Soil Quality of Integrated Crop/Livestock Systems: Enhancing soil carbon sequestration and microbial diversity

2015

Over 1/3rd of the cotton produced in the United States is grown in the Texas High Plains – a semi-arid region of the Texas Panhandle reliant for decades on water from the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation. In addition to being a “thirsty” crop, cotton produces far less residue than other major crops and intensive tillage has been associated with accelerated decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) and loss of carbon (C) to the atmosphere.

In the Southern SARE-funded study (LS10-229), “Integrated Crop and Livestock Systems for Enhanced Soil Carbon Sequestration and Microbial Diversity in the Semi-arid Texas High Plains,” Texas Tech University researchers evaluated integrated crop/livestock systems for long-term soil quality by assessing microbial activity and soil carbon storage. This bulletin showcases those results.

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