Nitrous Oxide Emissions from the Application of Fertilizers: Source Partitioning

Meta-analysis review of the 4R impacts on nitrous oxide emissions in the Midwest U.S.


Emissions of N20 from soils is the result of complex interactions among agronomic practices, N fertilization regime (i. e. source, rate, timing, and place of N fertilizer application), soil physical and chemical properties, and weather conditions. The results of a given field study are therefore determined by site-specific conditions during the experiment, and their extrapolation in time and space is difficult. Read more

Year of initiation:2011
Year of completion:2012

Interpretive Summary

Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions account for 7% of total U. S. greenhouse gas emissions and have been identified as the dominant driver of stratospheric ozone depletion in the 21st century. In the U. S. , agriculture accounts for 75% of total N2O emissions, of which 92% is attributable to soil management practices such as fertilizer N and manure application.

One of the undesirable N loss pathways from cropland is the emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance. This study explores the potential of alternative agronomic management practices to mitigate N2O emissions from corn cropping systems in major corn producing regions in the USA and Canada by synthesizing available data from peer-reviewed literature.

Nitrous oxide (N2O, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG)) emission reduction protocols are being developed by different entities with different interests, several of which rely only on reductions in N rate to achieve reduced N2O emissions.

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Updates & Reports


Mitigating Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Corn Cropping Systems in the Midwestern U.S.: Potential and Data Gaps


2013 Annual Report


Project Description

Project Leader

Johan Six, Formerly with University of California

Project Cooperators

Charlotte Decock
Clifford Snyder

IPNI Staff

R. Mikkelsen


Americas \ Northern America \ USA \ California


4r place, 4r rate, 4r source, 4r time, best management practices, environment


Nitrogen (N)