2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
This project will quantify the effectiveness of alternative agricultural management practices for mitigating N2O emissions and related N losses at multiple research sites with contrasting soil conditions and disseminate information to non-scientific stakeholders that encourages improved management practices to reduce impacts on air quality. Outputs from the project include improved estimates of time-integrated total N2O emissions for specific site management regimes including potential mitigation strategies, and information tools that will be disseminated via formal programs of the University of Minnesota Extension Service and via the web.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
A comprehensive monitoring system for quantifying direct and indirect sources of N2O emissions will be applied within currently existing field experimental studies at multiple contrasting site locations where specific practices for reducing total N2O emissions will be compared with conventional management. Use of the same measurement methods across all sites will increase the validity of the data. A key aim of the project is to disseminate practical information to agricultural producers, industry, conservation officials and others who will ultimately benefit from the research. Technology transfer will be expedited by University of Minnesota professors with substantial experience in Extension service and collaboration with farmers and commodity groups. To assist in the development of information products described below and to identify other potential issues to be addressed, a survey of current N management practices and information needs among agricultural producers across the state of Minnesota will be conducted. University of Minnesota Extension Service personnel with expertise in surveys will design and conduct the survey. The survey will help to identify potential users of the information, to generate mailing lists, and to assess preferences for web-based versus printed material.
In cooperation with University of Minnesota we completed the second year of a multi-faceted field experiment in Becker, MN which is evaluating the combined effects of irrigation and fertilizer management on losses of fertilizer nitrogen in multiple chemical forms occurring during corn production in a coarse-textured soil that is commonly used for corn production in central Minnesota. The study is measuring N2O and NO gaseous emissions and nitrate leaching in corn grown under dryland and irrigated conditions with multiple fertilizer management treatments. Effects of soil liming and additional measurement of dissolved N2O leaching below the root zone were also added in a subset of the treatments during the second year. Together, we have designed and maintained the experimental field plots and treatments, including coordinating the cooperation of research station personnel, and collection of soil, water, and plant samples for analysis. In conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), a series of questions have been developed to be used in a survey of nitrogen management practices among farmers in Minnesota which will assist in the development of improved management guidelines. The survey began on February 1, 2010. Phone surveys were conducted. Results of the survey were delivered to the MDA in June 2010. A meeting with MDA is planned for July 27, 2010 for ARS and University of Minnesota cooperators to discuss the survey results. Progress on the project is reviewed via regular meetings with collaborator and site visits.