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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Agricultural practices can influence air quality
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ARS scientists from Ft. Collins, CO measured greenhouse gas emissions in 12 different cropping systems representing different rotations, tillage intensities, types of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, and N fertilization levels. No-till cropping systems had significantly lower carbon dioxide and slightly lower nitrous oxide emissions than conventional till systems. Nitrous oxide emissions from plots fertilized with polycoated urea had lower emissions than plots fertilized with urea ammonium nitrate. Preliminary results suggest that nitrification inhibitors and time-released fertilizers have strong potential to reduce nitrous oxide emissions while maintaining high grain yields. These results will be of interest to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) because they will lead to management practices that make more efficient use of fertilizer N and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Last Modified: 2/24/2010
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