Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Morris, Minnesota » Soil Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #93440


item Reicosky, Donald

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/23/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Agricultural ecosystems can play a significant role in production and consumption of greenhouse gases, specifically, carbon dioxide. This work evaluated four different tillage methods on the short-term CO2 and water vapor flux from a clay loam soil in the Northern Cornbelt of the U.S.A. The four tillage methods were moldboard-plow only, moldboard plow plus disk kharrow twice, disk harrow and chisel plow using standard tillage equipment following a wheat(T. Aestivum L)crop compared with no tillage. The CO2 flux was measured with a large portable chamber, commonly used to measure crop canopy gas exchange, initiated within five minutes after tillage and continued intermittently for 19 days. The moldboard plow treatment buried nearly all of the residue and left the soil in a rough, loose, open condition and resulted in maximum CO2 loss. The carbon released as CO2 during the 19 days following the moldboard plow, moldboard plow plus disk harrow, disk harrow, chisel plow and not tilled treatments would account for 134%, 70%, 58%, 54% and 27% respectively of the carbon in the current years crop residue. The short-term carbon dioxide losses five hours after four conservation tillage tools was only 31% of that of the moldboard plow. The moldboard plow lost 13.8 times as much CO2 as the soil area not tilled while different conservation tillage tools lost only 4.3 times as much CO2. The smaller CO2 loss following conservation tillage tools is significant and suggests progress is being made in developing conservation tillage tools that can enhance soil carbon management. Any effort to decrease tillage intensity and maximize residue return should result in carbon sequestration for enhanced environmental quality.