Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Improved crop production and fewer greenhouse gases

30.03.2004


Agricultural research by Boston College’s Harrison

Kevin G. Harrison, an assistant professor in Boston College’s Geology and Geophysics Department, has published new research on a farming technique that can both increase crop yields and reduce the release of carbons that develop into greenhouse gases. In the book Changing Land Use and Terrestrial Carbon Storage, Harrison and his co-authors, Michelle Segal (BC master’s degree in 2003) and Matthew Hoskins (BC bachelor’s degree in 2000) of the University of Wyoming, describe the results of a study of various farming techniques and their impact on crop production and the environment.

The researchers studied three different methods of soybean farming: conservation (no-till drilling); conventional tillage, and organic farming. Their findings showed that the conservation method produced the highest crop yield, 15% more than conventional tillage and 110% more than organic farming. It also held the most carbon in the soil--41% more soil carbon than conventional tillage and 48% more than organic. This catching and holding of soil carbon, called sequestration, keeps carbon from being incorporated into carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.



"Our research suggests that farmers can make decisions about tillage that can help…mitigate the effects of global warming," writes Harrison and his co-authors.

"Switching from a conventional till method to conservation tillage could…produce 15% more food on the same amount of land," according to the authors. This has serious implications, they write, as the "global population continues to rise and the need to feed more people using less land is becoming more urgent."

For example, the conservation technique would use 52% less land than the organic method to produce the same amount of soybeans.

The research was conducted on a farm in Brighton, Iowa and supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Boston College.

Harrison’s area of study focuses on the effects of fossil fuel combustion, acid rain and deforestation on the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. At Boston College, he teaches courses on "Biogeochemistry of the Habitable Planet"; "Environmental Geochemistry: Living Dangerously," and "Weather, Climate and the Environment: Global Warming." He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a bachelor of arts degree in English and American literature at Brown University. He received a master’s degree in marine chemistry from the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and master’s and doctoral degrees in geological sciences from Columbia University.


For more information, contact Harrison at 617-552-4653 or at kevin.harrison@bc.edu.

Kathleen Sullivan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bc.edu/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Microjet generator for highly viscous fluids
13.02.2018 | Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

nachricht Sweet route to greater yields
08.02.2018 | Rothamsted Research

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>