Burton, D.(Nova Scotia Agricultural College, 20 Tower Road, Truro, NS, B2N 5E3, Canada; Phone: 902-893-6250; Fax: 902-893-0335; Email: dburton@nsac.ns.ca)


Utilization of Animal Manure in Potato Production: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Improved Nitrogen Management


D. Burton *, J.A. MacLeod, B. Thangaraj, B.J. Zebarth


The study, conducted at the Crops and Livestock Research Station, Charlottetown examines greenhouse gas emissions from a potato-barley-sweet clover rotation.  The objectives of the project were to i) collect baseline information from the standard three-year potato rotation in Prince Edward Island; ii) determine the effect of different manure management strategies within the potato rotation on nitrous oxide emissions; and iii) identify the potential to reduce nitrous oxide emissions through improved nitrogen management practices.  The experiment had four N fertility treatments, replicated three times.  The treatments are: i) mineral fertilizer (NH4NO3) applied in the spring of the potato year of the rotation; ii) solid swine manure applied in the fall before the potato year; iii) solid swine manure applied in the spring of the potato year; and iv) liquid swine manure applied in the spring of the potato year.  Spring and early summer periods (mid-May to end of June) were the times of greatest N2O emission.  The potato year of the rotation resulted in the greatest N2O emissions.  In the potato year solid manure resulted in less N2O emission than did liquid manure or NH4NO3. Differences in N2O emissions between years and treatments corresponded with treatment effects on soil NO3- concentration.  Nitrate and N2O emissions in tile drainage water was monitored as part of parallel studies.