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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326955

Research Project: Development of Ecologically-Sound Pest, Water and Soil Management Practices for Northern Great Plains Cropping Systems

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Title: Tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management effects on soil organic carbon sequestration in rice-based cropping systems: a review

Author
item Ghimire, Rajan - NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Lamichhane, Sshil - NEPAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
item Acharya, Bharat Sharma - OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Bista, Prakriti - OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sainju, Upendra

Submitted to: Journal of Integrative Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2016
Publication Date: 4/18/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62357
Citation: Ghimire, R., Lamichhane, S., Acharya, B., Bista, P., Sainju, U.M. 2016. Tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management effects on soil organic carbon sequestration in rice-based cropping systems: a review. Journal of Integrative Agriculture. 15:60346-60347. doi:10.1016/S2095-3119(16)61337-0.

Interpretive Summary: Rice-based cropping systems in South Asia predominantly follow traditional cultivation techniques that involve wet plowing (puddling), followed by transplantation of rice seedlings grown in a separate bed in the summer. Wheat or other crops in rotation are generally grown in the winter using traditional desi plow or moldboard plow tillage. Recently, there is growing interest toward using conservation tillage systems, such as reduced or no-tillage, for both rice and wheat cultivations. Enhancing these agronomic and ecological benefits of greater soil organic carbon storage requires more information on management practices that increases carbon inputs and mitigates loss of accrued benefits. This paper synthesizes the much-needed state-of-knowledge on the effects of management practices, such as tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management, on soil organic carbon storage under rice based cropping systems in South Asia. Improved management practices, such as reduced and no-tillage, appropriate rates of nitrogen fertilizer and farmyard manure applications, and crop residue addition, have been known to increase soil organic carbon storage compared with traditional management practices under crops with aerobic soil condition, but little is known under crops, such as rice, with anaerobic condition. No-tillage with crop residue addition increased soil organic carbon content by 13% compared with conventional tillage with no residue addition in the rice-wheat system. Nitrogen application through manure and compost and integration of organic and chemical fertilizers improved soil organic carbon by 12 to 15% compared with no N application. However, enormous discrepancies in soil organic carbon values exist in studies across the region. More research on soil organic carbon as influenced by alternative tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management systems and development of monitoring systems for existing long-term experiment will advance our understanding in carbon dynamics in rice-based cropping systems and improve agricultural system sustainability in the South Asia.

Technical Abstract: Sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the major agricultural strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, enhance food security, and improve agricultural sustainability. This paper synthesizes the much-needed state-of-knowledge on the effects of management practices, such as tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management, on SOC storage under rice (Oryza sativa L.)-based cropping systems in South Asia. Improved management practices, such as reduced- and no-tillage, appropriate rates of N fertilizer and farmyard manure (FYM) applications, and crop residue addition, have been known to increase SOC storage compared with traditional management practices under crops with aerobic soil condition, but little is known under crops, such as rice, with anaerobic condition. No-tillage with crop residue addition increased SOC by 13% compared with conventional tillage with no residue addition in the rice-wheat system. Nitrogen fertilization through manure and compost application and integration of organic and chemical fertilizers improved SOC accumulation by 12 to 15% compared with no N fertilization. However, enormous discrepancies in SOC measurements still exists in studies across the region. More research on SOC as influenced by alternative tillage, crop residue, and nutrient management systems and development of SOC monitoring system for existing long-term experiment will advance our understanding of the SOC dynamics in rice-based cropping systems and improve agricultural system sustainability in the South Asia.