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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Nitrogen Source and Placement Effects on Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions from No-Till Corn


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 5, p. 1349-1360
    Received: Mar 27, 2012
    Published: September 14, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): ardell.halvorson@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Ardell D. Halvorson * and
  2. Stephen J. Del Grosso
  1. USDA–ARS, 2150 Centre Ave, Bldg. D, Ste. 100, Fort Collins, CO 80526. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Contribution from USDA–ARS, Fort Collins, CO. Assigned to Associate Editor Rod Venterea


A nitrogen (N) source comparison study was conducted to further evaluate the effects of inorganic N source and placement on growing-season and non-crop period soil nitrous oxide (N2O). Commercially available controlled-release N fertilizers were evaluated for their potential to reduce N2O emissions from a clay loam soil compared with conventionally used granular urea and urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizers in an irrigated no-till (NT) corn (Zea mays L.) production system. Controlled-release N fertilizers evaluated were: a polymer-coated urea (ESN), stabilized urea (SuperU), and UAN+AgrotainPlus (SuperU and AgrotainPlus contain nitrification and urease inhibitors). Each N source was surface band applied (202 kg N ha−1) near the corn row at emergence and watered into the soil the next day. Subsurface banded ESN (ESNssb) and check (no N applied) treatments were included. Nitrous oxide fluxes were measured during two growing seasons and after harvest using static, vented chambers. All N sources had significantly lower growing-season N2O emissions than granular urea (0.7% of applied N), with UAN+AgrotainPlus (0.2% of applied N) and ESN (0.3% of applied N) having lower emissions than UAN (0.4% of applied N). Similar trends were observed when expressing N2O emissions on a grain yield and N uptake basis. Corn grain yields were not different among N sources but were greater than the check. Selection of N fertilizer source can be a mitigation practice for reducing N2O emissions in NT, irrigated corn in semiarid areas. In our study, UAN+AgrotainPlus consistently had the lowest level of N2O emissions with no yield loss.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.