Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 2004
Publication Date: November 4, 2004
Citation: Zobeck, T.M., Acosta Martinez, V., Bronson, K., Upchurch, D.R. 2004. Chemical, biochemical, and physical properties of semi-arid sandy soils comparing no-tillage and conventionally-tilled cropland and grassland [abstract]. Agronomy Abstracts, ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. 2004 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Although no-tillage farming systems have been shown to reduce soil erosion and modify soil chemical, biochemical, and physical properties in many areas of the US, little information is available for sandy semi-arid soils of the Southern High Plains. In this study, soil chemical, biochemical, and physical properties were measured on long-term (approximately 20 years), no-till and conventionally-tilled fields of two sandy soils in west Texas. Systems investigated included no-till cotton/wheat, conventionally-tilled cotton, conservation reserve grassland, and native grassland. Soil properties observed included soil total organic carbon (OC) and nitrogen, enzyme activities of C, N and S cycling (beta-glucosaminidase, beta-glucosidase, arylsulfatase), wet aggregate stability (WES), and bulk density. All soil properties had significant depth (within the surface 30cm) and depth by management system interactions. Native grassland and no-till systems had the highest enzyme activity and nutrient levels. Native grassland had the highest OC content (1.06 Mg/kg) and WES (21%), among systems. Conventionally-tilled cotton had the lowest OC content (0.26 Mg/kg) and WES (3.7%). Our results demonstrate that although long-term, no-till increased the values of selected soil quality parameters, they were still lower than the same parameters observed for native grassland in these sandy soils.