|Ries, Ronald - USDA-ARS-NGPRL (RETIRED)|
Submitted to: Manitoba North Dakota Zero Till Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 2001
Publication Date: January 20, 2002
Citation: Liebig, M.A., Wright, S.E., Jawson, L., Tanaka, D.L., Krupinsky, J.M., Merrill, S.D., Hendrickson, J.R., Anderson, R.L., Ries, R.E., Hanson, J.D. 2002. Northern Great Plains cropping systems: Influences on soil properties associated with soil quality. p. 20-26. IN: Proc. Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Assoc. 29-30 Jan. 2002, Minot, ND. Conference Proceedings. Technical Abstract: The long-term sustainability of cropping systems is largely determined by their effect on soil quality. An overview of crop sequence and cropping system effects on soil properties is presented for two studies conducted near Mandan, ND on a Wilton silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive frigid Pachic Haplustoll). Short-term (2 yr) crop sequence effects on soil lproperties were evaluated for 10 crops seeded into the residue of the same 10 crops under no-till management. Evaluations were limited to sequences where the same crop planted in consecutive years. Long-term (17 yr) cropping system effects on soil properties were evaluated for contrasting management systems [(spring wheat - winter wheat - sunflower, no-till, 67 kg N/ha) and (spring wheat - fallow, conventional tillage, 22 kg N/ha)]. Soil sampling was conducted in 2000 and 2001 to a depth of 30 cm. Soil samples were analyzed for soil physical, chemical, and biological properties considered to be indicators of soil quality. Few soil properties were affected by crop sequence over a two-year period. However, over the long-term, the continuous crop, no-till management system changed soil properties in such a way that it improved the capacity of soil to function with respect to its ability to provide a source for plant nutrients, withstand erosion, and facilitate water transfer into the soil relative to the crop-fallow, conventional tillage system. Results from these studies indicate 1) crop sequences must be evaluated in long-term experiments to ensure trends in soil properties are constant and ephemeral, and 2) farmers in the Northern Great Plains can improve soil quality by adopting production systems that rely on intensive cropping practices with no-till management.