Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2003
Publication Date: 7/13/2003
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Grose, B., Hendrix, L.L., Wilkerson, P.K., Brock, B.G., 2003. Surface-soil properties in response to silage cropping intensity under no tillage on a typic kanhapludult. International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings. p. 44-451. CD-ROM.
Technical Abstract: Although reduced tillage itself is beneficial to soil quality and farm economics, the amount of crop residues returned to 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 (a gradient in residue returned to soil) on soil bulk density, aggregation, organic C and N, and microbial biomass and activity in a Piedmont soil in North Carolina USA. With time, soil bulk density became lower and soil organic C and N 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 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.