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COP 16 Dr. Keith Paustian Nitrogen & Soil Carbon Mngmt.

COP 16 CANCUN Dr. Keith Paustian speaks on effective nitrogen and soil carbon management in agriculture.

Take for example the issue of nitrogen management, whether you’re using fertiliser or manure, basically nitrous oxide emissions are resulting from the inefficient use of Nitrogen. The more nitrogen that doesn’t get into the plant, the more nitrogen is available to be processed by the microorganisms and emitted, so very simply, anything you can do to improve your nitrogen use efficiency, get more of that nitrogen and apply into the plant, you’re going to have less N2O emissions.

You might do soil testing to make sure you’re not over-applying too much nitrogen. You might be able to apply at different times, more in synchrony with plant growth in perhaps what you’re doing.

Farmers are generally good about managing their nutrients, but they also in some cases may overapply, or apply at non-ideal times, for other kinds of reasons. It’s being cognizant of that and being able to look at alternatives, and see if maybe I can change my practices and somewhat reduce emissions, from the standpoint of carbon management. It’s not easy to generalize for everything. If you can put more carbon in the soil and reduce the rate at which you have the soil organisms respiring carbon out, you’ll tend to increase the stock carbon in your soil.

He also discusses:

  • Crop Rotation
  • Residue Management
  • Livestock Manure and Methane Emission

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