Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: No tillage crop production has become an accepted practice throughout the USA. Numerous reports published in recent years about the effect of no tillage compared with conventional tillage on potential C storage indicate large variation in the amount of potential C storage with no tillage. Environmental controls may limit the potential of no tillage to store soil C. We synthesized available data on C storage with no tillage compared with conventional tillage from published reports across the USA and Canada, representing more than 100 comparisons from more than 40 locations in 20 states and provinces. No-tillage C storage potential was 50 +/- 870 kg/ha/yr (n=31) in relatively cold and dry climatic conditions, 350 +/- 1030 kg/ha/yr (n=31) in mild climatic conditions, and 330 +/- 430 kg/ha/yr (n=38) in relatively hot and wet climatic conditions. Although no tillage is important for water conservation, aggregation, and protection of fthe soil surface from wind and water erosion in cold and dry climates, potential C storage was the lowest, perhaps due to prevailing cropping systems that relied on low-intensity cropping, which limited C fixation. Our analyses indicate that greatest potential C storage with no tillage crop production is most likely in mild compared with extreme environments.