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Greenhouse Gas Flux

By Jeff Arnold, Farm Manager

As part of the Farm Hub’s ongoing commitment to understanding and reducing our environmental impact, in 2020, we launched a 3-year research trial to examine the impact of vegetable production systems on greenhouse gas flux between soil and air in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension. The trial involves growing blocks of winter squash in a field using several different tillage and fertilization treatments, while measuring atmospheric and soil conditions throughout the season.

While it is well understood that growing cover crops and reducing tillage can be very effective ways to store carbon in agricultural soils, we hope to develop a more in-depth picture of gas exchange over the course of the growing season. Studying the complex relationships between tillage, fertilizer, cover crops, soil temperature, soil moisture, and microbial activity, the trial seeks to provide information on how different growing practices may be affecting net greenhouse gas emissions on our farm, and if there are strategies that we – and other growers – could employ to further reduce emissions.

The trial is ongoing with more results to share in the years to come. To learn more about the Greenhouse Gas Flux research trial year 1 click here.

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