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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Organic Matter Decomposition Potentials in Organic Soils under Different Tillage Methods

Authors
item Morris, Dolen
item Gilbert, Robert - UNIV. FLA, EREC, B.G.FL G
item Reicosky, Donald
item Gesch, Russell

Submitted to: Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2003
Publication Date: June 20, 2003
Citation: Morris, D.R., Gilbert, R.A., Reicosky, D.C., Gesch, R.W. 2003. Soil organic matter decomposition potentials in organic soils under different tillage methods. Sugar Journal. 66(1):22-23.

Technical Abstract: Soil conservation in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) of south Florida is important because many organic soils are only 60 cm in depth. Most of the soil losses are due to microbial decomposition of organic matter, which is increased by intensive cultivation practices. One way to reduce these losses is through minimum tillage. An experiment was set up on an organic soil to determine the potentials for decomposition resulting from different tillage practices. Tillage treatments from lowest to highest soil disturbance consisted of: (1) no till, (2) one surface scratching, (3) two surface scratchings, (4) one discing, and (5) one deep plowing. Two fields (bare fallow and plant residue covered) were utilized. Surface soil samples (0 to 6 in) were taken on 0, 1, 4, 13, 28, and 42 days after tillage. The switchplow treatment had the greatest decomposition potential averaged over the 42 day period compared to the other treatments. No till tended to have the lowest decomposition potential. Other tillage treatment effects were intermediate depending on the field type. Influence of tillage on organic matter decomposition can persist for longer than 42 days. Adaptation of minimum tillage practices in organic soils could reduce potential for soil loss and provide a means for soil conservation.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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