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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320987

Research Project: Management Practices to Mitigate Global Climate Change, Enhance Bioenergy Production, Increase Soil-C Stocks, and Sustain Soil Productivity and Water Quality

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Manure and inorganic N affect trace gas emissions under semi-arid irrigated corn

Author
item Halvorson, Ardell - Retired ARS Employee
item Del Grosso, Stephen - Steve
item Stewart, Catherine

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/2015
Publication Date: 4/25/2016
Citation: Halvorson, A., Del Grosso, S.J., Stewart, C.E. 2016. Manure and inorganic N affect trace gas emissions under semi-arid irrigated corn. Journal of Environmental Quality. 45: 906–914, doi:10.2134/jeq2015.08.0426.

Interpretive Summary: Dairy manure is often applied to cropped soils as a substitute for syntheticN fertilizers, but the impacts of manure on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, yields and soil N are uncertain in semi-arid western U.S. Soil carbon dioxide (CO2-C), methane (CH4-C), and nitrous oxide (N2O-N) emissions were monitored from five N treatments [dairy manure (DM 412 kg N ha-1), DM+AgrotainPlus (DM+AP), enhanced efficiency N fertilizer [SuperU (SU) 179 kg N ha-1], urea (179 kg N ha-1), and check (no N applied)] to determine their effect on growing season (GS) and non-growing season (NGS) GHG emissions from a tilled clay loam soil under irrigated, continuous corn production for 3 yr. Averaged over years, GS soil CO2-C emissions were greater for DM and DM+AP than for urea, SU, and check treatments; CH4-C emissions did not vary among N treatments; and N2O-N emissions decreased in the order urea=DM=DM+AP> SuperU>check. Total GSGHG emissions in CO2-C equivalents were greater for DM and DM+AP than other N treatments. Cumulative NH3-N emissions following manure application decreased in the order urea>SU>check with SU=DM =DM+AP, and DM=DM+AP=check. Although total soil GHG emissions were greater with manure than synthetic fertilizers, expected increases in soil C sequestration induced by DM addition should compensate for this apparent increased GHG flux.

Technical Abstract: Dairy manure is often applied to cropped soils as a substitute for inorganic N fertilizers, but the impacts of manure on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, yields and soil N are uncertain in the semi-arid western U.S. Soil carbon dioxide (CO2-C), methane (CH4-C), and nitrous oxide (N2O-N) emissions were monitored using surface chambers from five N treatments [dairy manure (DM 412 kg N ha-1), DM+AgrotainPlus (DM+AP), enhanced efficiency N fertilizer [SuperU (SU) 179 kg N ha-1], urea (179 kg N ha-1), and check (no N applied)] to determine their effect on growing season (GS) and non-growing season (NGS) GHG emissions from a tilled clay loam soil under irrigated, continuous corn production for 3 yr. Averaged over years, GS soil CO2-C emissions were greater for DM and DM+AP than for urea, SU, and check treatments; CH4-C emissions did not vary among N treatments; and N2O-N emissions decreased in the order urea=DM=DM+AP> SuperU>check. Total GSGHG emissions in CO2-C equivalents were greater for DM and DM+AP than other N treatments. Cumulative NH3-N emissions following manure application decreased in the order urea>SU>check with SU=DM =DM+AP, and DM=DM+AP=check. Although total soil GHG emissions were greater with manure than synthetic fertilizers, expected increases in soil C sequestration induced by DM addition should compensate for this apparent increased GHG flux. Dairy manure provided a slow-release N with nitrate intensities lower than urea despite greater GHG emissions, which additional soil C would be expected to offset.