Climate change projections suggest an increased variability of extreme climate conditions, such as sustained drought or prolonged precipitation (IPCC, 2007; USDA, 2012). The early growing season for 2012 and 2013 contrasted significantly in Wisconsin, where 2012 was one of the driest seasons ever recorded while 2013 was one of the wettest. These events had a negative effect on Wisconsin crop production.
Agriculture plays a significant role in the global flux of three major greenhouse gasses (GHG – CO2, N2O and CH4), which when trapped in the atmosphere warms the surface of the Earth via infrared radiation (IPCC, 2007; USDA, 2012). A large amount of these gas fluxes are thought to be derived from soil through crop intensification (USDA, 2012).Improved management practices like reduced tillage, controlled fertilization (Snyder et al., 2009) or extended crop rotation (Drury et al., 2008) are of particular interest because they have a high potential to mitigate gas emissions. Corn rotation is a management practice of high mitigating potential, but due to recent economic influences is often neglected. The effect of crop rotation on GHG emissions is usually positive for mitigation (Drury et al., 2008; Adviento-Borbe et al., 2007; Venterea et al., 2005). Unlike nitrogen fertilizer and tillage management practices, crop rotation effects are often overlooked by farmers in gas emissions.