Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/29/2004
Publication Date: 11/4/2004
Citation: EIGENBERG, R.A., NIENABER, J.A., FERGUSON, R., WOODBURY, B.L. SEQUENTIAL ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY SURVEYS OF A FIELD WITH COVER CROP AND MANURE AMENDMENTS OVER MULTIPLE SEASONS. MEETING ABSTRACT, SSSA. CD-ROM S08-eigenberg546956. 2004. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Recycling of nutrients contained in animal manure is essential for sustainable agriculture, but evaluation of nutrient availability as a result of such amendments is difficult. This study was conducted to examine changes in electromagnetic (EM) soil conductivity and available N levels over multiple growing seasons in relation to manure/compost application and use of a green winter cover crop. A series (weekly surveys) of soil conductivity maps of a research cornfield was generated using global positioning system (GPS) and EM induction methods with simultaneous soil samples. The study site was treated over a ten-year period with a rye (Secale cereale L.) winter cover crop and no-cover crop, as well as animal manure and N fertilizer treatments. Sequential measurement of profile weighted soil electrical conductivity (ECa) was effective in identifying the dynamic changes in plant-available soil N, as affected by the treatments, during multiple corn growing seasons. This method also clearly identified the effectiveness of cover crops in minimizing levels of available soil N before and after the corn growing season, when nitrate is most subject to loss. This real-time monitoring approach could also be useful to farmers in enhancing N use efficiencies of cropping management systems, and in minimizing N losses to the environment.