Manure and fertilizer effects on carbon balance and organic and inorganic carbon losses for an irrigated corn field

Lentz, R.D. and Lehrsch, G.A. (2014) Manure and fertilizer effects on carbon balance and organic and inorganic carbon losses for an irrigated corn field. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 78:987-1002.


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Little is known about inorganic fertilizer or manure effects on organic carbon (OC) and inorganic C (IC) losses from a furrow irrigated field, particularly in the context of other system C gains or losses. In 2003 and 2004, we measured dissolved organic and inorganic C (DOC, DIC), particulate OC and IC (POC, PIC) concentrations in irrigation inflow, runoff, and percolation waters (6-7 irrigations/y); C inputs from soil amendments and crop biomass; harvested C; and gaseous C emissions from field plots cropped to silage corn (Zea mays L.) in southern Idaho. Annual treatments included: (M) 13 (y 1) and 34 Mg/ha (y 2) stockpiled dairy manure; (F) 78 (yr 1) and 195 kg N/ha (y 2) inorganic N fertilizer; or (NA) no amendment--control. The mean annual total C input into M plots averaged 16.1 Mg/ha, 1.4-times greater than that for NA (11.5 Mg/ha) or F (11.1 Mg/ha), while total C outputs for the three treatments were similar, averaging 11.8 Mg/ha. Thus, the manure plots ended each growing season with an average net gain of 3.8 Mg C/ha (a positive net C flux), while the control (-0.5 Mg C/ha) and fertilizer (-0.4 Mg C/ha) treatments finished the season with a net C loss. Atmospheric CO2 incorporated into the crop biomass contributed 96% of the mean annual C input to NA and F plots but only 68% to M plots. We conclude that nutrient amendments substantially influence the short-term carbon balance of our furrow-irrigated system. Amendments had both direct and indirect influences on individual C components, such as the losses of DIC and POC in runoff and DOC in percolation water, producing temporally complex outcomes which may depend on environmental conditions external to the field.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1501
Subjects: Manure > Percolation > Dissolved Orgainc Carbon (DOC)
Soil > Amendments > Fertilizer
Depositing User: Michelle Wayment
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2014 21:48
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 15:24
Item ID: 1544

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