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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399393

Research Project: Improving Air Quality, Soil Health and Nutrient Use Efficiency to Increase Northwest Agroecosystem Performance

Location: Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research

Title: Thirteen-year stover harvest and tillage effects on corn agroecosystem sustainability in Iowa

item Karlen, Douglas
item Phillips, Claire
item O'Brien, Peter
item OBRYCKI, JOHN - Harvard University
item TEKESTE, MEHARI - Iowa State University
item EBRAHIMI, ELNAZ - Iowa State University
item Cambardella, Cynthia
item Kovar, John
item BIRRELL, STUART - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Ag Data Commons
Publication Type: Database / Dataset
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/28/2022
Publication Date: 11/28/2022
Citation: Karlen, D.L., Phillips, C.L., O'Brien, P.L., Obrycki, J.N., Tekeste, M.Z., Ebrahimi, E., Cambardella, C.A., Kovar, J.L., Birrell, S.J. 2022. Thirteen-year stover harvest and tillage effects on corn agroecosystem sustainability in Iowa. Ag Data Commons.

Interpretive Summary: Improvements in corn genetics and corn farming practices over time have led to increasing amounts of non-grain plant parts, also called corn stover. Large quantities of corn stover can be difficult for farmers to manage because they interfere with tillage and planting equipment. However, corn stover is also a resource that can be used for animal bedding, low-value feed, bio-products such as fiber board, and cellulosic biofuel. Harvesting stover can potentially provide a source of farm revenue, but it can also potentially degrade soil by reducing soil organic matter and by increasing traffic compaction due to more field traffic and heavier loads. Here we provide data from a field study that evaluated whether stover removal had increased compaction after 13 years of both no-till and chisel-plow tillage practices and three levels of stover harvest (none, moderate, and high levels).

Technical Abstract: Managed turfgrass is a common component of urban landscapes that is expanding under current land use trends. Previous studies have reported high rates of soil carbon sequestration in turfgrass, but no systematic review has summarized these rates nor evaluated how they change as turfgrass ages. We conducted a meta-analysis of soil carbon sequestration rates from 63 studies. Those data, as well as the code used to analyze them and create figures, are shared here.