Paper published on managing agricultural soils for greenhouse gas mitigation

2-reduced-tilage-SmartSOIL 392x272CCRI soil experts, Julie Ingram and Jane Mills, recently co-authored a paper on “Management of agricultural soils for greenhouse gas mitigation: Learning from a case study in NE Spain”, which was published in Environmental Science and Policy.  This paper has now been made available online.

The paper is based on data collected from the EU FP7 SmartSoil project and concerns the management of agricultural soils, which has a large potential for reducing GHG emissions and sequestering carbon.

Though many agricultural practices are based on well tested agronomic and technical know-how, with proven benefits for farmers and the environment, there can be limitations in the process of policy development. For example:

(a) agricultural activities are based on biological processes and thus, these practices are location specific and climate, soils and crops determine their agronomic potential;

(b) since agriculture sustains rural communities, the costs and potential for implementation have also to be regionally evaluated

(c) the aggregated regional potential of the combination of practices has to be defined in order to inform abatement targets.

With this in mind, the paper considers three important questions for the implementation of mitigation practices for the management of soils:

  1. Are they cost-effective for farmers?
  2.  Do they reduce GHG emissions?
  3. What policies favour their implementation?

The full reference of the article is:

Sánchez B, Iglesias A, McVittie A, Álvaro-Fuentes J, Ingram J, Mills J. (2016)  Exploring strategic management of agricultural soils for greenhouse gas mitigation: Marginal abatement costs curves and stabilisation wedges in NE Spain. Environmental Science and Policy. Volume 170, 1 April 2016, Pages 37–49

Read the full article.

Official EU SmartSoil wesbite