Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2005
Publication Date: 11/4/2005
Citation: Reicosky, D.C. 2005. Conservation agriculture: Environmental benefits of reduced tillage and soil carbon management in water limited areas of central Asia [abstract]. Carbon Sequestration in Central Asia Workshop. p. 24.
Technical Abstract: Agricultural carbon (C) sequestration may be one of the most cost-effective ways to slow processes of global warming and enhance plant available water. Numerous environmental benefits and enhanced water-use efficiency result from agricultural activities that sequester soil C and contribute to crop production and environmental security. Increased surface residues and soil C increases infiltration, decreases runoff, increases water-holding capacity, and decreases evaporation. As part of no-regret strategies, practices that sequester soil C also help reduce soil erosion and improve water quality and are consistent with more sustainable and less chemically-dependent agriculture. While we learn more about soil C storage and its central role in direct environmental benefits, we must understand the secondary environmental benefits and what they mean to production agriculture. Increasing soil C storage can increase fertility and nutrient cycling, decrease wind and water erosion, minimize compaction, enhance water quality, decrease C emissions, impede pesticide movement and generally enhance environmental quality. The sum of each individual benefit adds to a total package with major significance on a regional scale. Incorporating C storage in conservation planning in areas of limited water resources demonstrates concern for our global resources and presents a positive role for soil C that will have a major impact on our future quality of life.