Soil, Water and Bioenergy Program research highlights at the 2016 American Society of Agronomy International Meetings

By Yogendra Raut, Soil, Water and Bioenergy Resources

Five research presentations were made at the American Society of Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America International meetings by Rafiq Islam, Yogendra Raut, and Vinayak S. Shedekar in Phoenix AZ, November 6 to 9, 2016.

The OSU Soil Organic Matter Calculator - a Decision Tool to Manage Soil Health was presented by Vinayak S. Shedekar with Rafiq Islam, Randall Reeder, and Jerry Grigar (USDA-NRCS Michigan) as co-authors.  This presentation in the Graduate Student Competition was selected for second prize based on intellectual quality and merit. This is a simplified version of the computer model designed as a user-friendly decision support system to be used by producers to manage their farm operations and farm profitability. This is free software and can be downloaded from the Soil, Water, and Bioenergy Resources program website go.osu.edu/somcalculator.

Yogendra Raut delivered a scientific presentation entitled “Bioenergy Production and Carbon Sequestration Dynamics under Conservation Reserve Program Management System” based on his Ph.D. thesis work with Drs. Warren Dick and Vinayak Shedekar, as co-authors. The long-term study has shown that harvesting of aboveground biomass from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land would be a win-win situation in terms of bioenergy feedstock production, carbon credit and improved soil quality.

Rafiq Islam delivered three presentations, two on soil quality and one on soil organic matter quality and storage.  His first presentation, “Soil Organic Matter Quality and Storage under Different Land-Use Systems Following Primary Deciduous Forest Conversion” featured USDA-Borlaug scholar Emmanuel Amoakwah from Ghana as the primary author. The study showed that the temporal land-use changes at the OSU South Centers Research farm at Piketon affect the land quality in terms of carbon source and sink. He delivered the second presentation entitled “Evaluating Anthrone Reactive Carbon as a Measure of Soil Quality” as a new approach based on soil health core indicator properties functionally associated with soil quality that are largely controlled by labile organic carbon in soil.

Rafiq delivered his third presentation during the Soil Health Assessment and Management session on “A New Active Carbon Test to Evaluate Agricultural Soil Health Globally.” This is a modified version of the earlier soil quality test, based on active carbon. In general, the earlier procedure is suitable for mineral soils and not consistently desirable for soils with high carbon content, mine reclaimed soil, muck soil, Ca-rich soil, Fe- and Al-rich red soils, and submerged or rice soils. This new soil quality test can be successfully used to measure soil quality of various soils on a global scale.