Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/2/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Soil quality is an area of great interest to farmer teams assembled to advise research at the MSU Kellogg Biological Station. The farmers helped design a systems-level experiment comparing conventional, low-input and organic cropping systems in southwest Michigan. The conventional system is a corn-soybean rotation managed with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The low-input system is a corn-corn-soybean-wheat rotation in which synthetic fertilizers supplement cover crops for \fertility. The organic system is a corn soybean-wheat-red clover rotation with cover crops. Corn and soybean yields for the first year of the trial (1998) were similar in all treatments. Soil quality parameters currently being measured in all plots include PSNT, P, K, Ca, Mg, pH, CEC, total, macro and particulate soil organic matter, water infiltration rate, bulk density, wet aggregate stability, compaction, earthworm densities, collembola community structure, and corn stalk decomposition.