SOIL RESOURCE EVALUATION OF MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS TO ENHANCE AGROECOSYSTEM SUSTAINABILITY
Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory
Project Number: 5445-11120-001-00
Start Date: Jul 01, 2006
End Date: Jun 19, 2011
1) Determine the effects of improved cropping systems management to enhance precipitation use and/or soil quality, 2) evaluate the ability of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to produce glomalin and impact soil aggregation, and 3) evaluate the effects of long-term grazing and dryland cropping management systems on greenhouse gas flux.
Research at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory includes evaluations of agroecosystem effects on soil, which is a central resource for sustaining both plant and animal production. These evaluations span basic and applied science, address important agronomic and environmental issues, and contribute to improving agricultural sustainability. Specific approaches used in these evaluations include: 1) Develop dryland cropping systems utilizing no-till and minimum-till practices and evaluate their effects on precipitation-use efficiency and soil quality; 2) Assess the effects of crop diversity in on-farm, no-till management systems on soil physical, chemical, and biological attributes over time; 3) Quantify chemical and biological inputs affecting soil aggregation and stabilization; 4) Improve glomalin extraction efficiency over current methodology by decreasing extraction time and eliminating the use of high temperatures; and 5) Determine greenhouse gas intensity for prevalent grazing and cropping system practices through annual monitoring of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide flux. Anticipated products from this research include peer-reviewed publications, popular press articles, a web page, and a list service. Collectively, these products will serve a broad range of clientele (e.g., agricultural producers, personnel from public and private sector organizations, and scientists), and will contribute to an overall outcome of increased understanding of agroecosystem effects on soil, with the intent of improving agricultural sustainability.