Evaluating Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Potential of Conservation Agriculture in Semi-arid Tropics of Southern India

Jat, R A and Wani, S P and Pathak, P and Singh, P and Sahrawat, K L and Chander, G and Sudi, R (2015) Evaluating Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Potential of Conservation Agriculture in Semi-arid Tropics of Southern India. British Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 05 (04). pp. 324-338. ISSN 2231-4784

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Aims: As climate change related rainfall and temperature variability is being increasingly experienced in the SAT regions, we assessed climate change mitigation and adaptation potential of Conservation Agriculture (CA) by studying effects of minimum tillage (MT) and residue management practices on rain water use efficiency (RWUE), soil moisture, runoff, energy use and carbon dioxide emission in two maize-legume cropping systems. Study Design: The experiment was laid out in split-split plot design with four replications. Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) farm, Patancheru, Telangana, India during 2010-11 and 2011-12. Methodology: RWUE was calculated as maize equivalent yield divided by rainfall received during the crop season. Integrated digital runoff and soil loss monitoring unit (IDRSMU) was used to measure runoff. Soil moisture content was measured using the gravimetric method (0-30 cm depth) and neutron probe (60-90 cm depth). The soil organic carbon was analyzed following the Walkley-Black method [1]. The diesel consumption in MT and conventional tillage (CT) was estimated following Downs and Hansen (http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs) and emission of CO2 was estimated according to EPA, 2009 [2]. Results: Tillage and residue management practices did not show significant effect on RWUE except; CT having significantly higher RWUE over MT during 2011-12. Effect of cropping systems on RWUE was significant but variable during the two years of study. MT-RT (minimum tillage- residue retained) reduced total seasonal runoff by 28.62% and 80.22% compared to CT-RR (conventional tillage- residue removed) in 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively. Similarly, MT-RT reduced rainwater loss and peak rate of runoff compared to CT-RR in both the years of study. During 2010, MT-RT had higher total soil moisture (v/v) in the 0-90 cm soil depth in sole as well as intercropped maize compared to CT-RR, however, during 2011 MT-RT had higher total soil moisture in sole maize only. As compared to CT, even though, MT improved SOC in 0-15 cm depth but lowered slightly in 15-30 cm depth. RT (residue retained) improved SOC in 0-15 and 15-30 cm depths compared to residue removal (RR). MT-RT had higher or equal SOC in 0-15 and 15-30 cm soil depths compared to CT-RR in both the maize-legume cropping systems. MT saved energy corresponding to 41.49 l of diesel per hectare annually compared to CT. Similarly, MT emitted 110.79 kg less CO2 annually on per hectare basis compared to CT due to reduced diesel use. Conclusion: CA, when adopted by following good agricultural practices and refined to suit the local conditions, could emerge as sustainable production system for climate change mitigation and adaptation of dryland cropping systems in semi-arid tropics of southern India.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Resilient Dryland Systems
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate Change; Semi-arid tropics; Conservation Agriculture; Minimum Tillage; Runoff; SOC; Soil Moisture; Climate Change Mitigation; Environment
Subjects: Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2015 09:45
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 09:16
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/9203
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/BJECC/2015/18479
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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