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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355418

Research Project: Towards Resilient Agricultural Systems to Enhance Water Availability, Quality, and Other Ecosystem Services under Changing Climate and Land Use

Location: Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research

Title: Managing soil health in organic cultivation

Author
item Fortuna, Ann Marie
item Bhowmik, Arnab - Pennsylvania State University
item Bary, Andy - Washington State University
item Cogger, Craig - Washington State University

Submitted to: Managing Soil Health for Sustainable Agriculture, Volume 2
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/2017
Publication Date: 8/6/2018
Citation: Fortuna, A., Bhowmik, A., Bary, A., Cogger, C. 2018. Managing soil health in organic cultivation. In: Reicosky, D. Managing Soil Health for Sustainable Agriculture. Volume 2: Monitoring and management. Cambridge, UK: Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing. p. 289-311. http://dx.doi.org/10.19103/AS.2017.0033.37.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19103/AS.2017.0033.37

Interpretive Summary: The Long-Term, Organic Farming Systems Research and Demonstration Site at Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center, USA was one of the few long-term vegetable production systems managed organically in the United States that has continuously monitored soil health for more than a decade. Our organic systems experiment was established to evaluate the short and long-term effects of different management systems on nutrient management, soil health, and ecosystem structure and function. Project objectives and key components of project design, including organic amendments, cover crops, and tillage systems are the direct result of producer input from focus groups, surveys, farm visits, and interactive field days and workshops. The experiments presented in this case study focus on intensive, organic vegetable crop production systems typical of experienced fresh market growers and are a compilation of the research conducted at the site.

Technical Abstract: Despite the potential to use soil health as a dynamic measure there are few published studies that compare different organic management systems. Critical knowledge gaps exist in on-farm and basic research that include the identification of best management practices (BMP)s that retain C and N inputs from plant and animal amendments in soil and adaption of these identified (BMP)s across climatic conditions. Vegetable cropping systems are of particular interest because of the diversity of rotations, integration of cover crops, their reliance upon tillage and the possibility of integrating livestock in these diverse systems. Our field experiment at The Long-term Organic Vegetable Systems Experiment at Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center, USA is one of the few long-term vegetable production systems managed organically in the United States that has continuously monitored soil health from 2003 to 2014.