Nitrous oxide emissions from manured, no-till corn systems

María A. Ponce de León, Curtis J. Dell, Heather D. Karsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-421
Number of pages17
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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