Soil organic carbon in long-term crop rotation and management studies in South Central Manitoba and the Red River Valley:

Contribution of cropping and management strategies to carbon sequestration


Project Leaders:  Dr. Mario Tenuta, Dr. Martin Entz


This project addresses a considerable knowledge gap in understanding the effects of crop rotation and management on soil organic carbon levels for central Manitoba and the Red River Valley. Current assessments of management impacts on soil organic carbon come from drier regions of Canada and the U.S., and from areas not having the fairly unique conditions of the Red River Valley. To address the knowledge gap, two long-term crop rotation and management studies will be used; one at Glenlea (south of Winnipeg) in the Red River Valley and one at Carman (south central Manitoba).


Specifically, this project will determine soil organic carbon levels affected by:

  • annual and mixed annual-perennial rotations
  • organic and conventional crop management
  • restoration of soil to native grassland prairie


Both sites have established prairie plots to determine potential C accumulation rates for the soil systems and to contrast these to the agricultural management. The Carman site also has continuous fallow plots to determine the level of stabile organic carbon to serve as a baseline. The results of the study will be readily used in recommendation of management practices to increase soil carbon sequestration specific to south central Manitoba and the Red River Valley. It will also be used in modeling efforts to provide predictions of future carbon building scenarios at the Manitoba and national scale.

Download Final Report pdf