Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2011
Publication Date: 10/16/2011
Citation: Kremer, R.J., Deichman, C.L. 2011. Soil Quality and the Solar Corridor Crop System. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings, October 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, Texas. 2011 CDROM. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The solar corridor crop system (SCCS) is designed for improved crop productivity based on highly efficient use of solar radiation by integrating row crops with drilled or solid-seeded crops in broad strips (corridors) that also facilitate establishment of cover crops for year-round soil cover. The SCCS is an agroecosystem with diverse system structure that should inherently provide many features to build soil quality. Management strategies within SCCS including reduced tillage, intercropping, and soil conservation through crop residue retention are associated with improved the soil quality attributes of optimal soil structure, enhanced C and N content, effective nutrient cycling, and high microbial activity. Numerous studies on soil quality focus on comparative assessments of intensive row cropping with rotation cropping and/or organic farming systems. Studies are limited on assessment of “alternative or sustainable” cropping systems involving long rotations with multiple crops that may include perennial, grazing, or fallow periods. Understanding the soil quality benefits of SCCS management practices will aid in validating environmental impacts and soil resource improvement potential of this system. The application of soil quality assessment to SCCS and similar systems will be reviewed and results of case studies will be examined to serve as a guide for determining the potential impacts of the SCCS as a practical agroecosystem.