Submitted to: Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2002
Publication Date: 6/25/2002
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Grose, B., Hendrix, L.L., Wilkerson, P.K., Brock, B.G. 2002. Surface-soil properties in response to silage intensity under no-tillage management in the piedmont of north carolina. Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture. Interpretive Summary: None.
Technical Abstract: Although reduced tillage itself is beneficial to soil quality and farm economics, the amount of crop residues that is returned to the soil will likely alter the success of a particular conservation tillage system within a particular farm operation. There is a need for more information on multiple-year impacts of different residue retention systems on surface-soil properties in different environments. We investigated the impact of three cropping systems (gradient in residue returned to soil) on soil bulk density, aggregation, organic carbon and nitrogen, and microbial biomass and activity in a Piedmont soil in North Carolina. Most soil properties were not significantly affected by silage cropping intensity during this early stage in the study. There was a tendency for soil bulk density to be lower and soil organic carbon and nitrogen to be higher with lower silage cropping intensity as a result of greater crop residue returned to soil. Potential soil microbial activity was significantly greater in surface depths with lower silage cropping intensity. These early results suggest that greater quantities of crop residue returned to soil can have beneficial effects on soil quality, even in continuous no-tillage crop production systems.