soil organic matter Tag

A new peer-reviewed research report published by the Soil Health Institute offers insight into the vital role that soil organic carbon levels can play in preventing drought, reducing flooding, and improving the health and water retention of the soils used to grow crops. The publication includes the development of new pedotransfer function equations, available for use by other researchers, that enable more precise measurement of the correlation between carbon levels, water retention and various soil types. These new equations will allow scientists to better predict how much water farmers can provide to their crops through improved soil health—specifically, by raising...

Related ATTRA publication: Agriculture, Climate Disruption, and Carbon Sequestration For agricultural soils in the midwestern United States to continue to be productive, conservation practices must be widely implemented, according to a new report from the Center for Rural Affairs. Conservation Practice Impact on Carbon Sequestration takes a closer look at the carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with conservation practices. The report highlights the benefits of soils that are high in organic matter and soil organic carbon, and describes climate-smart agriculture practices that can increase soil carbon....

University of Illinois researchers showed in a published study that new machine-learning methods based on laboratory soil hyperspectral data could provide accurate estimates of soil organic carbon. A press release explains that the study "provides a foundation to use airborne and satellite hyperspectral sensing to monitor surface soil organic carbon across large areas." This would be faster and easier than performing chemical analyses to measure soil organic carbon content, and it works at a large scale....

A study published in Soil Science Society of America Journal explored whether best management practices for increasing soil organic matter increased crop yields when they were applied on-farm. Although many studies have shown that increases in organic matter can increase crop yield, results from greenhouses and test plots don't always apply at the farm scale. However, this study in the Midwest compiled data from 170 corn fields from 49 different farms to show that there is a positive relationship between the amount of soil organic matter and crop yields. The study also revealed that continuously corn-cropped fields were higher in...

University of Illinois researchers studied how nitrogen in crop residues contributes to loss of soil carbon as the residue decomposes. Their trials showed that any form of nitrogen, either present in the residue or applied as fertilizer, accelerated decomposition by microbes and produced more carbon dioxide. When the residue was fully decomposed, microbes turned to soil carbon, or stable organic matter. This led to greater overall carbon dioxide production from nitrogen-fertilized residue, as well as a long-term loss of soil organic matter. The researchers plan to conduct similar testing in other soil types to see if they perform the same...