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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 #324864

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: Greenhouse gas emissions from solid and liquid organic fertilizers applied to lettuce

Author
item Phasita, Toonsiri - Colorado State University
item Del Grosso, Stephen - Steve
item Sukor, Arina - Colorado State University
item Davis, Jessica - Colorado State University

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2016
Publication Date: 9/1/2016
Citation: Phasita, T., Del Grosso, S.J., Sukor, A., Davis, J. 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions from solid and liquid organic fertilizers applied to lettuce. Journal of Environmental Quality. doi:10.2134/jeq2015.12.0623.

Interpretive Summary: Application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is typically needed to maintain high crop yields, but contributes to environmental impacts such as loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The focus of this study was to evaluate effects of environmental factors and four organic fertilizers: feather meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, and cyano-fertilizer application at different application rates (0, 28, 56 and 112 kg N/ha) on CO2 and N2O emissions from lettuce (Lactuca sativa). The study was conducted in 2013 and 2014 and compared pre-plant applied solid fertilizers (feather meal and blood meal) and multiple-applied liquid fertilizers (fish emulsion and cyano-fertilizer). CO2 and N2O emissions were measured twice per day and (three days a week) in 2013 and once per day and (three days a week) in 2014 using. The results showed that N2O loss factors ranged from 0-0.1% for multi-applied liquid fertilizers and 0.6-11% for singly applied solid fertilizers. The fertilizer application schedule and method can influence the N2O emissions. Therefore, organic farmers should consider the use of multiple-applied liquid fertilizers as a means to reduce soil greenhouse gas emissions.

Technical Abstract: Excessive and improper application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer, and environmental factors can cause the loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) to the environment. Also, different types of fertilizers may have different effects on the environment. The focus of this study was to evaluate effects of environmental factors and four organic fertilizers: feather meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, and cyano-fertilizer application at different application rates (0, 28, 56 and 112 kg N/ha) on CO2 and N2O emissions from lettuce (Lactuca sativa). The study was conducted in 2013 and 2014 and compared pre-plant applied solid fertilizers (feather meal and blood meal) and multiple-applied liquid fertilizers (fish emulsion and cyano-fertilizer). CO2 and N2O emissions were measured twice per day (three days a week) in 2013 and once per day (three days a week) in 2014 using a closed-static chamber, and analysed by gas-chromatography. The results showed that i) soil temperature and soil water content can influence N2O and CO2 emissions, ii) none of the fertilizer treatments significantly affected cumulative CO2 emissions as compared to the control, iii) N application rates did not significantly affect cumulative N2O emissions except in pre-plant applied solid fertilizer treatments in 2014, iv) multiple-applied liquid fertilizers did not significantly increase cumulative N2O emissions compared to the control, and v) emission factors ranged from 0-0.1% for multi-applied liquid fertilizers and 0.6-11% for singly applied solid fertilizers. The fertilizer application schedule and method can influence the N2O emissions. Therefore, organic farmers should consider the use of multiple-applied liquid fertilizers as a means to reduce soil greenhouse gas emissions.