Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 4, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Intensified crop production during the last 30 years in California's San Joaquin Valley (SJV) has resulted in concerns about the condition of the soil resource base by many producers in the region. In 1995, the West Side On-Farm Demonstration Project was started with 14 SJV farmers to evaluate alternative soil management practices including compost and manure applications and cover cropping. A set of soil physical, chemical, and biological properties was monitored at each on-farm demo twice a year. At sites where consistent management programs were maintained, differences in a number of properties resulted. Indicators that changed most frequently included total soil carbon, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, exchangeable potassium, and organic matter. These data provide the basis for the development and testing of a soil quality index as well as considerable extension education throughout the region.