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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Carbon Sequestration in the U.S. Corn Belt

item Doraiswamy, Paul
item Causarano, Hector
item Mccarty, Gregory
item Daughtry, Craig
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Stern, Alan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2006
Publication Date: 1/22/2006
Citation: Doraiswamy, P.C., Causarano, H.J., McCarty, G.W., Daughtry, C.S., Hatfield, J.L., Stern, A.J. 2006. Soil Carbon sequestration in the U.S. Corn Belt [abstract]. U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) Investigators Meeting. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Terrestrial carbon sequestration has a potential role in reducing the increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that is, in part, mitigates global warming. The path to stabilization of the carbon cycle and, ultimately, reduction in the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is though a regime of carbon management. The most stable long-term surface reservoir for carbon is the soil. Crop and grazing lands can be managed for both economic productivity and carbon sequestration. Land-use and soil management (including tillage and crop rotations) affect permanence of carbon storage by altering the processes governing carbon dynamics across landscapes. The EPIC-Century biogeochemical model was selected to study the long term impact of soil and crop management practices on soil carbon sequestration in Iowa. Spatial information of the landuse/landcover from satellite sensors offers a great potential for studying the soil carbon sequestration over time and space. This study was designed to develop the baseline soil carbon and the impact of management practices on soil carbon sequestered over the past 30 years and projection for the next 20 years. The model was initiated in 1970 using the SSURGO soils data base and Climatic data from NOAA first order stations. Soil and crop management practices were gathered from state and national databases. Model simulations were conducted at daily time step and at a grid-cell level of 1.6 x 1.6 km. Model simulations estimate that in 2006 agricultural soils in Iowa are sequestering 4-7 and 8-20 Mg C ha-1 through the adoption of reduced tillage and no-tillage, respectively. Current average C sequestration rates were estimated at 0.7 Mg ha yr-1.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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