Manure Application Timing and Incorporation Effects on Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Corn
Manure application influences ammonia (NH3) and greenhouse gas emissions; however, few studies have quantified the effects of manure application methods and timing on NH3, nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) fluxes simultaneously. We evaluated surface-applied liquid manure application with disk incorporation versus injection on NH3, N2O, CO2, and CH4 fluxes in central Wisconsin corn silage (Zea mays L.) plots during pre-plant (PP) and sidedress (SD) application windows from 2009 to 2011. Manure treatments were PP injection (PP-Inject) and injection at sidedress time (SD-Inject) to growing corn, along with two incorporation times for PP surface application (within 24 h&mdash;PP-1-hr; within 3 days&mdash;PP-3-day). Mean NH3 emissions were 95% lower for injected treatments compared to surface application in both years, with larger losses for PP-3-day and SD-Surf. While N2O fluxes were generally low, larger increases after manure application were associated with injection and triggered by soil moisture/temperature changes. Mean CO2 and CH4 were unaffected by manure treatments and influenced more by weather. Overall, injection conserved more available soil N while contributing to modest N2O emission, suggesting manure injection may offer greater agri-environmental benefits on the whole over surface application.