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From Kansas State University's:

Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS)



Charles W. Rice, K-State Department of Agronomy, National CASMGS Director

(785) 532-7217 cwrice@ksu.edu

Scott Staggenborg, K-State Department of Agronomy (785) 532-7214 sstaggen@ksu.edu

Steve Watson, CASMGS Communications (785) 532-7105 swatson@ksu.edu



September 8, 2010

No. 79


Greenhouse Gas Calculator

for Farming Systems


The Farming Systems Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator has been developed by Claire McSwiney, Sven Bohm, and Phil Robertson of the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, and Peter Grace, Queensland University of Technology. This web-based tool linked to the SOCRATES soil carbon process model, provides a simple introduction to the concepts and magnitudes of gas emissions associated with crop management.


Users choose a county of interest on an introductory screen and are taken to the input/output window, where they choose crops, yields, tillage practices, or nitrogen fertilizer rates. Default values are provided based on convention and county averages. Outputs include major contributors of greenhouse gases in field crops: soil carbon change, nitrous oxide (N2O) emission, fuel use, and fertilizer. The paper contrasts conventional tillage and no-till in a corn–soybean–wheat rotation, and compares continuous corn fertilized at two N rates. In corn years, N2O was the dominant GHG, due to high fertilizer requirements for corn. No-till management reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 50% due to net soil carbon storage.


The calculator demonstrates how cropping systems and management choices affect greenhouse gas emissions in field crops.


Source: J. Nat. Resour. Life Sci. Educ. 39:125–131 (2010)


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