Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Tillage-Residue Decision Aid for Soil Carbon

Authors
item Reicosky, Donald
item Archer, David
item Lightle, D - USDA-NRCS
item Wilts, Alan

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2003
Publication Date: November 6, 2003
Citation: REICOSKY, D.C., ARCHER, D.W., LIGHTLE, D., WILTS, A.R. A TILLAGE-RESIDUE DECISION AID FOR SOIL CARBON. CD-ROM. MADISON, WI: ASA-CSSA-SSSA. 2003.

Technical Abstract: Agriculture's role in greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts requires a better understanding of soil carbon (C) management. Our objective is to develop a simple decision aid to assist farmers and consultants making tillage and residue management decisions related to C. The processes and properties that contribute to C input through crop residue and C output through various tillage methods are considered. The decision aid is a spreadsheet with limited user inputs. The soil, climate, tillage equipment/operation, residue and vegetation databases from RUSLE2 are used. The soil volume disturbed by a specific tillage/planting implement is calculated and the degree of soil residue mixing and burial is quantified. Calculation of aboveground plant biomass depends on previous grain yield, residue distribution and orientation. The factors for tillage and crop biomass are calculated and summed to provide an index between zero and 100. A limited number of runs covering a wide range of tillage intensity and plant biomass quality factors suggest that the tool shows management effects related to soil C. Further runs are planned for the complete list of tillage implements and crop species. Successful completion of the decision aid should bring together data and facts useful in developing and evaluating C-related environmental management and policy initiatives.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page