Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 14, 2002
Publication Date: November 14, 2002
Citation: CAMBARDELLA, C.A., KARLEN, D.L., ANDREWS, S.S., DUFFY, M.D. LINKING SOIL QUALITY TO ECONOMICS USING MANAGEMENT PRACTICE INDICATORS. ASA-CSSA-SSSA PROCEEDINGS. 2002. CD-ROM. MADISON, WI.
Numerous studies have shown that particulate organic matter C (POMC) is a sensitive indicator of soil quality change in agricultural systems. The feasibility of using POM C as a surrogate for net economic return, a management practice indicator, was evaluated for cropping rotations at three sites in the Upper Midwest. POM C content ranged from 4.6 to 9.6 Mg/ha across all cropping systems for the three sites and continuous corn (CC) had the lowest POM C content at two of the three sites. Net economic return ranged from -285 to +41 US dollars (USD)/ha across all cropping systems for the three sites and CC had the lowest net return (-232 to -285 USD/ha) at all three sites. We found the highest POM C levels in the multi-year rotations containing oat/alfalfa and alfalfa. The corn-soybean rotation showed the highest net return at two sites but the only instance where net return was positive was for a 4-yr corn-oat/alfalfa-alfalfa-alfalfa rotation at Kanawha, IA. We conclude that POM C content is positively correlated with net economic return and can potentially be used to link soil quality to economic indicators.