Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improved Crop Production And Fewer Greenhouse Gases

Date:
March 30, 2004
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
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.

CHESTNUT HILL, MA — 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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Improved Crop Production And Fewer Greenhouse Gases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330090147.htm>.
Boston College. (2004, March 30). Improved Crop Production And Fewer Greenhouse Gases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330090147.htm
Boston College. "Improved Crop Production And Fewer Greenhouse Gases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040330090147.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins