Cover Crops May Help Sequester Carbon in Vineyards

Cover Crops May Help Sequester Carbon in Vineyards

April 29, 2020

Carbon Sequestration in Vineyards

By Tim Hammerich, with the AgInfo Network

Agriculture has drawn attention in recent years as one potential solution for climate change. Sequestering carbon in soil is one of our few options for removing it from the atmosphere. But measuring carbon sequestration can be tricky.

However, Extension Specialist Kaan Kurtural and his team at the Oakville Experiment Station are currently evaluating the impact cover crops can have on carbon sequestration in vineyards.

Growers came to us. A couple of the questions they had was how can we sequester the carbon and how can we mitigate the amount of greenhouse gases we emit from the vineyards? So that was some background work done on it, said Kurtural.

Cover crops do sequester carbon and will store it in the soil. But as you till them, if you till the row middles, all this stuff is release back into the atmosphere. So we worked with a couple of private companies and we were able to get this new type of cover crop using a perennial system, said Kurtural. Meaning that it doesn't have to be tilled or mowed, it just goes dormant. So we're comparing now till versus no-till systems using perennial and annual cover crops. So that's how that began.”

The study requires the use of infrared gas analyzers, measuring photosynthesis and respiration, and an analysis of methane and nitrous oxide emissions.

Kurtrual hopes to have results for growers by the end of this year.