Location: Soil and Water Conservation Research
Project Number: 2074-11120-003-00
Start Date: Oct 01, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
1a.) Soil mulch types from coarse to fine will be compared for their ability to preserve stored soil water. These comparisons will take place for at least three years in small plot experiments on three experiment stations, and in three farmers’ fields in on-farm tests. 1b.) Untilled fallow soil will be continuously monitored during the late winter and spring using electronic moisture and temperature probes. Small plots tilled at intervals over spring and early summer will be measured for stored soil water to determine if moisture and temperature probes plus historic weather data is enough to predict optimal tillage timing. 1c.) Data comparing the difference in yield between early and late emerging winter wheat in different years at many locations will be compiled to see if it correlates with growing degree days available for the development of late-emerging wheat. 2a.) Pacific Northwest cropping systems will be examined in intermediate precipitation zone (425 mm) experiments. Gas samples (CO_2, N_2O, and CH_4) will be collected from selected treatments for three years. Total C, N, and S, extractable P and K, labile C and N fractions, pH, EC, bulk density and wet aggregate stability will be determined. 2b.) The CQESTR model will be used to make predictions of soil organic carbon change and CO_2 emissions and assess the impact of management practices on soil organic matter in reduced tillage fallow and other dryland cropping systems.