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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ADVANCING SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT CROPPING SYSTEMS FOR THE SHORT GROWING SEASONS AND COLD, WET SOILS OF THE UPPER MIDWEST

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Corn stover management effects on soil organic carbon contents from several U.S. locations

Authors
item Johnson, Jane
item Varvel, Gary
item Stott, Diane
item Osborne, Shannon
item Novak, Jeffrey
item Karlen, Douglas
item Lamb, John -
item Baker, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2012
Publication Date: October 5, 2012
Citation: Johnson, J.M., Varvel, G.E., Stott, D.E., Osborne, S.L., Novak, J.M., Karlen, D.L., Lamb, J., Baker, J.M. 2012. Corn stover management effects on soil organic carbon contents from several U.S. locations. Meeting Abstract. [abstract] 2012 Sun Grant Conference. p. 40.

Technical Abstract: Corn stover is anticipated to be a major bioenergy feedstock, which is dependent upon high quality soil. Thus, the soil resource provides the foundation for building a sustainable biofuel economy. As the foundation, this resource must be safeguarded from overzealous residue harvest, which can exacerbate erosion and a loss of soil organic carbon (SOC). Furthermore, SOC can be more sensitive to residue harvest than erosion. Replicated plots established on productive soils were included in a multi-location (Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and South Carolina) and a multi-year study to determine the amount of corn stover needed to maintain SOC. A related objective assessed how management, climate and initial soil parameters influence stover response to stover harvest. These sites represented a range of soil types, climatic conditions, and duration of study (four to >10 years). All sites had at least three levels of stover harvest: grain only (control), maximum possible residue removal (100%) and an intermediate rate (~50%). Regression analyses were used at each site to estimate the relationship between the actual amount of stover returned and the change in SOC. These sites provided SOC and corn stover data to facilitate calculation of a minimum biomass that needs to remain on the field to avoid a SOC loss. Current data will augment literature data through multiple regression analysis to identify properties that predict resilience or sensitivity to residue harvest. This synthesis will help refine stover harvest recommendations that safeguard the soil resource and future productivity. [REAP publication]

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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