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SMT Study for Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network in St. Paul, Minnesota

posted on 2023-11-30, 08:39 authored by Rodney Venterea

SMT Study for Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network in St. Paul, Minnesota Carbon and Nitrogen Storage are Greater under Biennial Tillage in a Minnesota Corn-Soybean Rotation. Venterea, Rodney T., Baker, John M., Dolan, Michael S., Spokas, Kurt A., Soil Science Society of America Journal; Madison. (Sep/Oct 2006): 1752-1762. Few studies have examined the impacts of rotational tillage regimes on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We measured the C and N content of soils managed under corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.) rotation following 10 and 15 yr of treatments. A conventional tillage (CT) regime employing moldboard and chisel plowing in alternate years was compared with both continuous no-till (NT) and biennial tillage (BT), which employed chisel plowing before soybean only. While masses of C and N in the upper 0.3 m under both BT and NT were higher than CT, only the BT treatment differed from CT when the entire sampled depth (0.6 m) was considered. Decreased C inputs, as indicated by reduced grain yields, may have limited C storage in the NT system. Thus, while more C was apparently retained under NT per unit of C input, some tillage appears necessary in this climate and cropping system to maximize C storage. Soil carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes under NT were greater than CT during a drier than normal year, suggesting that C storage may also be partly constrained under NT due to wetter conditions that promote increased soil respiration. Increased temperature sensitivity of soil respiration with increasing soil moisture was also observed. These findings indicate that long-term biennial chisel plowing for corn-soybean in the upper mid-west USA can enhance C storage, reduce tillage-related fuel costs, and maintain yields compared with more intensive annual tillage. Urea Decreases Nitrous Oxide Emissions Compared with Anhydrous Ammonia in a Minnesota Corn Cropping System. Venterea, Rodney T; Dolan, Michael S; Ochsner, Tyson E. Soil Science Society of AmericanJournal; Madison (Mar/Apr 2010): 407-418. Quantifying N2O emissions from corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] fields under different fertilizer regimes is essential to developing national inventories of greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of this study was to compare N2O emissions in plots managed for more than 15 yr under continuous corn (C/C) vs. a corn-soybean (C/S) rotation that were fertilized during the corn phase with either anhydrous NH 3 (AA) or urea (U). During three growing seasons, N2O emissions from corn following corn were nearly identical to corn following soybean. In both systems, however, N2O emissions with AA were twice the emissions with U. After accounting for N2O emissions during the soybean phase, it was estimated that a shift from C/S to C/C would result in an increase in annual emissions of 0.78 kg N ha-1 (equivalent to 0.11 Mg CO2-C ha-1) when AA was used, compared with only 0.21 kg N ha-1 (0.03 Mg CO2-C ha-1) with U. In light of trends toward increased use of U, these results suggest that fertilizer-induced soil N2O emissions may decline in the future, at least per unit of applied N, although further study is needed in different soils and cropping systems. While soil CO2 emissions were 20% higher under C/C, crop residue from the prior year did not affect soil inorganic N or dissolved organic C during the subsequent season. We also compared different flux-calculation schemes, including a new method for correcting chamber-induced errors, and found that selection of a calculation method altered N2O emissions estimates by as much as 35%.

Resources in this dataset:


Agricultural Research Service


Data contact name

Venterea, Rodney

Data contact email


U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service

Use limitations

Citation requested if data is used.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • irregular


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


ISO Topic Category

  • environment
  • farming

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Upper Mississippi River Basin
  • Long-Term Agroecosystem Research

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network; Minnesota; nitrogen; Glycine max; Zea mays; corn; crop rotation; soybeans; assets; soil carbon; nitrogen content; conventional tillage; chiseling; plowing; no-tillage; grain yield; carbon sequestration; climate; carbon dioxide; soil respiration; temperature; soil water; energy costs; urea; nitrous oxide; anhydrous ammonia; greenhouse gas emissions; fertilizers; inventories; growing season; crop residues; dissolved organic 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

Venterea, Rodney (2020). SMT Study for Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network in St. Paul, Minnesota. U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service.

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