Western Producer: Pulse crops have slashed GHG emissions, says scientist
As the Western Producer (February 16) reports:
Pulse crops and other legumes have slashed the greenhouse gas emissions that prairie farming would be producing without them.
Their role goes far beyond just fixing their own nitrogen, according to University of Manitoba soil scientist Mario Tenuta.
Their impact has included allowing summerfallow to disappear across almost all Western Canada, boosting crop yields in non-pulse years, providing a more robust rotation and producing protein crops, all while reducing the nitrogen use of the farms growing them.
“There are all these… behind the scenes benefits going on,” said Tenuta at the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers session at Manitoba Ag Days.
As most would guess, nitrous oxide emissions in soybean, pulse and other legume years collapse, since no or little nitrogen fertilizer is applied. But leftover nitrogen from those crops allows subsequent crops to reduce nitrogen fertilizers and therefore reduce emissions.