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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Crop Rotation and Tillage Effects on Soil Hydraulic Properties

Authors
item Benjamin, Joseph
item Nielsen, David
item Vigil, Merle
item Mikha, Maysoon
item Henry, William

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2004
Publication Date: October 31, 2004
Citation: Benjamin, J.G., Nielsen, D.C., Vigil, M.F., Mikha, M.M., Henry, W.B. 2004. Crop rotation and tillage effects on soil hydraulic properties. Agronomy Abstracts. Presented at the International ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2004. Seattle, WA.

Technical Abstract: Cropping systems in the central Great Plains have evolved from primarily wheat-fallow crop system to cropping systems that include one or more summer crops in rotation with wheat. More intensive crop production has become possible through the use of no till soil management. Farmers and consultants are interested in the effects of crop species and sequencing on soil physical properties to evaluate the long term effects of intensified rotations on sustainability of crop management systems. We studied the long term effects of crop rotation, cropping intensity, crop species, tillage, and wheel traffic on water holding capacity, hydraulic conductivity and bulk density from a crop rotation experiment on a Weld loam in northeast Colorado. The experiment was started in 1990 and we sampled in the spring of 1997 and the spring of 2001. Cropping intensity and the crop species in rotation had minimal effects on soil physical properties. The surface bulk density of crops grown in a wheat-corn-fallow rotation tended to be lower than average and the bulk density of crops grown in a wheat-corn-millet rotation tended to be greater than average. Tractor traffic uniformly increased bulk density in the surface 20 cm but had little effect at deeper depths. Sweep tillage loosened the surface 10 cm of soil but did not affect bulk density at deeper depths.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014
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