Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2006
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
Citation: Reicosky, D.C., Saxton, K.E. 2007. Reduced environmental emissions and carbon sequestration. In: Baker, C.J., Saxton, K.E., editors. No-tillage Seeding in Conservation Agriculture. 2nd edition. Rome, Italy: FAO and CAB International. p. 257-267. Technical Abstract: Agricultural ecosystems can play a significant role in the production and consumption of greenhouse gases, specifically, carbon dioxide. Information is needed on the mechanism and magnitude of gas generation and emission from agricultural soils with specific emphasis on tillage mechanisms. The objective of this review was to present recent concepts on tillage-induced carbon (C) losses as impacted by different tillage methods and present the environmental benefits of C sequestration. Understanding these benefits directly related to soil C and getting conservation practices implemented will hasten the development of harmony between man and nature while increasing production of food, fiber and biofuels. Increasing soil C storage can increase infiltration, increase fertility, decrease wind and water erosion, minimize compaction, enhance water quality, decrease C emissions, impede pesticide movement and enhance environmental quality. The sum of each individual benefit adds to a total package with major significance on a global scale. Accepting the challenges of maintaining food security by incorporating C storage in conservation planning demonstrates concern for our global resources and our willingness to work in harmony with nature. This concern presents a positive role for conservation agriculture that will have a major impact on global sustainability and our future quality of life.