Nitrous oxide emissions from manured, no-till corn systems

Using dairy manure and legumes in crop rotations can reduce inorganic N inputs for corn (Zea mays L.), yet these practices can also contribute to nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. In two crop rotations we investigated how different (i) organic and inorganic N amendments and (ii) prior legume crops with broadcast manure influenced direct N2O emissions from silt-loam soils planted to no-till corn. We measured N2O fluxes from April to December for two years using closed vented chambers from soils planted to corn with no spring residue to compare inorganic N fertilizer (S-UAN) and two liquid dairy manure application methods: surface broadcasted (S-BM) and injected (S-IM). Emissions were also measured to compare the effect of crop residue of perennial forages, a green manure legume, or soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) from soils all amended with liquid dairy manure. Nitrous oxide emissions were greatest during the 15–45 days after manure was injected compared to broadcasting, and cumulative N2O emissions were larger from S-IM (2.8–2.5 kg ha−1) than S-BM (1.4–0.7 kg ha−1) and S-UAN (0.3 kg ha−1). Cumulative and yield-scaled N2O emissions did not differ among the prior legume treatments. A ranking approach based on random forests, identified the most important variable contributing to N2O emissions in both comparisons as corn growing degree days, indicative of the asynchrony of spring legume termination and manure application with corn planting and N use; and changing environmental conditions for N mineralization and denitrification.

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Work Title Nitrous oxide emissions from manured, no-till corn systems
Open Access
  1. María A. Ponce de León
  2. Curtis James Dell
  3. Heather D. Karsten
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Publication Date March 26, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited November 16, 2021




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  • Added Creator Curtis James Dell
  • Added Creator Heather D. Karsten
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