Comparing the soil nitrogen losses for fall applied manure and inorganic fertilizer in the Northern Great Plains

Mukesh Mehata, Erin Cortus, Joseph Darrington

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nitrogen (N) is one of the major nutrients needed by all plants for their growth and reproduction. However, manure or inorganic applied N of different forms can leave the soil volume by various paths such as ammonia volatilization (NH3), aerial nitrous oxide (N2O) loss, leaching (NO3), and runoff and/or erosion. The losses of N from the soil not only decrease soil fertility and plant yield, but can also impair water quality as well as air quality. The objectives of the research were to measure the nitrogen losses (NH3, N2O, and leachate NO3) from the soil for fall applied N and corn production, then compare the impact of applied nitrogen form (Manure with bedding (MB), Manure only (MO) and Urea only (UO)), in Brookings County, SD. The methods for collecting samples for soil N losses were semi-static open chambers for ammonia flux, static chambers for nitrous oxide flux, and suction lysimeters for soil water. The first-year of corn production results showed NH3 flux, N2O flux, and NO3-N leaching for MB were 1.4 to 10.4 g-ha-1 h-1, 7.1 to 45.7 μg-m-2 h-1, and 3 to 14 mg-L-1, respectively. Similarly, for MO the NH3 flux, N2O flux, and NO3-N leaching were 1.3 to 1.8 g-ha-1 h-1, 2.0 to 14.7 μg-m-2 h-1, and 13 to 21 mg-L-1, respectively. In contrast, NH3 flux, N2O flux, and leachate NO3-N for UO in soil varied from 1.3 to 2.1 g-ha-1 h-1, 10.6 to 28.3 μg-m-2 h-1 and 7-19 mg-L-1, respectively. Understanding soil N loss paths and related factors will help to identify appropriate management practices and nutrient management plans to mitigate excessive N losses to the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting - Spokane, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2017Jul 19 2017


Other2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for funding this research. Additional thanks to the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department for providing materials and supporting for collection of field data. We also thank to Dr. Liming Lai and Mr. Suresh Niraula for sample analysis assistance.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Ammonia volatilization
  • Denitrification
  • Flux
  • Leachate nitrate
  • Lysimeter
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Soil nitrogen losses


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