Submitted to: Proceedings of the Brazilian Socity of Humic Substances
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/26/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Intensification of agricultural production is an important factor influencing greenhouse gas emission. Agriculture is the major industry for food and fiber production that can serve as both sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. This review covers the role of agricultural soil management as a means of sequestering soil carbon and minimizing possible environmental consequences of intensive agriculture. The role of soil carbon and humic acids in management decisions will be addressed. The short-term CO2 flux after strip tillage was generally the largest for the moldboard plow, and the not-tilled treatment had the least CO2 loss. Other forms of strip tillage were intermediate, and only a relatively small amount of CO2 was detected immediately after strip tillage. The tillage-induced plume of CO2 from a plowed strip perpendicular to the prevailing wind was demonstrated in the absence of the chamber. As we learn more about the central role of humic acids and soil C storage in direct environmental benefits, we must understand the secondary environmental benefits and what they mean to production agriculture. 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 role of humic acids is less well defined, but worthy of further study. Incorporating C storage in conservation planning demonstrates concern for our global resources and our future quality of life.