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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DRYLAND CROPPING SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT FOR THE CENTRAL GREAT PLAINS

Location: Central Plains Resources Management Research

Title: Continuous Cropping Systems Reduce Near-Surface Maximum Compaction in No-Till Soils

Authors
item Humberto, Blanco-Canqui -
item Stone, Loyd -
item Schlegel, Alan -
item Benjamin, Joseph
item Vigil, Merle
item Stahlman, Phil -

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 26, 2010
Publication Date: May 20, 2010
Citation: Humberto, B., Stone, L.R., Schlegel, A.J., Benjamin, J.G., Vigil, M.F., Stahlman, P.W. 2010. Continuous Cropping Systems Reduce Near-Surface Maximum Compaction in No-Till Soils. Agronomy Journal. 102:1217-1225. DOI:10.2134/agronj2010.0113.

Interpretive Summary: Because of increased concerns over compaction in NT soils, it is important to assess how continuous cropping systems influence risks of soil compaction across a range of soils and NT management systems. We quantified differences in maximum bulk density and critical water content (CWC) by the Proctor test, field bulk density, and their relationships with SOC concentration across three (>11 yr) cropping systems on a silty clay loam, silt loam, and loam in the central Great Plains. On the silty clay loam, maximum bulk density in sorghum-fallow (SF) and winter wheat -fallow (WF) was greater than in continuous wheat (WW) and continuous sorghum (SS) by 0.1 Mg m-3 in the 0- to 5-cm soil depth. On the loam, maximum bulk density in WF was greater than in wheat-corn-millet (WCM) by 0.24 Mg m-3 and perennial grass by 0.11 Mg m-3. On the silt loam, soil properties were unaffected by cropping systems. Elimination of fallowing increased the CWC by 10 to 25%. The bulk density was greater in WF (1.52 Mg m-3) than in WW (1.16 Mg m-3) in the silty clay loam, while bulk density under WF and WCF was greater than under WCM and GRASS in the loam for the 0- to 5-cm depth. The maximum bulk density and bulk density decreased whereas CWC increased with an increase in SOC concentration in the 0- to 15-cm depth. Overall, continuous cropping systems in NT reduced near-surface maximum soil compaction primarily by increasing SOC concentration.

Technical Abstract: Because of increased concerns over compaction in NT soils, it is important to assess how continuous cropping systems influence risks of soil compaction across a range of soils and NT management systems. We quantified differences in maximum bulk density (BDmax) and critical water content (CWC) by the Proctor test, field bulk density (bd), and their relationships with SOC concentration across three (>11 yr) cropping systems on a silty clay loam, silt loam, and loam in the central Great Plains. On the silty clay loam, BDmax in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]-fallow (SF) and winter wheat [Triticum aestivum (L.)]-fallow (WF) was greater than in continuous wheat (WW) and continuous sorghum (SS) by 0.1 Mg m-3 in the 0- to 5-cm soil depth. On the loam, BDmax in WF was greater than in W-corn (Zea mays L.)-millet (Panicum liliaceum L.) (WCM) by 0.24 Mg m-3 and perennial grass (GRASS) by 0.11 Mg m-3. On the silt loam, soil properties were unaffected by cropping systems. Elimination of fallowing increased the CWC by 10 to 25%. The bd was greater in WF (1.52 Mg m-3) than in WW (1.16 Mg m-3) in the silty clay loam, while bd under WF and WCF was greater than under WCM and GRASS in the loam for the 0- to 5-cm depth. The BDmax and bd decreased whereas CWC increased with an increase in SOC concentration in the 0- to 15-cm depth. Overall, continuous cropping systems in NT reduced near-surface maximum soil compaction primarily by increasing SOC concentration.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014