Agriculture is one of the best ways to mitigate CO2 from the atmosphere and control carbon in the soil.
Agricultural soils and carbon sequestration
Now that we are giving so much importance to climate change and the greenhouse effect, with the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere, it is important to assess the capture of carbon by the soil or in the biomasses obtained from organic waste.
We already made reference in another article to the carbon cycle, where we commented on the importance of precision agriculture in carbon sequestration and how this cycle can be positive or negative.
Several factors influence this absorption of carbon by agricultural soils:
- The type of crop.
- The form of irrigation and soil moisture.
- Soil temperature.
- Farming systems.
- The texture.
Influence of the type of crop in absorbent agriculture
The CAP 2023-27 aims to fight climate change and seek strategies to achieve it.
The importance of the olive grove in the absorption of CO2 is analyzed, it is one of the crops that accumulates the most. We can transfer it to the ground in the form of biomass with the remains of pruning. Vegetable coverages also help prevent it from evaporating.
Other crops that favor absorption are cereals, legumes and grasslands. Especially important is the use of stubble cover, to preserve the carbon cycle.
Excessive tillage causes more carbon to be released into the atmosphere from the soil. We must have a balance between the use of stubble and minimum tillage, in those crops that allow it, such as woody ones.
The covers also conserve moisture and at the same time their nutrients benefit crops and favor biodiversity.
The form of irrigation and humidity control
Proper irrigation is essential to conserve soil organic carbon (SOC). Provides the plant with a source of nutrients, increasing crop growth. But the fundamental thing is to avoid excess watering. The control with sensors to optimize the water of the wet bulb causes the root system to absorb the water and nutrients it needs. It is one of the ideal ways to control carbon and prevent it from entering the atmosphere.
Warmer terrain areas break down nutrients better and carbon fluxes increase.
In colder and wetter areas there is less carbon flux.
It is very important to control the humidity and at the same time the temperature of the subsoil, its control favors the absorption of the roots and controls the organic carbon of the soil (COS).
The way of tillage and the cultivation system, traditional or intensive, influence the way of storing carbon and must therefore be favorable to its absorption.
Resorting to covers that prevent evaporation and the appearance of weeds, make it not necessary to till and thus the carbon settles better in the subsoil.
Burying the stubble and letting it become humus helps the soil to regenerate for subsequent crops.
This means that we have an absorbent agriculture that is favorable to sustainability and climate change.
The texture of the soil directly influences the way in which it sequesters carbon.
Drylands have better absorption but worse carbon storage.