Mean separations for the year and treatment effects on daily N2O–N fluxes
Table 1. Mean separations for the year and treatment effects on daily N2O–N fluxes. The analysis was performed on lnN2O–N, and the data presented here are the back-transformed results. Different letters indicate statistically significant differences (LSD 5%). ANOVA summary is pertinent for the treatment effects on lnN2O–N daily fluxes for years 2010, 2011 and both years pooled together. (Notes: ,, significant at 0.05, 0.01 and 0.001 probability levels, respectively.)
Nitrification inhibitors have the potential to reduce N2O emissions from maize fields, but optimal results may depend on deployment of integrated N fertilizer management systems that increase yields achieved per unit of N2O lost. A new micro-encapsulated formulation of nitrapyrin for liquid N fertilizers became available to US farmers in 2010. Our research objectives were to (i) assess the impacts of urea–ammonium nitrate (UAN) management practices (timing, rate and nitrification inhibitor) and environmental variables on growing-season N2O fluxes and (ii) identify UAN treatment combinations that both reduce N2O emissions and optimize maize productivity. Field experiments near West Lafayette, Indiana in 2010 and 2011 examined three N rates (0, 90 and 180 kg N ha−1), two timings (pre-emergence and side-dress) and presence or absence of nitrapyrin. Mean cumulative N2O–N emissions (Q10 corrected) were 0.81, 1.83 and 3.52 kg N2O–N ha−1 for the rates of 0, 90 and 180 kg N ha−1, respectively; 1.80 and 2.31 kg N2O–N ha−1 for pre-emergence and side-dress timings, respectively; and 1.77 versus 2.34 kg N2O–N ha−1 for with and without nitrapyrin, respectively. Yield-scaled N2O–N emissions increased with N rates as anticipated (averaging 167, 204 and 328 g N2O–N Mg grain−1 for the 0, 90 and 180 kg N ha−1 rates), but were 22% greater with the side-dress timing than the pre-emergence timing (when averaged across N rates and inhibitor treatments) because of environmental conditions following later applications. Overall yield-scaled N2O–N emissions were 22% lower with nitrapyrin than without the inhibitor, but these did not interact with N rate or timing.