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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR MITIGATING NITROUS OXIDE EMISSIONS AND OTHER N LOSSES FROM CORN PRODUCTION

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

2012 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.


3.Progress Report:

In cooperation with University of Minnesota personnel, we (i) prepared the first draft of a manuscript describing a two-year field experiment that examined the effects of fertilizer source on nitrous oxide, nitrate leaching, grain yields, and nitrogen use efficiency in a coarse textured soil in Becker, MN that is representative of soil used for corn production in central Minnesota; (ii) completed the second year of a field study in a tile-drained soil in Lamberton, MN examining fertilizer source and drainage management effects on nitrous oxide emissions, nitrate leaching, grain yields, and nitrogen use efficiency. Together, we have designed and maintained the experimental field plots and treatments, including coordinating research station personnel, and collection of soil, water, and plant samples for analysis. This progress contributes to meeting Objective 3 of our NP212 Project Plan which is to “Enable reduced N2O emissions from fertilized cropping systems through improved understanding of controlling mechanisms, as a contributor to the ARS Greenhouse Gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network (GRACEnet).”


Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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