Humberto Blanco

Professor

Area of Expertise: Soil and Water Sciences

B.S. Agricultural Engineering, Technical University of Oruro, Bolivia, 1990. Major area: Soil Science.

M.S. Soil Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 1995. Major area: Applied Soil Physics and Soil and Water Conservation.

Ph.D. Soil Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 2003. Major area: Applied Soil Physics and Soil and Water Conservation.

Area of Focus

Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Soil Management - AGRO/SOIL 269
  • Applied Soil Physics - AGRO 472/872
  • Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Management - AGRO/HORT 824

Dr. Blanco’s teaching program goal is to ensure that students understand the concepts and overarching implications of soil management, applied soil physics, and interactions of soil-water-nutrient-plant relationships. He uniquely emphasizes student’s critical thinking, active learning, and writing skills. He published teaching articles in NSE and a textbook (Blanco, H., and R. Lal. 2008. Soil Manage. Conserv. Springer. 617 p.).

Major Project Activities

Dr. Blanco’s research and teaching program responds to the needs of Nebraska agriculture and beyond. He emphasizes on the application of scientific principles of soil management and applied soil physics to meet the increasing demands for food, feed, fuel, and fiber while enhancing soil ecosystem services. His professional contributions in major areas include:

  • CROP RESIDUE MANAGEMENT
    Crop residues such as from corn are often grazed or baled for expanded uses; but their impacts on soil ecosystem services are not well understood. Dr. Blanco is addressing: How much residue can we bale from rainfed and irrigated regions? What are the short and long-term effects of residue removal on soil services? Among his 30 journal articles in this topic include:
    • Rakkar, K.M. and H. Blanco-Canqui. 2018. Grazing of crop residues: Impacts on soils and crop production. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 258: 71-90.
    • Liska, A.J., H. Yang, M. Milner, S. Goddard, H. Blanco-Canqui, et al. 2014. Biofuels from crop residue can reduce soil carbon and increase CO2 emissions. Nature Climate Change. 4:398–401.
    • Blanco-Canqui, H. and R. Lal. 2009. Crop residue removal effects on soil, productivity and environmental quality. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 28:139-163.
  • COVER CROPS
    Dr. Blanco’s team is addressing: How does cover crop grazing and harvesting affect soil ecosystem services in the central Great Plains? Can cover crops offset the adverse effects of crop residue removal on soil services? What strategies can we use to increase cover crop biomass yield? Among his 20 journal articles in this topic include:
    • Blanco-Canqui, H. 2018. Cover crops and water quality. Agron. J. 110:1633-1647.
    • Ruis, S. and H. Blanco-Canqui. 2017. Cover crops could offset crop residue removal effects on soil carbon and other properties: A review. Agron. J. 109:1785-1805.
    • Blanco-Canqui, H., T. M. Shaver, J.L. Lindquist, et al. 2015. Cover crops and ecosystem services: Insights from studies in temperate soils. Agron. J. 107:2449–2474.
  • CONSERVATION TILLAGE
    Dr. Blanco is assessing no-till, reduce till, and conventional till impacts on soil physical and hydraulic properties and soil C in different long-term experiments. Among his >20 journal articles in this topic include:
    • Blanco-Canqui, H. and S.J. Ruis. 2018. No-tillage and soil physical environment. Geoderma 326:164-200.
    • Palm, C., H. Blanco-Canqui, F. DeClerck, et al.. 2014. Conservation agriculture and ecosystem services: An overview. Agric. Ecosystems Environ. 187:87-105.
    • Blanco-Canqui, H. and R. Lal. 2008. No-tillage and carbon sequestration: An on-farm assessment. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 72:693-701.
  • DEDICATED ENERGY CROPS
    Growing dedicated bioenergy crops (i.e., switchgrass) in marginal lands can be an alternative to corn residue removal while enhancing soil ecosystem services, but field research is limited. Dr. Blanco is fulfilling this need by assessing biomass production, soil erosion, soil physical processes, C sequestration, and others in perennials grown on marginally-productive lands. Among his 15 journal articles in this topic include:
    • Blanco-Canqui, H., R.B. Mitchell, V.L. Jin, et al. 2017. Perennial warm-season grasses for producing biofuel and enhancing soil properties: An alternative to corn residue removal. GCB Bioenergy. 9:1510–1521.
    • Blanco-Canqui. H. 2010. Energy crops and their implications on soil and environment. Agron. J. 102:403-419.
  • ORGANIC AMENDMENTS
    Dr. Blanco’s team is studying how addition of C-enriched amendments (i.e., manure, biochar, char) affects crop yields, C storage, and soil properties in degraded or low organic matter semiarid soils. Among his >10 journal articles in this topic include:
    • Blanco-Canqui, H. 2019. Biochar and water quality. J. Environ. Qual. 48:2-15.
    • Blanco-Canqui, H. 2017. Biochar and soil physical properties. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 81: 687-711.
    • Blanco-Canqui, H., C.A. Francis, and T.D. Galusha. 2017. Does organic farming accumulate carbon in deeper soil profiles in the long term? Geoderma 288:213–221.

Service to Professional Organizations

  • Associate Editor for Bioenergy Research (2017 – Present).
  • Associate Editor for Soil Science Society of America Journal, Division of Soil and Water Management and Conservation (2007 - 2012).
  • Associate Editor for Agronomy Journal, Division Soils (2010 - 2012).
  • Member of Best Paper Award Committee for Soil Science Society of America Journal, Division of Soil and Water Management and Conservation.
  • Member of Graduate Student Award Committee for Soil Science Society of America, Division of Soil and Water Management and Conservation.

Honors

  • Chair-Elect of Soil and Water Management and Conservation Division. Soil Science Society of America.
  • Best Paper Award. 2016. Soil and Water Management and Conservation Division. Soil Science Society of America.
  • Best Paper Award. 2012. Soil Science Society of America, Division of Soil and Water Management and Conservation.
  • Young Scholar Award from the Soil Science Society of America. Division of Soil and Water Management and Conservation.
  • The Charles Edmund Marshall Scholarship Award. Univ. of Missouri, Columbia.
  • The Intercultural Program Scholarship. Rotary International, MN.
  • Fulbright Scholarship, Cambridge, MA.

Publications

Google Scholar publication list