The Link Between Carbon Sequestration and Agriculture in Lesotho, Southern AfricaNeal S. EashCollege of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources - Department of Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science
Agricultural soil management impacts carbon dioxide emissions and can help mitigate the effects of climate change. Limiting soil disturbance during food production can increase soil carbon levels over the long-term (decades) due to short-term (i.e., seasonal) sequestration of carbon dioxide. In order to determine the rate of carbon dioxide sequestration, micrometeorological stations were set up in two adjacent fields. These stations continuously record the environmental components necessary to complete the Bowen’s ratio energy balance equations for the fields, both of which are cropped in maize-bean rotations, one under no-till management and the other plowed. Comparison of the transfer of energy throughout the two different cropping systems over the course of the cropping cycle indicated the suspected superiority of no-till systems for maximizing the carbon dioxide uptake of agricultural systems, but only if the plow (and tillage) is abandoned. Other benefits of soil management include improved food security.