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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cropping System Effects on Soil Quality in the Great Plains

Authors
item Wienhold, Brian
item Pikul Jr, Joseph
item Liebig, Mark
item Vigil, Merle
item Varvel, Gary
item Doran, John
item Andrews, S - USDA NRCS,AMES IA

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 18, 2003
Publication Date: October 30, 2003
Citation: Wienhold, B.J., Pikul Jr, J.L., Liebig, M.A., Vigil, M.F., Varvel, G.E., Doran, J.W., Andrews, S.S. 2003. Cropping system effects on soil quality in the Great Plains. Abstract 478851. ASA Abstracts. CDROM

Technical Abstract: Soils perform essential functions the influence how well management goals are met. Soil functions are usually assessed by measuring soil properties effecting those functions. A four year regional study was conducted to quantify temporal variability exhibited by a group of physical, chemical, and biological soil properties; to compare these soil properties between contrasting management practices in the Great Plains and Western Corn Belt; and to assess the potential several new methods have for detecting management influences on soil function. The Soil Management Assessment Framework was used to generate index values for each treatment at each sampling time. Results indicate that soils in the semi arid Great Plains are more sensitive to management than soils in the more mesic Western Corn Belt. Differences between management practices at the Great Plains sites were related to incidence of fallow. Temporal variation in index values at all sites were related to weather and crop production differences among years. Microbial biomass C and N, potentially mineralizable N, and glomalin show potential for detecting differences between management practices in these soils. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis has potential for quantifying differences in groups of microorganism between treatments. The Soil Management Assessment Framework has potential for making objective comparisons among management practices and for quantifying temporal variability in soil functions.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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