U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research indicates that soil quality would not decline if post-harvest corn cob residues were removed from fields.
This work, led by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) soil scientist Brian Wienhold, supports the USDA priority of developing new sources of bioenergy. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.
Wienhold, with the ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit in Lincoln, Neb., led studies that compared runoff rates and sediment loss from no-till corn fields where postharvest crop residues were either removed or retained. The scientists also removed cobs from half of the test plots that were protected by the residues.
After the test plots were established, the scientists generated two simulated rainfall events. The first occurred when the fields were dry, and the next occurred 24 hours later when the soils were almost completely saturated.
During the first event, on plots where residue was removed, runoff began around 200 seconds after the "rain" began. Runoff from plots protected by residues didn't start until around 240 seconds after it started to "rain."
Runoff from the residue-free plots contained 30 percent more sediment than runoff from all the residue-protected plots. But the presence or absence of cobs on the residue-protected plots did not significantly affect sediment loss rates.
Wienhold's team concluded that even though cob residues did slightly delay the onset of runoff, sediment loss rates were not significantly affected by the presence or absence of the cobs. The results indicated that the cobs could be removed from other residue and used for bioenergy feedstock without significantly interfering with the role of crop residues in protecting soils.
In a related study, Wienhold examined how the removal of cob residues affected soil nutrient levels. Over the course of a year, his sampling indicated that cobs were a source of soil potassium, but that they weren't a significant source of any other plant nutrients.Results from this work have been published in Agronomy Journal
Ann Perry | EurekAlert!
Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München
The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences