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Cultivar and Previous Crop Effects on Methane Emissions From Drill-Seeded, Delayed-Flood Rice Production on a Silt-Loam Soil

Rogers, Christopher W.1; Brye, Kristofor R.1; Smartt, Alden D.1; Norman, Richard J.1; Gbur, Edward E.2; Evans-White, Michelle A.3

doi: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000039
Technical Article

The effects of cultural practices on drill-seeded delayed-flood rice (Oryza sativa L.) production on methane (CH4) emissions are not well quantified. In Arkansas, rice is produced predominantly on loamy soils following soybean (Glycine max L.) as the previous crop, and hybrid rice has replaced a large percentage of pure-line cultivars in the past decade. Therefore, research was conducted during the 2012 growing season to assess the effects of previous crop (rice or soybean) and cultivar (standard-stature, semi-dwarf, and hybrid) on CH4 emissions on a silt-loam soil. A 30-cm-diameter chamber-based method was used to determine fluxes during the 2012 growing season. When soybean was the previous crop, fluxes were generally lower (P < 0.05) until heading, after which all fluxes decreased until flood release. Seasonal emissions differed based on previous crop and cultivar (P < 0.05). Area- and yield-scaled growing season emissions from rice following soybean were less (127 kg CH4-C ha−1; 13.7 kg CH4-C (mg grain)−1) than when rice followed rice (184 kg CH4-C ha−1; 20.5 kg CH4-C (mg grain)−1). Hybrid rice emitted less (111 kg CH4-C ha−1; 11.1 kg CH4-C (mg grain)−1) than semi-dwarf (169 CH4-C ha−1; 18.3 kg CH4-C (mg grain)−1) or standard-stature rice (186 kg CH4-C ha−1; 21.9 kg CH4-C (mg grain)−1), which did not differ. Thus, results indicated decreased emissions when soybean was the previous crop and when the hybrid cultivar was grown. The incorporation of factors known to influence CH4 emissions (i.e., previous crop, cultivar, and yield) will improve estimates of the carbon footprint of rice.

1Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. Dr. Rogers is also affiliated with the Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho.

2Agricultural Statistics Laboratory, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.

3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Christopher W. Rogers, Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA. E-mail:

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: This study was funded by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.

Received January 21, 2014.

Accepted for publication March 24, 2014.

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