Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2003
Publication Date: 11/10/2003
Citation: Kennedy, A.C., Schillinger, W.F., Stubbs, T.L., Giri, G.S. 2003. Soil quality and water infiltration in conventional vs. no-till paired farms in Washington's Palouse Region. Agronomy Abstracts, November 10, 2003.
Technical Abstract: Soil quality and water infiltration were assessed across hillside landscape positions during two years at three paired-farm sites under conventional-till vs. no-till management. Paired sites had similar slope and aspect and no-till fields had not been tilled from a range of 2 to 20 years. Organic carbon in no-till soils was greater than in the conventional-till soils. Two sites had calcium carbonate (caliche) evident at the mid-slope position. The pH and microbial activity were greater in tilled soils when compared with the no-till soils, due to the mixing of the exposed caliche layer. Microbial communities in tilled soils at mid-slope and bottom-slope positions were different from those in no-till soils, while differences in the soil microbial communities from the ridge top were not as apparent. When averaged across landscape positions, no-till soils stored more over-winter precipitation than conventional-till soils during 5 of 6 site years. Ponded water infiltration measurements were variable, but infiltration at the long-term (> 10 yr) no-till site was greater than conventional-till at all three landscape positions. These data indicate that infiltration is likely to increase the longer the soil is under no-till. This information will ultimately provide growers and scientists with practical advice on soil quality to aid in the development of management practices.