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Research Project: Advancing Sustainable and Resilient Cropping Systems for the Short Growing Seasons and Cold, Wet Soils of the Upper Midwest

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Row-crop production practices effects on greenhouse gas emissions

Author
item Johnson, Jane
item Jin, Virginia
item COLNENNE-DAVID, CAROLINE - French National Institute For Agricultural Research
item Stewart, Catherine
item POZZI JANTALIA, CLAUDIA - Embrapa
item XIONG, ZHENGQIN - Nanjing Agricultural University

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2016
Publication Date: 3/22/2017
Citation: Johnson, J.M., Jin, V.L., Colnenne-David, C., Stewart, C.E., Pozzi Jantalia, C., Xiong, Z. 2017. Row-crop production practices effects on greenhouse gas emissions. In: Al-Kaisi, M., Lowery, B., editors. Soil Health and Intensification of Agroecosystems. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. p. 257-276.

Interpretive Summary: Human population is growing. Growing enough food to feed all these hungry people is going to be challenging. Even more challenging is providing food and other agricultural products and protecting the environment. Climate change is making drought and flooding more likely. Therefore, finding ways for agriculture to mitigate or abate climate change, protect the environment and feed people are needed. This chapter reviews research from growing row crops. Corn, soybean, wheat and in some counties rice are the most common row crops grown. We discuss the pros and cons of adopting no- tillage management, planting cover crops, or harvesting crop residue with respect to producing crops. We also will discuss if these management choices can reduce the release of nitrous oxide and methane, while increasing soil organic matter. Nitrous oxide and methane release contribute to climate change so reducing their production is desirable. Increasing the amount of soil organic matter in soil usually results in a healthier soil, can abate climate change and protect the environment. This information will help scientists, producers, soil managers and policy-makers find ways to grow food and protect the environment. This work contributes to the USDA-ARS-REAP/GRACEnet and the Global Research Alliance-Crop Lands Research project.

Technical Abstract: One of the grand challenges facing humankind is meeting projected demands for agricultural products in a world undergoing anthropogenically-driven global climate change. As demands increase for the reliable and environmentally-responsible supply of food and fiber, how management is adapted to meet demands will determine the sustainability and climate change mitigation potential of row-crop production systems. This chapter addresses the direct GHG emissions from agricultural soils resulting from row-crops production practices. We focus on globally dominant small grain cropping systems (maize, soybean, wheat) with a brief note on paddy rice systems. Specifically, we provide a brief review of direct GHG emissions measured in conventionally managed cropping systems, and discuss the GHG mitigation potential for various management strategies used in conjunction with or in lieu of conventional practices.