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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 2, p. 436-445
    Received: Feb 23, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): ardell.halvorson@ars.usda.gov
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Tillage and Inorganic Nitrogen Source Effects on Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Irrigated Cropping Systems

  1. Ardell D. Halvorson *a,
  2. Stephen J. Del Grossoa and
  3. Francesco Alluvioneb
  1. a USDA-ARS, 2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. D, Ste. 100, Fort Collins, CO 80526
    b Dep. of Agronomy, Forestry and Land Management, Univ. of Turin, via L. da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy


Nitrogen fertilization is essential for optimizing crop yields; however, it increases N2O emissions. The study objective was to compare N2O emissions resulting from application of commercially available enhanced-efficiency N fertilizers with emissions from conventional dry granular urea in irrigated cropping systems. Nitrous oxide emissions were monitored from corn (Zea mays L.) based rotations receiving fertilizer rates of 246 kg N ha−1 when in corn, 56 kg N ha−1 when in dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), and 157 kg N ha−1 when in barley (Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. vulgare). Cropping systems included conventional-till continuous corn (CT-CC), no-till continuous corn (NT-CC), no-till corn–dry bean (NT-CDb), and no-till corn–barley (NT-CB). In the NT-CC and CT-CC systems, a controlled-release, polymer-coated urea (ESN) and dry granular urea were compared. In the NT-CDb and NT-CB rotations, a stabilized urea source (SuperU) was compared with urea. Nitrous oxide fluxes were measured during two growing seasons using static, vented chambers and a gas chromatograph analyzer. Cumulative growing season N2O emissions from urea and ESN application were not different under CT-CC, but ESN reduced N2O emissions 49% compared with urea under NT-CC. Compared with urea, SuperU reduced N2O emissions by 27% in dry bean and 54% in corn in the NT-CDb rotation and by 19% in barley and 51% in corn in the NT-CB rotation. This work shows that the use of no-till and enhanced-efficiency N fertilizers can potentially reduce N2O emissions from irrigated systems.

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