Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Soil quality assessments could be used to evaluate the effects of various land use practices and policy decisions if indicators that are sensitive, reliable, and capable of detecting differences could be identified. With respect to the effects of CRP on soil quality, we were able to detect positive changes after just two years on Pershing, Givin, and Ladoga soils in southeast Iowa. Differences between CRP and tilled sites were not statistically significant for Waukee and Bassett soils in northcentral Iowa. Presumably soils in northcentral Iowa are younger and had higher initial soil organic matter content. Total C and N concentrations in the surface 7.6 cm were increased by CRP. However, values were generally lower following one year of crop production on Clarinda and Clearfield soils in southern Iowa. Corn and soybean production both increased nitrate N concentrations in the surface 7.5 cm. Substantial research and education efforts are still needed to make soil quality a useful tool for assessing land-use options.