ASSESSING MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON CROPS AND SOILS
Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory
Project Number: 6206-11120-004-00
Start Date: May 18, 2006
End Date: May 17, 2011
Develop methods to use soil biological and ecological communities and processes as indicators of soil quality and to predict nutrient soil dynamics. Determine the effects of past management practices on soil properties using a unique opportunity to evaluate changes in soil properties with known starting and ending properties, as well as known annual management and weather conditions; evaluate agricultural models to determine possible changes needed in the models. Determine the effect of utilizing animal waste products in modern agricultural systems, both as plant nutrient sources and their impact on soil physical properties. Cooperate in a national program (Conservation Effects Assessment Program) to populate a national data base with information from a wide range of management practices, soils, and climatic condition and to coordinate with other scientists in determining the effects of government policy induced management practices on soil properties.
Alternative management practices will be assessed to determine effects on crop growth and yield, environmental impacts, and economic viability in difficult soil and climatic conditions. Field and computer modeling studies will be conducted to determine the interaction of soil, climate, and management on organic carbon sequestration in soils. Field and watershed studies will be established on calcareous soils to determine the effects of the application of animal waste on soil properties and nutrient storage, with an emphasis on phosphorus loading. Data will be provided to populate a data system dedicated to assessment of management effects of conservation practices at various scales.