Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2002
Publication Date: 11/15/2002
Citation: Kennedy, A.C., Stubbs, T.L., Schillinger, W.F. 2002. SOIL QUALITY CHANGES WITH THE TRANSITION TO NO-TILL IN DRYLAND CEREAL SYSTEMS. American Society of Agronomy. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Soil quality parameters were assessed at several long-term dryland cropping systems research sites in eastern Washington. The objective was to characterize soil quality changes over time as affected by no-till versus traditional tillage-based management systems. Organic carbon increased over time with long-term no-till. Changes in the microbial community and other soil quality parameters such as pH, electrical conductivity and microbial enzyme activity were variable in their response. Soil quality changes during the transition to no-till take longer and are more variable in the low (240-to 300¿mm annual) precipitation zone. Changes in microbial communities often were seen before other soil quality indicators. Future data from these long-term experiments will allow us to better assess the health or quality of soils in the dryland cropping region of the Inland Pacific Northwest to aid farmers in the transition to no-till cropping.