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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #373181

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

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Title: Soil inorganic carbon under no-till dryland crop rotations

item Sainju, Upendra
item Allen, Brett
item Jabro, Jalal "jay"
item Stevens, William - Bart

Submitted to: Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2020
Publication Date: 7/14/2020
Publication URL:
Citation: Sainju, U.M., Allen, B.L., Jabro, J.D., Stevens, W.B. 2020. Soil inorganic carbon under no-till dryland crop rotations. Agrosystems, Geosciences & Environment. 3(1). Article e20073.

Interpretive Summary: Dryland cropping systems in arid and semiarid regions had large proportion of soil inorganic carbon in soil total carbon, yet little is known about the effect of management practices on soil inorganic carbon. Researchers at ARS in Sidney, MT reported that 1- to 4-year no-till crop rotations had no effect on soil inorganic carbon to a depth of 120 cm even after four years of study. They found that soil inorganic carbon contributed from 0% of soil total carbon at the soil surface to as much as 78% at the 60-90 cm depth. They concluded that long-term research is needed to evaluate the effect of no-till crop rotations on soil inorganic carbon in the semiarid regions of the northern Great Plains.

Technical Abstract: Soil inorganic C (SIC) constitutes a large proportion of soil total C (STC) under dryland cropping systems in arid and semiarid regions. Information on the effect of management practices on SIC is scarce. We evaluated the effect of 1- to 4-yr no-till diversified crop rotations on SIC at the 0-120 cm depth in Sidney and Friod, MT. The SIC increased from the soil surface to 90 cm and then declined. Crop rotations did not affect SIC and STC, except at 90-120 cm in Sidney where barley (Hordeum vulgaris L) and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L) in rotation with pea (Pisum sativum L.) had higher SIC than other crop rotations. The SIC contributed from 0% of STC at 0-15 cm for most crop rotations to 78% at 60-90 cm for barley-pea rotation. Long-term studies are needed to evaluate the effect of dryland crop rotations on SIC in the northern Great Plains.