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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

Location: Soil Plant Nutrient Research (SPNR)

Project Number: 5402-11000-008-00
Project Type: Cross Location

Start Date: Feb 01, 2007
End Date: Oct 31, 2010

Objective:
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.

Approach:
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.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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