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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Corn Residue Effects on Soil Carbon Content with No-Till

Authors
item Potter, Kenneth
item Velaquez, J - INIFAP
item Torbert, Henry

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2002
Publication Date: November 10, 2002
Citation: Potter, K.N., Velazquez-Garcia, J., Torbert, H.A. Corn residue effects on soil carbon content with no-till. Agronomy Abstracts. 2001. CD-ROM computer file.

Technical Abstract: No-till crop management often results increased soil organic carbon contents. However, the effect of residue removal with no-till on soil carbon contents is not well understood. We conducted a multiyear study at six locations in central Mexico, with a wide range of soil and climatic conditions to determine the effect of varying rates of residue removal and no-till management on soil carbon contents. Treatments consisted of annual moldboard plowing and no-till management practices with 100%, 67%, 33% and none of the corn (Zea mays) crop residue remaining on the no-till soil surface. No-till practices maintained carbon levels above that of moldboard plowing at five of the six locations even when all crop residues were removed. Leaving crop residues on the soil surface increased soil carbon content, but at a much faster rate in cool conditions than in tropical conditions. Carbon content was greater with higher amounts of rainfall than in the drier regions. No-till will increase soil carbon contents, but climatic conditions should be considered to determine if crop residue would be more effectively utilized as animal fodder.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014