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ARS Home » Plains Area » Akron, Colorado » Central Great Plains Resources Management Research » Research » Research Project #432106

Research Project: Long-term Cover Crops Influence Soil Quality and Carbon Content in Cropping System

Location: Central Great Plains Resources Management Research

Project Number: 3010-12210-004-09-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2017
End Date: Mar 31, 2022

Objective:
1. Long-term influence of different commercial fertilizer rates on soil quality parameters and soil C dynamics. 2. Long-term tillage, cover crop, and crop rotation impact on soil quality parameters.

Approach:
A field plot experiment was initiated in 1995 to investigate the effects of cover crops as a strategy to improve tillage performance in improving soil quality and soil carbon content in cropping systems. The study consists of two tillage treatments, reduced tillage (RT) and no-tillage (NT); two cover crop treatments, no-cover and sunn hemp; and three nitrogen rates (0, 60, and 90 kg N ha-1) in a wheat-sorghum-fallow cropping system. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Soil samples were collected to evaluate changes in quality parameters. The USDA-ARS scientist will quantify some aspect of soil quality parameters (such as aggregate and POM if applicable) and soil carbon content.