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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration Simulated by Epic in Cotton Rotations from Three Major Land Resource Areas in the Southeastern Usa.

item Abrahamson Beese, Deborah
item Norfleet, M - USDA-NRCS, TEMPLE, TX
item Causarano, H - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Williams, J - TEXAS A&M
item Franzluebbers, Alan

Submitted to: Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2006
Publication Date: June 26, 2006
Repository URL:
Citation: Abrahamson Beese, D.A., Norfleet, M.L., Causarano, H.J., Williams, J.R., Shaw, J.N., Franzluebbers, A.J. 2006. Soil organic carbon sequestration simulated by epic in cotton rotations from three major land resource areas in the southeastern USA [abstract]. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference, June 26-28, 2006, Amarillo, TX. p.217-218. CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) in the southeastern USA is perceived as occurring at a relatively low rate, because of the inherent low SOC content of most agricultural soils. However, recent field estimates of SOC sequestration in conservation management systems suggest that the sequestration rate could be higher than in other regions of the country. We used the EPIC v. 3060 model and the soil conditioning index (SCI) to estimate long-term SOC storage at Temple TX, McColl SC, and Watkinsville GA using four management systems: (a) cotton with conventional tillage, (b) cotton with no tillage, (c) corn-cotton rotation with no tillage, and (d) bermudagrass-corn-cotton rotation with no tillage. All no-tillage systems used wheat as a cover crop. Simulated SOC sequestration averaged 0.46 Mg/ha/yr under the three no-tillage management systems and -0.03 Mg/ha/yr under conventional tillage with EPIC. The SCI also predicted a strong difference in SOC sequestration between conventional and no tillage. Differences in SOC sequestration among crop rotations were not readily apparent with EPIC, but were with SCI. Predictions of SOC sequestration with EPIC were related to the SCI, but not necessarily in a linear manner as previously suggested. Cotton lint yield with no tillage averaged 88% of yield with conventional tillage, but lint water-use efficiency was not different between tillage systems. Under the simulated management and environmental conditions selected, the SCI appears to be a valuable method for making reasonable, cost-effective estimates of potential SOC sequestration in the southeastern USA, although validations under actual field conditions are still needed.

Last Modified: 4/20/2015
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