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Forests 2017, 8(5), 138; doi:10.3390/f8050138

Potential of Windbreak Trees to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Agricultural Operations in the US

1
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Universidad de Nariño, San Juan de Pasto, Nariño 520002, Colombia
2
School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, 3310 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, NE 68583-0995, USA
3
United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Agroforestry Center, East Campus-UNL, Lincoln, NE 68583-0822, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: P. K. Ramachandran Nair and Timothy A. Martin
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 26 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1319 KB, uploaded 26 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Along with sequestering C in forest, trees on farms are able to contribute to greenhouse mitigation through emission avoidance mechanisms. To evaluate the magnitude of these contributions, emission avoidance contributions for field and farmstead windbreak designs in regions across the United States were estimated, along with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission budgets for corn, soybean, winter wheat, and potato operations. We looked at farming scenarios with large (600 ha), mid (300 ha), and small-size (60 ha) farms containing farmsteads built before and after 2000, and growing different cropping systems. Windbreak scenarios were assumed to be up to 5% of the crop area for field windbreaks, while emission avoidance for farmstead windbreaks were assumed to provide a 10% and 25% reduction in energy usage for space conditioning and heating, respectively. Total reduction of C equivalent (CE) emissions by windbreaks on farm systems ranged from a low of 0.9 Mg CE year−1 for a 60-ha farm with a home built before 2000 to 39.1 Mg CE year−1 for a 600-ha farm with a home built after 2000. By reducing fossil fuel usage from farm operations, windbreaks provide a promising strategy for reducing GHG emissions from agriculture in the USA. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroforestry; carbon storage; greenhouse gas emissions; farmstead windbreak trees; avoided emissions (or energy savings) agroforestry; carbon storage; greenhouse gas emissions; farmstead windbreak trees; avoided emissions (or energy savings)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ballesteros-Possu, W.; Brandle, J.R.; Schoeneberger, M. Potential of Windbreak Trees to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Agricultural Operations in the US. Forests 2017, 8, 138.

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