Sustainability of Corn Stover Harvest
Soil and Water Management Research
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Determine effects of crop residue removal on soil quality and greenhouse gas emissions.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This research will be superimposed on long-term tillage research projects in Rosemount, Lamberton, and Rice County, MN. Different amounts of stover will be annually removed from selected plots, and soil samples will be taken periodically for a suite of analyses to determine changes in soil organic carbon, soil fertility, and overall soil quality. Crop residues will also be sampled and analyzed to permit determination of nutrient balances. Gas exchange measurements will be conducted at Rosemount and Rice County to determine the impact of stover removal on soil respiration and nitrous oxide emissions.
A paper was presented at the Sun Grant Conference in October 2012. Four manuscripts are being prepared for submission to a special issue of Bioenergy Research. The results have shown that removing crop residues does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contrary to expectation. The data also indicate that soil carbon is being lost from the stover removal treatment. This project relates to objective 1a of NP 212: “Determine the impact of different levels of stover removal from highly productive continuous corn systems on soil C levels, soil respiration and N2O emissions.”