Submitted to: Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 1994
Publication Date: N/A
The importance of developing sustainable land management practices is being recognized by more people as their awareness of the health and environmental implications of conventional crop production strategies increases. This presentation focuses on the concept of soil quality which may provide a basis for evaluating the long-term sustainability of various soil and crop management practices. Our objective is to report on current activities related to soil quality that are occurring within our laboratory. Evaluations and assessments are being made at Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sites, on experimental areas where crop residue or tillage treatments have been evaluated for more than 10 years, and across large fields to assess the spatial variability in soil quality parameters. Preliminary results suggest that soil aggregate characteristics, bulk density, soil strength, organic matter content, microbial biomass, ergosterol concentrations, pH, and electrical conductivity are possible indicators of soil quality.