Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 4, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The topsoil in the central Great Plains Region (CGPR) has lost its quality and productivity through wind and water erosion induced by tillage and poor soil management. Organic amendment such as manure is one of the management practices that can restore the quality and the productivity of degraded/eroded soils. Our objectives are to: (i) identify optimal rates of manure to supply nutrients to typical dryland crops in the CGPR; (ii) determine the rate of improvement of soil carbon and crop yield associated with dryland manure management of eroded soils; and (iii) quantify the advantage of restoring eroded soils using manure as an amendment versus managing those same soils with chemical fertilizer. The experiment is being conducted on two sites. The first site is on a farmer’s field near Akron, Colorado and the second site is at the Agricultural Research Center in Hays, Kansas. Tillage practices include conventional tillage (CT) i.e. sweep tillage and no-tillage (NT). Two N-sources (manure, M; and commercial fertilizer, F) are used and applied at two rates. The experimental design is a randomized complete block with four replications. The preliminary data suggests that manure addition increases soil organic carbon and the productivity of eroded soils in both sites studied. In general, the addition of organic material, such as manure could improve many aspects of soil quality, in these eroded sites, which is reflected in increased crop yield. In subsequent years it will be important to determine the improvement in different soil parameters and to document yield effects from different management practices. Several additional “benchmark” measurements (physical, chemical, and biological) are being made on the soils in these plots and measurements will be repeated periodically throughout the duration of the experiment.