Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Soil quality assessments were used to quantify integrated biological, chemical, and physical effects of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in IA, MN, ND, and WA. The studies demonstrated that by placing annually cropped land into perennial grass, several crop production indicators of soil quality can be improved. Soil biological indicators seem to be affected most quickly and to the greatest extent. Microbial biomass and respiration increased significantly under CRP in all states except in Butler County, IA, where no-till or very reduced tillage practices were used for crop production. Soil physical properties were improved in MN, WA (bulk density only), and Henry County, IA. Significant total C changes were measured in Henry County, IA. Overall, the studies suggest that CRP improved soil quality where conventional tillage had been used. The lack of differences where no-till was being used for crop production suggests that those practices could be used to retain soil quality benefits gained through the CRP.