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2022 Projects: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Corn and Alfalfa/Grass Fields

How do Manure, Tillage, and Cover Crop Decisions impact Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Crop management can impact yield, forage quality, and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields. In the project we evaluated the influence of a corn fertility and tillage management on greenhouse gas emissions, soil health, and environmental impacts. The first studies were conducted in a field with a long-term history of manure, solids, and inorganic N fertilizer addition during the corn years in a 5-yr corn and 5-yr alfalfa rotation in 2015-2016. This work, co-funded by federal formula funds, a USDA conservation innovation grant (4782-CU-USDA-2226), and a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant (2013-68002-20525) showed that total N2O emissions increase linearly with N application rate when N is the only yield limiting factor. Current work is funded by a the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) and private donars such as Nestle and the dairy industry with the goal to measure the greenhouse gas footprint of dairy farming and evaluate strategies to reduce the footprint.

If you are interested in participating, contact Quirine Ketterings ( or 607-255-3061). You can also write to: Quirine Ketterings, Nutrient Management Spear Program, Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, 323 Morrison Hall, Ithaca NY 14853.


  • To evaluate the influence of a crop management changes (manure management, tillage management, cover cropping and other soil health enhancing practices) on crop yield, field balances, and grenehouse gas emissions.

Funding Sources

Earlier work was co-funded by federal formula funds, a USDA conservation innovation grant (4782-CU-USDA-2226), and a USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant (2013-68002-20525). Current work is funded by FFAR and the dairy industry.

Additional Resources

Farmer Impact Stories

Fact Sheets

Extension Articles

Journal Articles