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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FARMING PRACTICES FOR THE NORTHERN CORN BELT TO PROTECT SOIL RESOURCES, SUPPORT BIOFUEL PRODUCTION AND REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL Title: Soil Emissions of N2O and NO in Agricultural Production Systems in the Upper Midwest U.S.: Management Controls and Measurement Issues

Authors
item Venterea, Rodney
item Baker, John

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 5, 2009
Publication Date: December 14, 2009
Citation: Venterea, R.T., Baker, J.M. 2009. Soil Emissions of N2O and NO in Agricultural Production Systems in the Upper Midwest U.S.: Management Controls and Measurement Issues [abstract]. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 1952.

Technical Abstract: Cropped fields in the upper Midwest have the potential to emit relatively large quantities of N2O and NO resulting from soil transformation of N fertilizers applied to crops such as corn and potatoes. The mitigation of N2O emissions may be an effective strategy for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. While the rate of N fertilizer application exerts some control over N trace gas emission rates, a variety of other management practices and environmental factors interact to regulate these emissions. Observation-based studies are essential for improving models, developing accurate inventories, and documenting offsets. Since 2003, we have been examining the effects of management factors including: tillage, crop rotation, irrigation, and fertilizer chemical form and application method on N2O and NO emissions from corn and potato production systems using chamber-based measurement techniques. A summary of our findings will be presented, including: Application of anhydrous ammonia resulted in twice the N2O emissions compared to urea fertilizer, and twice the NO emissions compared to liquid urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer. Growing corn continuously compared to in rotation with soybeans did not alter the amount of N2O emitted during the corn growing season. Reduced tillage (RT), often promoted as a means of reducing carbon losses to the atmosphere, also altered soil N2O emissions. However, the impact of RT on N2O emissions was found to vary, in both magnitude and direction, as a function of N fertilizer management. In addition to these studies, our efforts to overcome some of the inherent limitations of chamber-based flux measurement techniques will be discussed.

Last Modified: 11/24/2014