Nitrous oxide emission levels in response to alternative crop rotations

CC BY 4.0

Research organisatons
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Brian Dzoma (SARDI)
Roy Latta (SARDI)
Year(s) 2014
Contributor Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation
Trial location(s) Wanilla, SA
Nitrous oxide emission levels in response to alternative crop rotations locations

Agricultural soils are the main source of emission of the greenhouse gas (GHG) nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere. N2O is a potent GHG which lasts in the atmosphere for 114 years and has a global warming potential of approximately 300 times greater than that of carbon dioxide over a 100 year timescale. Agriculture accounts for 16% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions but produces 80% of Australia’s N2O emissions. This project seeks to measure and quantify N2O emissions from wheat grown in rotation with canola, pulses and legume pastures at two sites in low and medium/high rainfall farming systems of the Eyre Peninsula, while assessing best management practices that local farmers can adopt to reduce the risk of N2O losses and ultimately improve the paddock’s crop productivity and gross margin.

Key messages

• Work conducted in low and medium rainfall environments indicate that N2O emissions are low from an overall national perspective. • Results showed that there was no clear response of N2O emissions to nitrogen applied at sowing and post sowing. • High pre-seeding soil mineral nitrogen raises the possibility of higher N2O losses over the fallow period following significant rainfall.

Lead research organisation N/A
Host research organisation SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Trial funding source DAWR AOTGR1- 035
Related program Carbon Farming Initiative

Minnipa Agricultural Centre and David Giddings for the use of their land. Terry Blacker and Ian Richter for their technical support. This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, - Action on the Ground program.

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop: Type
  • Fertiliser: Rate
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

Wanilla 2014

Sow date 11 May 2014
Harvest date 25 November 2014
Plot size 10m x 3m
Plot replication 3

18:20:00:0 @ 80kg/ha

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Variety
Treatment 1
Protein (%) Grain yield (t/ha) Cost ($/ha) Grain N yield (kgN/ha) Screenings (%) Gross income ($/ha)
1 Wheat:Mace Sub clover 2013 9.3 2.3 233 37.8 6.2 564
2 Wheat:Mace Canola low input 2013 9.3 2.4 234 38.4 6.2 576
3 Wheat:Mace Lupins 2013 9.7 2.9 245 49.6 4.4 721
4 Wheat:Mace Canola high input 2013 10.3 2.7 310 48.6 5.6 657

Grain yield t/ha


Cost $/ha


Grain N yield kgN/ha


Gross income $/ha


Protein %


Screenings %

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Wanilla, SA Duplex sand over loam
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Wanilla, SA Sodosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Wanilla SA
2014 543.3mm
2013 532.5mm
2012 537.0mm
2011 550.2mm
2010 557.5mm
2009 535.5mm
2008 504.2mm
2007 506.0mm
2006 536.8mm
2005 549.1mm
2004 536.9mm
2003 558.0mm
2002 537.2mm
2001 550.6mm
2000 529.1mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Wanilla SA


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial last modified: 04-06-2019 13:42pm AEST