‘Modelling of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from agricultural sources in Europe’, IIASA Interim Report IR-04-048, Laxenburg

Site Entry Created by Policy Measures Admin on Oct 19, 2010

Reference This Source (2019). Covered outdoor storage of manure. Available: Last accessed: 19th February 2019

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