State of Science webinar: Pastoral systems, soil carbon and nitrous oxide emissions

Published: May 9, 2022

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Join us for another NZAGRC State of Science webinar, 1pm-2pm Friday 27 May 2022. 

Soil organic carbon is originally derived from carbon dioxide inputs through photosynthesis while plant respiration continuously returns captured carbon to the atmosphere. Small changes in the balance of photosynthesis and respiration lead to either gains or losses of soil carbon. Globally, about 20% of the extra carbon dioxide accumulated in the atmosphere has come from the management of agricultural lands. Finding ways to reduce losses or create gains in soil carbon is critical for managing the greenhouse gas burden on the planet.

This webinar with Professor Louis Schipper (University of Waikato) is focused on the role that managing pasture swards and forage crops have on soil carbon storage in New Zealand’s pastoral systems. Louis will describe changes in soil carbon storage during pasture establishment (renewal phase and sward development), management and harvest of supplemental feed (maize, turnips), and the untapped potential for soil carbon recovery once back under pasture.

The webinar will also cover the greenhouse gas trade-offs associated with land management practices, in particular practices targeting reductions in nitrous oxide emissions and the associated impact on soil carbon. Changes in soil carbon and nitrous oxide emissions are intertwined and if measurements are made independent of one another or at small scales unintended consequences may be missed.

This webinar is relevant to researchers, farmers, rural professionals, policy advisors and any one else involved or interested in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand's primary sector. 


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Published: May 9, 2022