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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354791

Research Project: Increasing the Productivity and Resilience to Climate Variability of Agricultural Production Systems in the Upper Midwest U.S. while Reducing Negative Impact on the Environment

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Sugarcane residue management impact soil greenhouse gas

item TAVARES, ROSE L.M. - Collaborator
item Spokas, Kurt
item HALL, KATE - University Of Minnesota
item COLOSKY, EDWARD - University Of Minnesota
item DE SOUZA, Z.M - Collaborator
item LA SCALA, NEWTON - Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2018
Publication Date: 4/1/2018
Citation: Tavares, R., Spokas, K.A., Hall, K., Colosky, E., De Souza, Z., La Scala, N. 2018. Sugarcane residue management impact soil greenhouse gas. Ciência e Agrotecnologia. 42(2):195-203.

Interpretive Summary: In agricultural soil, organic carbon content is a dynamic balance between microbial activity and plant residue inputs. In this research, we compared two different strategies of sugarcane residue management: removal through surface burning and a system with the residues are left in the field for the last 5 and 10 years. The results of this study demonstrate that the sugarcane residue management had a dramatic impact on the rate of soil CO2 production. In addition, when the results of gases were separated by surface curvature (convex and concave), differences in CO2 patterns between areas burned and green areas were also observed, with greater emissions from the green areas. This was believed linked to the increased residues (carbon inputs). This data suggests that although the amount of residues were higher, the microbial populations were adapted by the increased carbon inputs and thereby caused higher relative rates of carbon turnover in the green system, despite the higher carbon input. These results are significant to farmers and policy makers and will assist scientists and engineers in improving soil carbon sequestration strategies for systems that have higher carbon inputs.

Technical Abstract: Mechanized sugarcane harvest is replacing the historic practice of field burning, due to environmental concerns of the particulate and emissions during burning. However, the impact of these practices on soil greenhouse gas (GHG) production potential is not fully known. Thus, the present work quantified the potential production, in 1 g of soil, of greenhouse gases (GHG) in three systems of sugarcane management. The systems were: area with a history of burning sugarcane before harvest (B) and another with two systems of management of “green sugarcane” in two periods of implantation - 5 (G-5) and 10 years (G-10). A laboratory incubation experiment was used to assess the production potentials of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) in 1g of soil samples by the different sugarcane management systems. The results of this study demonstrate that the sugarcane management systems had an impact on the potential production of CO2 in the soil. In addition, when the results of gases were divided from convex and concave areas, differences in CO2 patterns between areas B and G-10 were observed, with greater emission in the G-10 area, probably due the residue on the soil surface.