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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Technologies and Crop Rotations to Manage Variability and Conserve Soil and Water Quality

Authors
item DELGADO, JORGE
item Stuebbe, Alan - USDA-NRCS SAN LUIS, CO
item Dillon, Merlin - CSU, SLVRC, CENTER, CO
item Sparks, Richard - USDA-NRCS,MONTE VISTA,CO
item Essah, Samuel - CSU, SLVRC, CENTER, CO

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2005
Publication Date: January 15, 2005
Citation: Delgado, J.A., Stuebbe, A., Dillon, M., Sparks, R., Essah, S. 2005. Technologies and crop rotations to manage variability and conserve soil and water quality. Proc. San Luis Valley Potato Grain Conf. p. 55-65.

Interpretive Summary: The San Luis Valley region is dominated by sandy coarse soils with low nutrient and soil organic matter (SOM) content. The dominant crop rotation is small grain ' potato. With over 70,000 acres in potato, this is one of the leading areas of fresh-market potatoes in the USA. These soils are susceptible to wind erosion especially for fields with crops such as potato that leave a small amount of crop residue on the surface after harvest. This region has also been affected by the several serious drought years during the past decade that has contributed to limit water resources. For this high altitude region with a short growing season that limits yields; disease management, irrigation management, and nutrient management are keys to maximizing economic viability for farm operations. In summary some important factors related to nutrient management for this region are: 1- Low fertility sandy soils in need of a good nutrient management plan; 2- Region dominated by hydrology A type soils with high leaching potential; 3- Low SOM; 4- Susceptibility to wind erosion especially after harvest of potato that leaves a small amount of crop residue; and 5- Region is affected by drought and limited water resources. The USDA-ARS Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit has been cooperating with the CSU San Luis Valley Research Center, USDA NRCS, consultants, and farmers during the last decade. We are going to present a summary of some of our findings. There is potential to improve N management practices to increase NUE and reduce N losses by synchronizing N applications with time of greater uptake by the crop. Cover crops are great tools in reducing wind erosion losses, losses of N, SOM, fine particles, and cycling nutrients while increasing the sustainability for future generations. There is potential for carbon sequestration and improvement of soil fertility-quality and to manage spatial variability, in nutrients, and productivity.

Technical Abstract: The San Luis Valley region is dominated by sandy coarse soils with low nutrient and soil organic matter (SOM) content. The dominant crop rotation is small grain ' potato. With over 70,000 acres in potato, this is one of the leading areas of fresh-market potatoes in the USA. These soils are susceptible to wind erosion especially for fields with crops such as potato that leave a small amount of crop residue on the surface after harvest. This region has also been affected by the several serious drought years during the past decade that has contributed to limit water resources. For this high altitude region with a short growing season that limits yields; disease management, irrigation management, and nutrient management are keys to maximizing economic viability for farm operations. In summary some important factors related to nutrient management for this region are: 1- Low fertility sandy soils in need of a good nutrient management plan; 2- Region dominated by hydrology A type soils with high leaching potential; 3- Low SOM; 4- Susceptibility to wind erosion especially after harvest of potato that leaves a small amount of crop residue; and 5- Region is affected by drought and limited water resources. The USDA-ARS Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit has been cooperating with the CSU San Luis Valley Research Center, USDA NRCS, consultants, and farmers during the last decade. We are going to present a summary of some of our findings. There is potential to improve N management practices to increase NUE and reduce N losses by synchronizing N applications with time of greater uptake by the crop. Cover crops are great tools in reducing wind erosion losses, losses of N, SOM, fine particles, and cycling nutrients while increasing the sustainability for future generations. There is potential for carbon sequestration and improvement of soil fertility-quality and to manage spatial variability, in nutrients, and productivity.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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