Keywords: agriculture, carbon dioxide emissions, conservation reserve, field consumption, greenhouse effect, United States, USA, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions
North American agriculture: its contribution to the green house effect
This paper assesses the effect of agricultural systems and changing input use in North American agriculture on CO2 emissions. These emissions are linked to the greenhouse effect. In the early part of the 20th century, there was a significant increase in CO2 emissions as a large amount of land was diverted from its grassland state into cultivated cropland. CO2 emissions from North American agriculture peaked in the middle part of the 1970s and have declined appreciably since then. It is quite possible that no significant increases in CO2 emissions will occur. This will especially be true if the US maintains its current conservation reserve programme in which a significant cropland base is not used for cropland production.