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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management Strategies to Sustainably Intensify Northern Great Plains Agroecosystems

Location: Natural Resource Management Research

Title: Greenhouse gas mitigation potential of dryland cropping systems in the U.S. Great Plains

item Liebig, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2015
Publication Date: 11/13/2015
Citation: Liebig, M.A. 2015. Greenhouse gas mitigation potential of dryland cropping systems in the U.S. Great Plains. p. 33. IN: S. Eigenbrode et al. (Eds.) Transitioning cereal systems to adapt to climate change. 13-14 Nov. 2015, Minneapolis, MN. Available at: Meeting Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The U.S. Great Plains contain significant expanses of agricultural land dedicated to dryland cropping. Dryland cropping systems in the region that sequester soil organic carbon (SOC) and minimize nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions can serve to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of U.S. agriculture. This presentation will summarize effects of dryland cropping on SOC dynamics and N2O flux in the U.S. Great Plains, and discuss outcomes in the context of anticipated climate change. Among cropping practices, continuous cropping combined with no-tillage management appears most effective at sequestering SOC. Accrual of SOC in these systems has accompanying benefits to agroecosystem performance through increased crop productivity and improved soil quality. Assessments of N2O flux in the region are limited, but suggest low-to-moderate emission rates under most cropping systems. Anticipated changes in climate are projected to vary considerably across the region, making blanket recommendations for GHG mitigation difficult. Projections suggest adaptive, multifaceted management approaches will be needed to minimize the GHG footprint of dryland cropping systems in the U.S. Great Plains.

Last Modified: 09/23/2017
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