Location: Soil and Water Management Research
Project Number: 5062-12000-008-04
Start Date: Jan 01, 2009
End Date: Dec 31, 2013
Objective 1: Methods for determining soil-to-atmosphere fluxes of N2O and NH3 will be evaluated and improved using laboratory and field tests and by comparison of data to chamber dynamics models. A comprehensive monitoring system for quantifying direct and indirect sources of N2O emissions will be established by integrating existing capabilities with newly developed methods. A mobile on-site Nitrogen Emissions Laboratory (NEL) which can be efficiently moved from site to site will be enhanced and implemented. Objective 2: The methods and protocols established in Objective 1 will be applied to field experiment 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 also increase the validity of the data. The treatments described below have been identified after consultation with Stakeholder Advisory Board members. Additional treatment details (e.g. N application rates and timing) as well as additional possible treatments (e.g. use of manure-based fertilizers) will be determined after further consultation with the Board prior to initiating experiments at each site. Objective 3: 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. In addition to input that the Stakeholder Advisory Board has already had on this proposal, their input will continue through meetings and interactions to assist in the development of information tools. Technology transfer will also be expedited by University of Minnesota professors with substantial experience in Extension service and collaboration with farmers and commodity groups. We will also involve the graduate student in these interactions in order to provide extension experience which often is lacking or difficult to incorporate into graduate studies. 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. Initial input into the survey design will be provided by the Advisory Board. 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. The survey will also collect information such as: current N fertilizer management practices with respect to application rates (lbs/acre), timing (fall or spring, single or multiple applications), method (surface or subsurface), and chemical form; impacts of increased fertilizer costs on practices; general concerns about N management and losses; interest in information regarding methods for minimizing N losses.