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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Organic Vegetable Cropping System Effects on Soil Properties

Authors
item Pritchett, Keri - WASH STATE UNIV
item Kennedy, Ann
item Cogger, Craig - WASH STATE UNIV

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 7, 2005
Publication Date: November 7, 2005
Citation: Pritchette, K. A.C. Kennedy, C. Cogger. 2005. Organic Vegetable Cropping System Effects on Soil Properties.#1111. In Annual Meetings Abstracts [CD-ROM]. Version Nov. 2005. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI.

Technical Abstract: Organic vegetable crop production practices, suitable for small-scale farms, can improve soil properties and provide conditions for optimal crop production; however, little research has been conducted. This study investigates short-term changes in soil biological properties of 12 management schemes. The treatments included three treatment factors in a split-split plot design. The main treatments include three cover cropping systems: 1-) pasture every other year, 2-) relay cover cropping, and 3-) post-harvest cover cropping. There were two tillage treatments: 1-) high disturbance tillage (conventionally tilled) and 2-) low disturbance tillage (spader tilled) and two amendments: 1-) chicken manure applied at a low rate (4-5 dry Mg/ha), and 2-) on-farm compost applied at a high rate (30 dry Mg/ha). Dehydrogenase activity from pasture was greater than other systems. The high rate amendment had greater dehydrogenase activity than the low rate. Amendment did not affect B-glucosidase activity, but the relay system had higher activity, when compared to the other systems. Substrate utilization profiles separated the relay from other systems during the 2004 sampling; however, after cover crop incorporation in 2005, a separation was found between tillage treatments. PLFA differences were found in 2004 only, with post-harvest separating from other systems. This research investigates soil properties of organic management practices for small-scale vegetable farms that comply with USDA organic management guidelines.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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