The NZAGRC’s former nitrous oxide and soil carbon work streams were combined into one programme this year. This ensures a strong overall framework, closer communication and full GHG analyses across the programme. The programme focusses on three key areas:
1. Identifying and prioritising plant traits for low GHG emissions;
2. Mitigation practices to maintain soil carbon and reduce nitrous oxide emissions at paddock scale; and
3. Defining the achievable soil carbon stabilisation capacity of New Zealand grassland soils.
Current progress and research stories
Mitigating nitrous oxide and manure-derived methane emissions by removing cows in response to wet soil conditions
T.J. van der Weerden, S. Laurenson, I. Vogeler, P.C. Beukes, S.M. Thomas, R.M. Rees, C.F.E. Topp, G. Lanigan, C.A.M. de Klein, Mitigating nitrous oxide and manure-derived methane emissions by removing cows in response to wet soil conditions, Agricultural Systems, Volume 156, September 2017, Pages 126-138, ISSN 0308-521X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2017.06.010.
• Grazing pastures when soils are wet increases N2O emissions from cow urine
• Duration controlled grazing (DCG) was applied when a soil ϴv threshold was reached.
• Different durations were assessed for farms on poorly and imperfectly drained soils.
• For poorly drained soils, DCG reduced N2O and manure-derived CH4 emissions.
• For imperfectly drained soils, DCG increased N2O and manure-derived CH4 emissions.
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