PERENNIAL FORAGES AS A TOOL FOR SEQUESTERING ATMOSPHERIC CARBON BY BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR BETTER SOIL QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY
SATHIYA BAMA AND C. BABU
Department of Agronomy,
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Coimbatore (T. N.), India
*(e-mail : ksoilscience@gmail.com)
(Received : 15 October 2016; Accepted : 27 December 2016)

SUMMARY

For improving the carbon storage in agricultural soil, cropping with best mangement practices is important. Among crops, forages have great oppourtunity to fix carbon. As well as the undisturbed cultivation for long period, poses to select these crops for carbon sequestration studies.The objective of this paper is to study the impact of various nutrient sources on biomass yield and carbon sequestration potential of various perennial fodder crops. An experiment was initiated with three different perennial forage crops viz., legume fodder (Lucerne CO 1), grass fodder [Cumbu Napier hybrid grass CO(CN)4] and cereal fodder [sorghum CO(FS)29]. The nutrient requirement met through different sources viz., farm yard manure (FYM), poultry manure (PM), INM and inorganics. The results showed, among the different forage crops, Cumbu Napier grass had higher carbon sequesteration potential of above ground biomass which removed 336.7 t CO2/ha than multicut fodder sorghum (148.7 t CO2/ha). The higher below ground biomass in Cumbu Napier grass removed 7.73 tCO2/ha from the atmosphere than lucerne (4.21 t CO2/ha). The soil physical properties and microbial populations were also favourable in the grass type fodder. Among the nutrient sources, the FYM favoured higher carbon fixation in the soil than poultry manure, integrated nutrient management and inorganics alone. In addition, the Cumbu napier fodder crop stored 9.2 g/kg of soil organic carbon over initial SOC status of 6.5 g/kg followed by multicut fodder sorghum accumulated (8.7 g/kg). The soil carbon stock was worked out to be 18.63 t/ha/year in Cumbu napier grass than by multicut fodder sorghum 17.62 t/ha.

Key words: Carbon sequestration, Cumbu napier hybrid grass, multicut fodder sorghum, lucerne, organics, inorganics

FR 42(3) 149-157