Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2004
Publication Date: 10/31/2004
Citation: Roberson, T., Reddy, C., Nyakatawa, E., Raper, R.L. 2004. Soil carbon in conventional and conservation tillage systems in north america [abstract].American Society of Agronomy Meetings. CDROM
Technical Abstract: Intensive cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) production under conventional tillage in many south-eastern states of the U.S.A. create a soil erosion hazard which promotes loss of soil carbon. This causes a decline in soil carbon storage which reduces soil organic matter, soil moisture, and nutrient retention. The objectives of this study are to measure and document the effects of conventional, mulch-till, and no-till tillage systems; cropping systems; and poultry litter and ammonium nitrate nitrogen source on soil carbon sequestration in cotton plots. The study was conducted in 2003 and 2004 on existing plots and treatments at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Belle Mina, AL. Prior to application of treatment, there were significant tillage differences at both the 5-15 and 15-30 cm depths when poultry litter was used as the source of nitrogen. No-till plots had significantly higher amounts (20%) of total soil carbon than bare fallowed soils at the 5-15 cm depth. In the 15-30 cm depth no-till and mulch-till soils had significantly higher amounts of total soil carbon (23% and 17% respectively) than bare fallowed soils. Our results show about 0.5 g C kg -1 higher in no-till compared to conventional tillage system. These results show that no-till and mulch-tillage systems sequester soil carbon therefore improving soil quality in cotton production systems.