Intensive corn agriculture-Favours carbon absorption (II)

It is somewhat mythical that agriculture harms the carbon cycle, we are going to see how intensive maize agriculture is one of the crops that contributes the most to carbon absorption.

Intensive corn farming

It is very common to see large extensions of corn in humid climates. The main corn-producing countries in tons are: the United States, China and Brazil, but other countries produce large amounts of hectares, including Spain, especially the northern zone with 98,151 hectares.

Intensive corn
Intensive corn

These massive amounts of corn are the lungs of our atmosphere, as well as contributing to the feeding of animals and humans.

Absorption CO2

Plants have the ability to absorb CO2 in photosynthesis. This carbon is metabolized into sugar and other components.

Plant remains that go underground and decompose also accumulate carbon in the form of a sink. The difference between the carbon it absorbs and the one it returns to the atmosphere can reach 50%, which it converts into biomass, mitigating the carbon in the atmosphere and therefore favoring the greenhouse effect.

Maize plants are characterized by having open stomata throughout the day, with intermittent closing, with reserves of CO2. So they avoid returning it to the atmosphere

Control with sensors in intensive plantations

Intensive corn

Intensive plantations need greater control of soil moisture, salinity and temperature, to avoid plant water stress, which greatly affects CO2 uptake. All these factors alter the development of the plant and therefore the absorption processes.

The lack of water influences the absorption and transport of nutrients, the control makes us avoid dry aerial areas, because a good contribution makes the water circulate from the roots to the leaves.

The problem is aggravated in areas of high temperatures, where it is more necessary to control irrigation.

In general, all herbaceous plants are beneficial for carbon uptake. The special characteristic of corn is that it develops its leaves much more.

They are followed by wheat, barley, sorghum, sugar cane, peppers, rice, fruit trees, grasslands and all forests in general.

But the absorption will always be altered by the water stress of the crop, because it influences the normal development of the plants.

Captura del carbono-FAO


CSIC-Investigación sobre absorción de carbono por las plantas

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