Less ploughing enables carbon storage in agricultural soils – Phys.Org


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December 1, 2021
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The value of long-term studies can be found when you’re ready to dig deep. WUR scientists and European partners asked: what happens when organic farmers stop plowing? In a joint effort, we sampled nine field trials across Europe and assessed the impact of reduced tillage versus plowing on soil carbon storage: Humus was always enriched in the soil surface layer in reduced tillage systems, which is essential to protect soils from erosion and helps rain to infiltrate faster.

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However, in the old plow layer and below (ca. 15-50 cm), humus stocks decreased at most sites. Summing up, some sites showed an overall gain in humus, some not. On average, the relative C storage increase was 90 kg per ha and year in the depth of 0 to 50 centimeters.
Combining reduced with organic farming practices is thus a tool to care for our soils with a small potential to mitigate but a great
opportunity to adapt to .
The reseach was published in Soil and Tillage Research.


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More information: M. Krauss et al, Reduced tillage in organic farming affects soil organic carbon stocks in temperate Europe, Soil and Tillage Research (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.still.2021.105262

Citation: Less ploughing enables carbon storage in agricultural soils (2021, December 1) retrieved 5 December 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-ploughing-enables-carbon-storage-agricultural.html
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