Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The benefits of crop rotations are difficult to quantify. Low-cost fertilizers and short-term economic benefits of planting the highest value crop have superseded the yield and stability benefits of rotating crops. Soil quality assessment quantifies the benefits of rotation by measuring long-term changes in the soil and its ability to buffer seasonal fluctuations in yield, producing more stable economic returns. Soil was sampled from three long-term rotation studies at the Northern Research Farm, Kanawha, Iowa, the Northeast Research Farm, Nashua, Iowa, and the Lancaster (Wisconsin) Agricultural Research Station. Plots were analyzed for penetration resistance, BD, porosity, water-stable aggregation, POM, microbial biomass C, total organic C and N, pH, EC, and Mehlich III extractable nutrients. Correlations with productivity and profitability were used to develop a soil quality index.