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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Indicators Four Years after Manure and Compost Applications

Authors
item Ginting, Daniel - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Kessavalou, Anabayan - UNIV OF NE/LINCOLN
item Eghball, Bahman
item Doran, John

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Citation: GINTING, D., KESSAVALOU, A., EGHBALL, B., DORAN, J.W. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND SOIL INDICATORS FOUR YEARS AFTER MANURE AND COMPOST APPLICATIONS. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 32:23-32. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding how carbon, nitrogen, and key soil attributes affect gas emissions from soil is crucial for alleviating their undesirable residual effects that can linger for years after termination of manure and compost applications. Emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane from soil, and soil quality indicators were determined four years after manure and compost application had stopped. The experiment was conducted on a Sharpsburg silty clay loam soil and included annual synthetic fertilizer and annual and biennial manure and compost applications from 1992 to 1995 based on nitrogen removal of 135 lb ac-1 by continuous corn. After 1995, only the fertilizer plots received N-fertilizer in the spring of 1999. The control plots received no input. All plots were disked in the spring prior to corn planting. In 1999, the emissions of carbon dioxide were similar between control and other treatments. The average annual carbon input in the control and fertilizer plots were similar to soil carbon dioxide carbon emission. Rates of emissions of methane and nitrous oxide were nearly zero, indicating that the residual effects of manure and compost had no impact on soil carbon-nitrogen storage and global warming. Residual effects of compost and manure resulted in 20 to 40 % higher soil microbial biomass-carbon, 42 to 74% higher potentially-mineralizable N, and 0.5 unit higher pH compared to the fertilizer treatment. Residual effects of manure and compost on emissions of greenhouse gases were minimal and their benefits on soil quality indicators were more favorable than that of N-fertilizer.

Technical Abstract: Understanding how carbon, nitrogen, and key soil attributes affect gas emissions from soil is crucial for alleviating their undesirable residual effects that can linger for years after termination of manure and compost applications. Emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane from soil, and soil quality indicators were determined four years after manure and compost application had stopped. The experiment was conducted on a Sharpsburg silty clay loam soil and included annual synthetic fertilizer and annual and biennial manure and compost applications from 1992 to 1995 based on nitrogen removal of 135 lb ac-1 by continuous corn. After 1995, only the fertilizer plots received N-fertilizer in the spring of 1999. The control plots received no input. All plots were disked in the spring prior to corn planting. In 1999, the emissions of carbon dioxide were similar between control and other treatments. The average annual carbon input in the control and fertilizer plots were similar to soil carbon dioxide carbon emission. Rates of emissions of methane and nitrous oxide were nearly zero, indicating that the residual effects of manure and compost had no impact on soil carbon-nitrogen storage and global warming. Residual effects of compost and manure resulted in 20 to 40 % higher soil microbial biomass-carbon, 42 to 74% higher potentially-mineralizable N, and 0.5 unit higher pH compared to the fertilizer treatment. Residual effects of manure and compost on emissions of greenhouse gases were minimal and their benefits on soil quality indicators were more favorable than that of N-fertilizer.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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