NITROUS OXIDE EMISSIONS IN COVER CROP-BASED CORN PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Davis, Brian Wesley
Needelman, Brian A
Mirsky, Steven B
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Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas; the majority of N2O emissions are the result of agricultural management, particularly the application of N fertilizers to soils. The relationship of N2O emissions to varying sources of N (manures, mineral fertilizers, and cover crops) has not been well-evaluated. Here we discussed a novel methodology for estimating precipitation-induced pulses of N2O using flux measurements; results indicated that short-term intensive time-series sampling methods can adequately describe the magnitude of these pulses. We also evaluated the annual N2O emissions from corn-cover crop (Zea mays; cereal rye [Secale cereale], hairy vetch [Vicia villosa], or biculture) production systems when fertilized with multiple rates of subsurface banded poultry litter, as compared with tillage incorporation or mineral fertilizer. N2O emissions increased exponentially with total N rate; tillage decreased emissions following cover crops with legume components, while the effect of mineral fertilizer was mixed across cover crops.