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Cropping sequence and nitrogen fertilization impact on surface residue, soil carbon sequestration, and crop yields

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Information is needed on the effect of management practices on soil C storage for obtaining C credit. The effects of tillage, cropping sequence, and N fertilization were evaluated on dryland crop and surface residue C and soil organic C (SOC) at the 0-120 cm depth in a Williams loam from 2006 to 2011 in eastern Montana, USA. Treatments were no-till continuous malt barley (Hordeum vulgaris L.) (NTCB), no-till malt barley-pea (Pisum sativum L.) (NTB-P), no-till malt barley-fallow (NTB-F), and conventional till malt barley-fallow (CTB-F) (traditional system), each with 0, 40, 80, and 120 kg N ha-1. Annualized grain and biomass (stems + leaves) yields, surface residue amount, and C contents were greater in NTB-P and NTCB than in CTB-F and NTB-F in all years, except in 2006 and 2008, and increased with increased N rates. The SOC at 0-5 and 5-10 cm was greater with 40 than with 0 kg N ha-1 in NTB-P, but at 30-60 cm was greater with 120 than with 0 kg N ha-1 in CTB-F, NTB-F, and NTB-P. Tillage had no effect on crop yield and SOC. Surface residue C and SOC related with grain yield and C content (R2 =0.21-0.55, P = 0.10). Greater amount of crop residue returned to the soil probably increased crop yields and surface residue and soil C storage at surface layers in NTB-P with 40 kg N ha-1. This management practice may also reduce the potentials for soil erosion, N leaching, and pest incidences compared to the traditional system (GRACEnet Publication).
Upendra M. Sainju
Hordeum vulgare , Pisum sativum , arid lands , barley , carbon markets , carbon sequestration , conventional tillage , cropping sequence , grain yield , leaching , leaves , nitrogen fertilizers , no-tillage , pests , soil , soil erosion , soil organic carbon , stems , Montana
USDA Scientist Submission
Agronomy Journal 2014 v.106 no.4
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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