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H3 Study for Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network in Mandan, North Dakota

posted on 2024-02-13, 14:00 authored by Rebecca Phillips

H3 Study for Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network in Mandan, North Dakota Greenhouse gas management and understanding the carbon emissions associated with land management decisions is a growing public concern and an increasingly important component to sustainable agricultural systems. Fertilization with nitrogen is known to influence emissions of greenhouse gases from soils. Less clear is how the timing of fertilization impacts emissions. We performed an experiment to determine if emissions could be reduced by adjustment of fertilization timing alone using a maize field in production. We found fertilization of plots with urea in the early-spring resulted in lower greenhouse gas emissions than fertilization of similar plots with urea in the late-spring. This was primarily due to greater emissions of carbon dioxide at the soil surface when fertilized at temperatures greater than 10°C. The difference between treatments, when integrated over a 5-month growing season, was 548 kg C ha-1. Yields were similar for both treatments. Fertilizing at cooler temperatures resulted in a substantial carbon “savings” without affecting yield. This study indicates fertilization timing may be a management option for reducing soil carbon losses and greenhouse gas emissions. Additional study is needed to determine if this effect is consistent across years.

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Data contact name

Phillips, Rebecca


U.S. Department of Agriculture

Use limitations

Citation requested if data is used. PUBLIC DOMAIN NOTICE: This database is a "United States Government Work" under the terms of the United States Copyright Act. It was written as part of the author's official duties as a United States Government employee and thus cannot be copyrighted. This software/database is freely available to the public for use. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the U.S. Government have not placed any restriction on its use or reproduction. Although all reasonable efforts have been taken to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the software and data, the ARS and the U.S. Government do not and cannot warrant the performance or results that may be obtained by using this software or data. The ARS and the U.S. Government disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including warranties of performance, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • irregular


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

North Dakota; greenhouse gases; carbon; land management; nitrogen; greenhouse gas emissions; soil; corn; urea; spring; carbon dioxide; temperature; growing season; application rate; soil carbon

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 211
  • 212

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Rebecca Phillips (2020). H3 Study for Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network in Mandan, North Dakota. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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