Title: Best Management Practices for Remediation/Restoration of Degraded Soils in the Central Great Plains Region Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2008
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
Citation: Mikha, M.M., Vigil, M.F., Benjamin, J.G., Poss, D.J., Calderon, F.J. 2008. Best Management Practices for Remediation/Restoration of Degraded Soils in the Central Great Plains Region. Meeting Proceedings of the 18th High Altitude Revegetation Workshop #18. Information Series #105. Pages 461-470. March 4-6, 2008. Fort Collins, Colo. Technical Abstract: Farmlands in the Central Great Plains Region (CGPR) have lost topsoil through wind and water erosion induced by tillage and poor soil management (Wheat-fallow management). Productivity of degraded/eroded soils can be restored using organic amendment such as manure and improved crop and soil management. Our objectives are to: (i) identify optimal rates of manure to supply nutrients to typical dryland crops in the CGPR; (ii) determine the rate of improvement of soil physical and chemical properties associated with manure amendment/management; and (iii) quantify the difference in restoration of eroded soils using manure as an amendment versus managing those same soils with legume grass mixtures and chemical fertilizer. The experiment, established off on a farmer field near Akron, Colorado has a randomized complete block design with crops/soils managed using manure amendment compared with soils/crops managed with commercial fertilizer. Treatments include a tillage variable (deep plow, shallow sweep, and no-tillage), manure and commercial nitrogen rates (none, low and high). Changes in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties as well as grain yield are evaluated every year. The preliminary data (for one growing season) suggests that manure addition increases the productivity of eroded soils in the Central Great Plain Region. In subsequent years this experiment (after multiple manure applications) could result in changes in soil parameters and increased yield. This report will provide “benchmark” measurements of the treatments being studied and first year grain and biomass yields.