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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Management Practices to Mitigate Global Climate Change, Enhance Bio-Energy Production, Increase Soil-C Stocks & Sustain Soil Productivity...


2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Improve databases and provide other information on the soil C stocks, C-sequestration, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and fluxes of current and/or new soil management and cropping systems by use of measurement and/or model based approaches. 2. Develop sustainable biofuel production systems and practices that result in improved soil C sequestration, efficient use and recycling of applied nutrients (especially N), and minimal GHG emissions. 3. Characterize and measure the influences and processes of environmental and plant-related controls on C and N cycling and storage in soils. 4. Develop processes, primarily microbiological, that 1) minimize soil-borne disease thereby maintaining soil ecosystems and crop productivity, 2) enhance biofuel production, and 3) remediate damaged, and protect undamaged, soil and water. 5. Develop management practices and decision support tools that improve nutrient use efficiency and reduce losses in agricultural systems.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
This research addresses priority science questions in the strategic plan for the Climate Change, Soils and Emissions Research (NP212) and provides a scientific foundation for decision-making and policy development. The five objectives in this project integrate studies focusing on effects of management practices on soil processes and sustainable crop growth and yield. Objective 1 addresses the need for improved databases and provides other information on the soil C stocks, C-sequestration, and GHG emission and fluxes of current and new soil management and cropping systems. These data bases will be used to improve models and decision support systems. Objective 2 studies address sustainable biofuel and irrigated conservation tillage production systems and practices to improve soil C sequestration, efficient use and recycling of applied nutrients (especially N), and minimize GHG emissions. Objective 3 studies focus on characterizing and measuring the influences and processes of environmental and plant-related controls on C and N cycling, pool dynamics, and storage in soils. Objective 4 examines soil productivity and remediation tools that reduce soil-borne diseases and protect soils and soil waters from damage from soil contaminants. The goal is to utilize microbial isolates and communities for bioenergy production, biocontrol of soil-borne pathogens, and to remediate damaged soils. Objective 5 studies focus on improving nutrient use efficiency, especially N, and developing more advanced decision support tools (e.g., indices and models) for improved nutrient management. The overall SPNR research focus is on biological processes and management practices that influence SOC, GHG emissions, microbial and rhizosphere biology, pesticide/nutrient/contaminant removal from soil, bioenergy production, and nutrient use efficiency. All of these research projects share the common goal of improving or maintaining farm profitability while practicing sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture.

3. Progress Report:
Objective 1: Improved relational databases are needed to assess land uses to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A general template allows comprehensive data entry from ARS GRACEnet and REAP locations, is adaptable for use by other ARS programs, and by other countries. Used with ‘process-based’ models, national inventories can be improved. Model testing and development continues to meet national needs such as input into national inventories of US greenhouse gas emissions and sinks. Objective 2. Sustainable biofuel production systems continue to be investigated in relation to soil C sequestration. Research establishes that in the Western Cornbelt, over half of the C was sequestered below 30cm depth under dryland switchgrass and corn. Effect of tillage on grain yields and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are being investigated, as are GHG contributions of urban turfgrass systems that may improve C sequestration, and minimize GHG emissions. Plant biochemical markers and fragments in soil help understand linkages to production and post-production conditions for biochar on sorbed volatile organic compounds. Nearly 2000 bacterial isolates obtained from tropical rainforest sources continue to be screened for novel biochemical properties. Two isolates are being characterized for their ability to degrade lignin. Objective 3. A CAST report and an Elsevier book, both on GHG and Global Change were published. In VA, most of the SOC across 48 farmer fields was mineral associated, and additional C storage was in aggregate and labile pools susceptible to management. Techniques including determination of particulate and mineral associated organic C, isotopic, and others allow soil characterization for influences and processes of environmental and plant-related controls on C and N cycling and storage in soils. Effects of temperature and moisture were used to estimate potential C and N losses that might result from global climate change across the US Great Plains during the next 30yr. Objective 4. Shallow vadose zone remediation for soil and water degradation, enhancing residue decomposition for biofuels, and maintaining soil productivity include a pilot scale biobarrier designed to intercept runoff from cattle pens, to determine nitrate removal. Additional studies use aerobic and anaerobic biobarriers to remediate groundwater contaminated with hexazinone. A similar study was initiated with imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide. A study to investigate selenium movement through deep soils was completed and the results published. Twenty bacterial isolates with bioactivity against Phytophthora spp. have been identified and further assayed for siderophore production. Objective 5. Decision support tools to improve nutrient use efficiency and reduce losses in agricultural systems now include a Nitrogen Index app. The Smartphone app can be run at a given farm and results emailed to help users assess and improve N use efficiency. A report was published on the science of climate change and conservation practices entitled "Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy".

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Berrada, A., Halvorson, A.D. 2012. Manure and nitrogen fertilizer effects on corn productivity and soil fertility under drip and furrow irrigation. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science . p. 1-9.

Halvorson, A.D., Del Grosso, S.J. 2011. Nitrogen source effects on nitrous oxide emissions from irrigated cropping systems in Colorado. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. 1072:15-27.

Paul, E., Follett, R.F., Haddix, M., Pruessner, E.G. 2011. Soil N dynamics related to soil C and microbial changes during long-term incubation. Soil Science. 176: 527-536.

Follett, R.F., Mooney, S., Morgan, J.A., Paustian, K., Allen Jr, L.H., Archibeque, S., Del Grosso, S.J., Derner, J.D., Dijkstra, F., Franzluebbers, A.J., Kurkalova, L., Mccarl, B., Ogle, S., Parton, W., Petersen, J., G. Philip, R., Schoeneberger, M., West, T., Williams, J. 2011. Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas fluxes in agriculture: Challenges and opportunities. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Issue Paper. 112 p.

Qian, Y., Follett, R.F. 2011. Chapter 8. Carbon dynamics and sequestration in urban turfgrass ecosystems. In: Lal, R. and Augustin, B., editors. Carbon Sequestration in Urban Ecosystems. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-2366-5_8

Del Grosso, S.J., Grant, D. 2011. Reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions: role of biotechnology, organic systems, and consumer behavior. Carbon Management. 2(5); 505-508.

Davis, S., Parton, W., Del Grosso, S.J., Keough, C., Marx, E., Adler, P.R., Delucia, E. 2011. Impact of second-generation biofuel agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions in the corn-growing regions of the US. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 10:69-74.

Halvorson, A.D., Jantalia, C. 2011. Nitrogen fertilization effects on irrigated no-till corn production and soil carbon and nitrogen. Agronomy Journal. 103: 1423-1431.

Halvorson, A.D., Del Grosso, S.J., Jantalia, C.P. 2011. Nitrogen source effects on soil nitrous oxide emissions from strip-till corn. Journal of Environmental Quality. 40:1775-1786.

Bailey, R.T., Hunter, W.J., Gates, T.K. 2012. The influence of nitrate on selenium in irrigated agricultural groundwater systems. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41:783-792.

Chaparro, J.M., Sheflin, A.M., Manter, D.K., Vivanco, J.M. 2012. Manipulating the soil microbiome to increase soil health and plant fertility. Biology and Fertility of Soils. 48:489-499.

Follett, R.F., Stewart, C.E., Pruessner, E.G., Kimble, J. 2012. Effects of Climate Change on soil carbon and nitrogen storage in the US Great Plains. Special Issue "Mitigation of Climate Change". Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 12:115-125.

Halvorson, A.D., Schlegel, A.J. 2012. Crop rotation effect on soil carbon and nitrogen stocks under limited irrigation. Agronomy Journal. 104:1265-1273.

Badri, D.V., Chaparro, J.M., Manter, D.K., Martinoia, E., Vivanco, J. 2012. Influence of ATP-binding cassette transporters in root exudation of phytoalexins, signals, and disease resistance. Frontiers in Plant Science. 3(149):1-17.

Del Grosso, S.J., Parton, W.J., Keough, C., Reyes-Fox, M.A. 2011. Special features of the dayCent modeling package and additional procedures for parameterization, calibration, validation, and applications. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter. p. 155-176.

Sherrod, L.A., Hunter, W.J., Reeder, J., Ahuja, L.R. 2012. A rapid and cost effective method for soil carbon mineralization under static incubations. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 43:6. 958-972.

Stewart, C.E. 2011. Evaluation of angiosperm and fern contributions to soil organic matter using two methods of pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Plant and Soil. 351:31-46.

Halvorson, A.D., Steenwerth, K.L., Suddick, E.C., Liebig, M.A., Smith, J.L., Bronson, K.F., Collins, H.P. 2012. Management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in western U.S. croplands. Elsevier. New York, NY: Elsevier Inc. p. 167-182.

Stewart, C.E., Follett, R.F., Wallace, J., Pruessner, E.G. 2012. Impact of biosolids and tillage on soil organic matter fractions: Implications of carbon saturation for conservation management in the Virginia Coastal Plain. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 76:1257-1267.

Spokas, K.A., Novak, J.M., Stewart, C.E., Cantrell, K.B., Uchimiya, S.M., Dusaire, M.G., Ro, K.S. 2011. Qualitative analysis of volatile organic compounds on biochar. Chemosphere. 85(5):869-882.

Del Grosso, S.J., Parton, W., Adler, P.R., Davis, S., Keogh, C., Marx, E. 2012. DayCent model simulations for estimating soil carbon dynamics and greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural production systems. Book Chapter. New York, NY: Elsevier Inc. p. 241-250.

Vogel, K.P., Follett, R.F., Varvel, G.E., Mitchell, R., Kimble, J. 2012. Soil carbon sequestration by switchgrass and no-till maize grown for bioenergy. BioEnergy Research. DOI 10.1007/s12155-012-9198-y.

Sugiyama, A., Manter, D.K., Vivanco, J. 2012. Co-adaptationary Aspects of the Underground Communication Between Plants and Other Organisms. In: Witzany, G. editor. Biocommunication of Plants. G. Witzany (ed). Springer, NY. pp. 361-376.

Santhanam, N., Badri, D., Decker, S., Manter, D.K., Reardon, K., Vivanco, J. 2012. Lignocellulose Decomposition by Microbial Secretions. In: Baluska, F. and Vivance, J.M. editors. Secretions and Exudates in Biological Systems. Springer, NY. pp. 125-153.

Hunter, W.J., Shaner, D.L. 2012. Removing hexazinone from groundwater with microbial bioreactors. Current Microbiology. 64:405-411.

Adler, P.R., Del Grosso, S.J., Inman, D., Jenkins, R.E., Spatari, S., Zhang, Y. 2012. Mitigation opportunities for life cycle greenhouse gas emissions during feedstock production across heterogeneous landscapes. In: Liebig, M., Franzluebbers, A.J., Follet, R.F., editors. Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses: Coordinated agricultural research through GRACEnet to address our changing climate. New York, NY: Elsevier Inc. p. 203-219. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386897-8.00012-7.

Liebig, M.A., A.J. Franzluebbers, and R.F. Follett (Editors). 2012. Managing agricultural greenhouse gases: Coordinated agricultural research through GRACEnet to address our changing climate. San Diego, CA:Academic Press. 547 pp.

Hunter, W.J., Manter, D.K. 2012. Pseudomonas kuykendallii sp. nov.: A novel y-Proteobacteria isolated from a hexazinone degrading bioreactor. Current Microbiology. 65:170-175.

Follett, R.F., Liebig, M.A., Franzluebbers, A.J. 2012. Preface to book entitled: Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: Coordinated Agricultural Research through GRACEnet to Address our Changing Climate. New York, NY: E;sevier Inc. p. xi - xiii.

Follett, R.F. 2012. Beyond Mitigation: Adaptation of agricultural strategies to overcome projected climate change. New York, NY: Elsevier Inc. p. 693-718.

Herrera, J.M., Delgado, J.A., Dillon, M., Barbarick, K., Mcmaster, G.S. 2011. Accumulation of late-applied nitrogen and root dynamics during grain filling in irrigated spring wheat. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 42:2235-2249.

Ribaudo, M., Delgado, J.A., Hansen, L., Livingston, M., Mosheim, R., Williamson, J. 2011. Nitrogen in agricultural systems: Implications for conservation policy. United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Proceedings. 1.

Figueroa-Viramontes1, U., Delgado, J.A., Cueto-Wong, J., Núñez-Hernández, G., Reta-Sanchez1, D., Barbarick, K. 2011. A new nitrogen index to elvaluate nitrogen losses in intensive forage systems in Mexico. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 142:352-364.

Shumway, C., Delgado, J.A., Bunch, T., Hansen, L., Rubaudo, M. 2012. Best Nitrogen Management Practices Can Reduce the Potential Flux of Nitrogen Out of the Arkansas Delta. Soil Science. 177:198-209.

Ribaudo, M., Delgado, J.A., Livingston, M. 2011. Preliminary assessment of the potential for nitrous oxide offsets in a cap and trade program. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 40:1 - 6.

Essah, S., Delgado, J.A., Dillon, M., Sparks, R. 2012. Cover crops can improve potato tuber yield and quality. HortTechnology. 22:185-190.

Delgado, J.A., Khosla, R., Mueller, T. 2011. Recent advances in precision (Target) conservation. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society. 66:167A-170A.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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