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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Agricultural Exhaust: a Reason to Invest in Soil

Authors
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item Follett, Ronald
item Johnson, Jane
item Liebig, Mark
item Gregorich, E - AGRI & AGRI-FOOD CANADA
item Parkin, Timothy
item Smith, Jeffrey
item Del Grosso, Stephen
item Jawson, Michael
item Martens, Dean

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2006
Publication Date: June 30, 2006
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Follett, R.F., Johnson, J.M., Liebig, M.A., Gregorich, E.G., Parkin, T.B., Smith, J.L., Del Grosso, S.J., Jawson, M.D., Martens, D.A. 2006. Agricultural exhaust: a reason to invest in soil. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 61(3):98A-101A.

Interpretive Summary: Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been increasing in the atmosphere at a steady rate during the past century. These rising concentrations are cause for concern, because of their potential to cause global warming and climate change. A network of scientists from USDA – Agricultural Research Service locations across the country, in cooperation with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, have teamed together to quantify how agriculture is contributing to the release of greenhouse gases. In addition, the team is also quantifying how conservation agricultural practices, being used by some farmers in North America, might be helping to keep some of these greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. Storing more organic matter in soil will not only reduce greenhouse gas emission, but will increase the productive potential of soil for longer term sustainability. The management approaches to achieve more soil organic matter storage were somewhat dependent upon climatic region, but growing crops with little soil disturbance and raising animals on pasture are two key generalities that will help. The network of research locations working together to further determine best management practices to limit greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will benefit policy makers, farmers, and all of society by maintaining a food production system that has less impact on the global atmosphere.

Technical Abstract: Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been increasing in the atmosphere at a steady rate during the past century. These rising concentrations are cause for concern, because of their potential to cause global warming and climate change. A network of scientists from USDA – Agricultural Research Service locations across the country, in cooperation with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, have teamed together to quantify how agriculture is contributing to the release of greenhouse gases. In addition, the team is also quantifying how conservation agricultural practices, being used by some farmers in North America, might be helping to keep some of these greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. Storing more organic matter in soil will not only reduce greenhouse gas emission, but will increase the productive potential of soil for longer term sustainability. The management approaches to achieve more soil organic matter storage were somewhat dependent upon climatic region, but growing crops with little soil disturbance and raising animals on pasture are two key generalities that will help. The network of research locations working together to further determine best management practices to limit greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will benefit policy makers, farmers, and all of society by maintaining a food production system that has less impact on the global atmosphere.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014