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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GRACENET: AN ASSESSMENT OF SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION AND GREENHOUSE GAS MITIGATION BY AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT
2009 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Evaluate the soil C status and direction of change of soil C in existing typical and alternative agricultural systems.

2. Determine net GHG emission (CO2, CH4 and N2O) of current agricultural systems in existing typical and alternative agricultural systems.

3. Determine the environmental effects (water, air and soil quality) of the new agricultural systems developed to reduce GHG emission and increase soil C storage.

Note: All participating units will address Objective 1. Those units with the capacity to measure trace gases will also address Objective 2. While those with the capacity to measure other environmental parameters will also address Objective 3. Scenarios 1 and 2 correspond to Objective 1, Scenario 3 corresponds to Objective 2 and Scenario 4 corresponds to Objective 3.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The GRACEnet experimental concept is based on four location-specific scenarios or treatments: What is the C accumulation rate under typical agricultural management practices? These business as usual systems should be economically viable or at least used by the majority of producers that are able to continue in production agriculture in that area of the country. Each unit will determine the number of sub-treatments it will research, since there may be many variations on typical practices within a geographic area. Maximizing C sequestration rate. What has to be done to achieve the highest rate of sequestration in that production system? These treatments may be either economically feasible or technically feasible. The only constraint is that they remain in a agriculturally feasible production system. Each unit will determine the number of sub treatments it will research, since there will be many variations on practices to potentially maximize C sequestration.

Minimizing net GHG emission: This system differs from #2 because N2O and CH4 emission must also be considered. How does this management scenario compare with #2? What is the sequestration rate and net GHG balance when all GHG emission are considered? Agriculture is the main source of N2O and CH4 to the atmosphere. Therefore, data will be collected by the units that have the capability and capacity to determine N2O and CH4 on the treatments under study in scenarios 1 and 2. Practices will be developed to decrease the emission of N2O and CH4. Each unit that addresses this scenario will determine the number of sub treatments it will research, since there will be many variations on practices to potentially maximize C sequestration.

Maximizing environmental benefits: Carbon sequestration may well become part of a larger conservation benefit package. Land managers and policy makers will be interested in tradeoffs among management options. With careful management, how can soil C sequestration and GHG emission be balanced with water quality, air quality, and soil quality goals? Units capable of evaluating environmental benefits and C sequestration will be encouraged both to study the individual issue or issues that they can address (water quality, air quality, or soil quality goals) and to collect data that may contribute information that is consistent with the needs of the ‘larger conservation benefit package’ that may be implemented by USDA or other action agencies.

Particpant CRIS #'s: 1265-21660-002-00D; 1275-11210-001-00D; 1265-12130-002-00D; 3625-11000-004-00D; 3645-11000-003-00D; 3640-12000-007-00D; 3602-12220-006-00D; 6420-12610-003-00D; 6420-11120-005-00D; 1915-62660-001-00D; 1902-13000-010-00D; 5407-12130-006-00D;1935-12000-010-00D; 5447-12620-002-00D; 5402-66000-005-00D;5402-11000-008-00L; 5409-11000-003-00D; 5440-12210-050-00D; 5445-11120-001-00D; 5436-13210-004-00D; 1932-12000-004-00D; 5358-21410-002-00D; 5368-12000-008-00D; 5354-21660-001-00D; 5356-12000-009-00D; 5247-11000-008-00D; 5348-11120-003-00D; 5342-13610-007-00D; 6615-11000-007-00D; 6657-12000-005-00D; 6602-13000-024-00D; 6612-11120-003-00D; 6208-12000-009-00D; 6206-11120-004-00D.


3.Progress Report

GRACEnet (5402-11000-008-00L): The GRACEnet project which includes the participation of scientist from 32 ARS locations nationally continue to work toward producing the following products and with the following level of progress in completion of the milestone for each product:

1. Database of soil C and trace gas flux for crop, pasture and rangeland systems in the U.S. Database will be a valuable asset for: i) scientists investigating agricultural practices on C sequestration and trace gas flux, ii) for model development and testing, and iii) a foundation for Products 2, 3, 4 of this plan. • All milestones have been fully met, except one (# 10). The agreed upon data base is currently being populated by date from several of the locations and thus, has not yet been released to the public. • Importantly, the effort to populating the database is a continuing process and encouragement to do so to all of the ARS location is needed into the future. 2. Regional and national publications and guidelines of management that reduce GHG intensity, applicable for use by producers, federal and state agencies and C brokers. • The milestones for this product are either fully or substantially met. • Again as above, it is important that guidelines for management to reduce GHG intensity need to continue to be written and updated as new information emerges and new opportunities to publish is occur. 3. Evaluation and modification of computer models created to assess management effects on net GHG emission. • The majority of milestones are either fully or substantially met. Models such as CQESTR, DAYCENT, and EPIC have been included to assess management effects on net GHG emissions. • For the first milestone that was not met, it was because of a lack of resources to couple CQESTR with one or more plant growth models. • The target agency (NRCS) wants to use another decision support tool rather than the one ARS is working to develop. 4. Summary paper for action agencies and policy makers based on the current state of knowledge. • The milestones for this product are fully or substantially met. • Importantly, summary papers are continuing to be written and will be into the future. Guidelines for management to reduce GHG intensity need to continue to be written and updated as new information emerges and new opportunities to publish occur. There are over 100 journal paper, book chapters, and books now published with more in the pipeline as we go into the future.


Review Publications
Reeves III, J.B. 2009. Near- Versus Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy for Soil Analysis Emphasizing Carbon and Laboratory Versus On-Site Analysis: Where Are We And What Needs To Be Done? Geoderma. 158:3-14.

Calderon, F.J., Acosta Martinez, V., Douds, D.D., Reeves III, J.B., Vigil, M.F. 2009. Mid-Infrared and Near Infrared Spectral Properties of Mycorrhizal and Non-Mycorrhizal Root Cultures. Journal of Applied Spectroscopy. 63(5)494-500.

Serbin, G., Daughtry, C.S., Hunt, E.R., Reeves, J.B. 2009. Effects of soil composition and mineralogy on remote sensing of crop residue cover. Remote Sensing of Environment. 113:224-238.

Pikul, Jr., J.L., Chilom, G., Rice, J., Eynard, A., Schumacher, T.E., Nichols, K., Johnson, J.M.F., Wright, S., Caesar, T., Ellsbury, M. 2009. Organic Matter and Water Stability of Field Aggregates Affected by Tillage in South Dakota. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 73:197-206.

Pikul Jr, J.L., Johnson, J.M., Schumacher, T., Vigil, M.F., Riedell, W.E. 2008. Change in Surface Soil Carbon Under Rotated Corn in Eastern South Dakota. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:1738-1744.

Liebig, M.A., Schmer, M.R., Vogel, K.P., Mitchell, R. 2008. Soil Carbon Storage by Switchgrass Grown for Bioenergy. BioEnergy Research. 1:215-222.

Phillips, B.L., Tanaka, D.L., Archer, D.W., Hanson, J.D. 2009. Fertilizer Application Timing Influences Greenhouse Gas Fluxes Over a Growing Season. Journal of Environmental Quality. 38:1569-1579.

La Scala, N., Lopes, A., Spokas, K.A., Archer, D.W., Reicosky, D.C. 2009. Short-Term Temporal Changes of Bare Soil CO2 Fluxes Described by First-Order Decay Models. European Journal of Soil Science. 60(2):258-264.

Gu, C., Maggi, F., Venterea, R.T., Riley, W.J., Hornberger, G.M., Xu, T., Spycher, N., Steefel, C., Miller, N.L., Oldenburg, C.M. 2009. Aqeuous and Gaseous Nitrogen Losses Induced by Fertilizer Application. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. 114:GO1006. [doi:10.1029/2008JG00788].

Venterea, R.T., Baker, J.M. 2008. Effects of soil physical nonuniformity on chamber-based gas flux estimates. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:1410-1417.

Lee, X., Griffis, T.J., Baker, J.M., Billmark, K., Kim, K.H., Welp, L.R. 2009. Canopy-scale kinetic fractionation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapour isotopes. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 23(1):GB1002. [doi:10.1029/2008GB003331].

Venterea, R.T., Spokas, K.A., Baker, J.M. 2009. Accuracy and Precision Analysis of Chamber-Based Nitrous Oxide Gas Flux Estimates. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 73(4):1087-1093.

Franzluebbers, A.J., Stuedemann, J.A. 2008. soil-profile organic carbon and total nitrogen during 12 years of pasture management in the Southern Piedmont USA. Agriculture Ecosystems and the Environment. 129:28-36.

Abrahamson Beese, D.A., Causarano, H.J., Williams, J.R., Norfleet, M.L., Franzluebbers, A.J. 2009. Predicting soil organic carbon sequestration in crop production systems of the southeastern USA with EPIC and the soil conditioning index. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society. 64:134-144.

Jarecki, M.K., Parkin, T.B., Chan, A.S., Hatfield, J.L., Meek, D.W., Jones, R. 2008. Greenhouse gases emission from two soils under N fertilizer and swine slurry. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37:1432-1438.

Parkin, T.B. 2008. Effect of Sampling Frequency on Estimates of Cumulative N20 Emissions. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37:1390-1395.

Jarecki, M.K., Parkin, T.B., Chan, A.K., Hatfield, J.L., Jones, R. 2008. Comparison of DAYCENT-Simulated and Measured Nitrous Oxide Emission from a Corn Field. Journal of Environmental Quality. 37:1685-1690.

De Sutter, T.M., Sauer, T.J., Parkin, T.B., Heitman, J.L. 2008. A subsurface, closed-loop system for soil carbon dioxide and its application to the gradient efflux approach. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 72:126-134.

Greenan, C., Moorman, T.B., Parkin, T.B., Kaspar, T.C., Jaynes, D.B. 2009. Denitrification in Wood Chip Bioreactors at Different Water Flows. Journal of Environmental Quality. 38:1664-1671.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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