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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION & GREENHOUSE GAS MITIGATION

Polymer-Coated Urea Maintains Potato Yields and Reduces Nitrous Oxide Emissions in a Minnesota Loamy Sand


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 2, p. 419-428
    Received: Mar 26, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): rod.venterea@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Charles R. Hyatta,
  2. Rodney T. Venterea *ab,
  3. Carl J. Rosena,
  4. Matthew McNearneya,
  5. Melissa L. Wilsona and
  6. Michael S. Dolanc
  1. a Dep. of Soil, Water, and Climate, Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108
    b USDA-ARS, Soil and Water Management Research Unit, St. Paul, MN 55108
    c USDA-ARS, Soil and Water Management Research Unit, St. Paul, MN 55108


Irrigated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production requires large inputs of N, and therefore has high potential for N loss including emissions of N2O. Two strategies for reducing N loss include split applications of conventional fertilizers, and single applications of polymer-coated urea (PCU), both of which aim to better match the timing of N availability with plant demand. The objective of this 3-yr study was to compare N2O emissions and potato yields following a conventional split application (CSA) using multiple additions of soluble fertilizers with single preplant applications of two different PCUs (PCU-1 and PCU-2) in a loamy sand in Minnesota. Each treatment received 270 kg of fertilizer N ha−1 per season. An unfertilized control treatment was included in 2 of 3 yr. Tuber yields did not vary among fertilizer treatments, but N2O emissions were significantly higher with CSA than PCU-1. During 3 consecutive yr, mean growing season emissions were 1.36, 0.83, and 1.13 kg N2O-N ha−1 with CSA, PCU-1, and PCU-2, respectively, compared with emissions of 0.79 and 0.42 kg N2O-N ha−1 in the control. The PCU-1 released N more slowly during in situ incubation than PCU-2, although differences in N2O emitted by the two PCUs were not generally significant. Fertilizer-induced emissions were relatively low, ranging from 0.10 to 0.15% of applied N with PCU-1 up to 0.25 to 0.49% with CSA. These results show that N application strategies utilizing PCUs can maintain yields, reduce costs associated with split applications, and also reduce N2O emissions.

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