This experiment was designed to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and related agronomic characteristics of a long-term corn-alfalfa rotational cropping system fertilized with manure (liquid versus semi-composted separated solids) from dairy animals. Different manure-application treatments were sized to fulfill two conditions: (1) an application rate to meet the agronomic soil nitrogen requirement of corn (“N-based” without manure incorporation, more manure), and (2) an application rate to match or to replace the phosphorus removal by silage corn from soils (“P-based” with incorporation, less manure). In addition, treatments tested the effects of liquid vs. composted-solid manure, and the effects of chemical nitrogen fertilizer. The controls consisted of non-manured inorganic N treatments (sidedress applications). These activities were performed during the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons as part of the Dairy Coordinated Agricultural Project, or Dairy CAP, as described below. The data from this experiment give insight into the factors controlling GHG emissions from similar cropping systems, and may be used for model calibration and validation after careful evaluation of the flagged data.
The experiment was conducted at Cornell University’s Musgrave Research Farm near in Aurora, NY (https://cuaes.cals.cornell.edu/farms/musgrave-research-farm/). Soils are high-pH glacial tills, approximately 55% Lima silt loam (fine-loamy, mixed, active, mesic oxyaquic hapludalfs) and 45% Kendaia and Lyons soils. Slopes range from 0-8%, and there is imperfect tile drainage. Experimental plots were not irrigated. Weather observations from Musgrave Farm can be found at http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=all-weather-data . Manure for the experiment was collected from Aurora Ridge Farm, a commercial dairy. Effluent from an anaerobic manure digester was separated into liquid and solid components using a screw-press, and then solids were further composted (Gooch and Pronto, 2009).
For all experimental plots, seedbeds were prepared by one-time disking followed by rolling with a culti-mulcher. All manure was surface applied. Liquid manure in the “P-based” treatment was immediately incorporated by chisel plow (20 cm depth) to conserve ammonia nitrogen. Liquid manure in the “N-based” treatment and all solid manures were incorporated by chisel plow seven days after application to allow nitrogen volatilization. Starter fertilizer was applied at 5 cm depth and 5 cm to the side of the seed furrow. In 2014, pesticides for general weed control were applied on June 20 to all plots. Single tank mix included S-metolachlor (CAS No. 87392-12-9, 0.94 kg/ha); atrazine (CAS No. 1912-24-9, 0.63 kg/ha); mesotrione (CAS No. 104206-82-8, 0.09kg/ha); isopropylamine salt of glyphosate (CAS No. 38641-94-0, 1.68 kg/ha). In 2015, pesticides were applied on June 25 to all plots. Single tank mix included S-metolachlor (0.93 kg/ha); atrazine (0.75 kg/ha); mesotrione (0.18 kg/ha); isopropylamine salt of glyphosate (2.12 kg/ha). At harvest, crop residue from 10 cm cutting height was left in all plots.
Gas fluxes from soil (CO2, CH4, N2O) were measured on 32 dates in 2014 and 22 dates in 2015, using vented chambers (Dell et al., 2014) and following standard measurement protocols (Parkin and Venterea, 2010). The gas flux measurement chamber was placed between rows. For plots receiving urea and ammonium nitrate fertilizer (UAN), the measurement chamber was placed on the UAN band after application. Chamber deployment time was 45 minutes with sampling intervals of 15 minutes. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography (GC), and the gas flux rates were calculated by linear regression. Soil samples were treated with the Cornell “Morgan extraction” (Morgan, 2941) to measure available nitrate-nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Soil pH and organic matter were also measured, but no soil physical characteristics are available. Organic matter was measured as loss-on-ignition with exposure to 500 degrees Celsius.
This experiment was part of “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Dairy Production Systems of the Great Lakes Region,” also known as the Dairy Coordinated Agricultural Project (Dairy CAP), funded by the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (award number 2013-68002-20525). The main goal of the Dairy CAP is to improve understanding of the magnitudes and controlling factors over GHG emissions from dairy production in the Great Lakes region. Using this knowledge, the Dairy CAP has improved life cycle analysis (LCA) of GHG production by Great Lakes dairy farms, developed farm management tools, and conducted extension, education and outreach activities.
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Ag Data Commons
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1256 Poplar Ridge Rd, Aurora, NY 13026
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May 1, 2014 to November 1, 2015
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