A Review of Tillage Practices and Their Potential to Impact the Soil Carbon Dynamics

Promil Mehra, John Baker, Robert E. Sojka, Nanthi Bolan, Jack Desbiolles, Mary B. Kirkham, Craig Ross, Risha Gupta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


The intensification of global agriculture has led to a decline in arable land. Globally, agriculture intensification has not only degraded the soil quality but also contributed to increasing the greenhouse gas (GHG) levels. These concerns attract the interest of environmental scientists and academicians to find ways to sequester more carbon (C) in the agricultural soils. Tillage is one method that can affect biological C sequestration and effects the GHG production. The components of GHGs are produced slowly from the soil through the reactions taking place between C and nutrients (nitrogen in particular), which remain present in the soil. An understanding of biological C sequestration processes in agricultural production systems can lead to potentially cost-effective strategies able to mitigate global warming. Globally, the shift in tillage practice from conventional tillage to no-tillage is effectively protecting soils under cropping, improving their quality—or reducing their rate of soil organic matter decline—as well as enhancing the resilience of cropping systems. This review summarizes the current knowledge about no-till technology and its impacts on soil properties related to carbon dynamics and explores the potential role of tillage practices in mitigating climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Agronomy
EditorsDonald L. Sparks
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages46
ISBN (Print)9780128151754
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Agronomy
ISSN (Print)0065-2113


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