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Corn and wheat residue management effects on greenhouse gas emissions in the Mid-Atlantic USA

Battaglia, ML, Thomason, WE, Fike, JH, Evanylo, GK, Stewart, RD, Gross, CD, Seleiman, MF, Babur, E, Sadeghpour, A and Harrison, MT ORCID: 0000-0001-7425-452X 2022 , 'Corn and wheat residue management effects on greenhouse gas emissions in the Mid-Atlantic USA' , Land, vol. 11, no. 6 , pp. 1-17 , doi:

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Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from crop residue management have been studied extensively, yet the effects of harvesting more than one crop residue in a rotation have not been reported. Here, we measured the short-term changes in methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in response to residue removal from continuous corn (Zea mays L.) (CC) and corn-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.) (CWS) rotations in the Mid-Atlantic USA. A first experiment retained five corn stover rates (0, 3.33, 6.66, 10, and 20 Mg ha-1) in a continuous corn (CC) in Blacksburg, VA, in 2016 and 2017. Two other experiments, initiated during the wheat and corn phases of the CWS rotation in New Kent, VA, utilized a factorial combination of retained corn (0, 3.33, 6.66, and 10.0 Mg ha-1) and wheat residue (0, 1, 2, and 3 Mg ha-1). Soybean residue was not varied. Different crop retention rates did not affect CO2 fluxes in any of the field studies. In Blacksburg, retaining 5 Mg ha-1 stover or more increased CH4 and N2O emissions by ~25%. Maximum CH4 and N2O fluxes (4.16 and 5.94 mg m-2 day-1) occurred with 200% (20 Mg ha-1) retention. Two cycles of stover management in Blacksburg, and one cycle of corn or wheat residue management in New Kent did not affect GHG fluxes. This study is the first to investigate the effects of crop residue on GHG emissions in a multi-crop system in humid temperate zones. Longer-term studies are warranted to understand crop residue management effects on GHG emissions in these systems.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Battaglia, ML and Thomason, WE and Fike, JH and Evanylo, GK and Stewart, RD and Gross, CD and Seleiman, MF and Babur, E and Sadeghpour, A and Harrison, MT
Keywords: greenhouse gases; corn stover; wheat straw; carbon dioxide; nitrous oxide; methane
Journal or Publication Title: Land
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2073-445X
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

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