Research Examines Potential for Accumulating Carbon in Soil

University of Wisconsin agronomy professor Randy Jackson has been exploring the potential for cropping systems to accumulate enough carbon in agricultural soils to help stabilize the climate, reports Agri-View. Jackson’s 15 years of research have shown that all cropping systems studied, including crop rotations and organic rotations, lose carbon over time. Pasture systems were able to maintain carbon levels, but this reflected a small gain in the top 30 cm offset by losses below that level. “We’re losing 25 grams of carbon per meter squared in the annual cropping systems when we need to be gaining between 10 and 70 grams to be in serious contention for discussing climate stabilization,” Jackson said.