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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2011, Article ID 475370, 12 pages
Research Article

Tillage and Fertilizer Management Effects on Soil-Atmospheric Exchanges of Methane and Nitrous Oxide in a Corn Production System

1Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, Alabama A&M University, P.O. Box 1208, Normal, AL 35762, USA
2USDA-ARS, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, 411 South Donahue Drive, Auburn, AL 36832, USA
3USDA-ARS-MWA, National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, 275 South Russell Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Received 9 February 2011; Revised 19 May 2011; Accepted 25 June 2011

Academic Editor: Ryusuke Hatano

Copyright © 2011 Ermson Z. Nyakatawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Land application of poultry litter (PL) presents an opportunity to improve soil productivity and disposal of poultry waste. We investigated methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural soil receiving PL and ammonium nitrate (AN) fertilizers using surface (SA), soil incorporation (SI), and subsurface band (BA) application methods in conventional (CT) and no-tillage (NT) systems on a Decatur silt loam soil in North Alabama. Plots under CT and NT were sinks of CH4 in spring, summer, and fall. In winter, the plots had net emissions of 3.32 and 4.24 g CH4 ha-1 day-1 in CT and NT systems, respectively. Plots which received AN were net emitters of CH4 and N2O, whereas plots which received PL were net sinks of CH4. Plots which received PL using SA or SI methods were net emitters of N2O, whereas under PL using BA application, the plots were net sinks of N2O. Our study indicates that using subsurface band application of PL was the most promising environmentally sustainable poultry waste application method for reducing CH4 and N2O emissions from agricultural soil in NT and CT corn production systems on the Decatur soil in north Alabama.