Archive | Soil Qualilty

Long term effects of common Midwestern agroecosystems on soil organic carbon

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is highly sensitive to agricultural land management. As a result there is a great deal of interest in using cultivated soils to sequester atmospheric CO2. In this study we evaluate the impact of six cropping systems on SOC levels at the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping System Trial (WICST) over a 20 year [...] More »

Soil erosion, soil conditioning index, soil tillage intensity rating and fall soil nitrates summary from WICST dataset

Maintaining and increasing crop production requires maintaining soil quality. Jokela et al (2011) summarized the 18-year impact of the WICST cropping systems on a suite of soil quality factors (e.g., aggregate size, bulk density, microbial biomass, total organic carbon, potentially mineralizable N) that were subsequently integrated into a Soil Quality Index (SQI). The [...] More »

Soil organic carbon changes in six Midwestern cropping systems in southern Wisconsin

The purpose of this study is to compare the six cropping systems of WICST over their initial 12 years at the wetter LAC and better-drained ARL sites for their impact on soil carbon concentrations. We hypothesize the following: 1) initial SOC levels will be higher at the wetter site (LAC>ARL); 2) since all the systems [...] More »

Midwest Cropping Systems Effects on Soil Properties and on a Soil Quality Index

ABSTRACT Cropping systems may improve or decrease soil quality depending on the specific crop rotation, nutrient amendments, and tillage practices employed. We conducted this study to determine the effect of six cropping systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial on soil properties after 18 years of continuous treatments. We sampled soils (0-5-cm and 5-20-cm depths) following the corn (Zea [...] More »

Long-Term Cropping System Effects on Soil Properties and on a Soil Quality Index

Intensive row-crop production can lead to soil degradation over time if insufficient biomass return, intensive tillage, or excessive erosion lead to depletion of soil organic C. Soil quality may be improved by incorporating forage crops or grazing into the rotation, adding manure or other organic sources, and shifting to minimum tillage. We evaluated a range [...] More »

A Note on SOC, SON, and POM on WICST Plots

Soil organic matter is one of the most important attributes of a soil because it affects nutrient cycling, soil structure, and water availability. Maintaining, or better yet, increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) content is an important measure of the sustainability of a cropping system. In fact, the USDA has developed a Soil Conditioning Index (SCI) [...] More »

Changes in WICST Soil Quality 1993-1998

The objective of this study was to monitor changes in various soil quality parameters under the four cropping systems selected for soil biodiversity measurements. The soil quality parameters were labile C (soil respiration), microbial biomass, and organic matter. The cropping systems evaluated were: continuous corn (CS1), the corn phase of a corn-soybean-wheat/red clover [...] More »

NRI Project Summary 1996: Soil quality and Soil Health Component

Soil samples for soil quality analyses of microbial biomass and labile carbon were collected on 06/11/96 at Arlington Research Station (ARS) and on 07/02/96 at Lakeland Agricultural Complex (LAC) in conjunction with the other biodiversity teams. Fall sampling for chemical analysis was conducted at both sites on 09/16/96. Soil health was [...] More »

Descriptive and Analytical Characterization of Soil Health and Quality for the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial

The project objective was to track the effect on soil health and quality of a shift from continuous corn to other WICST cropping systems during the initial period of 3-5 years following the shift. Because of the conceptual newness and related sparsity of guidelines and methodology in the soil health and quality area, the project [...] More »

Descriptive and Analytical Characterization of Soil Health and Quality for WICST

Our soil health initiative was started in 1990 in response to farmer expression of a need for more research in the area of soil health and biology.  The initiative coincided with increased scientific attention on methods to monitor and assess soil quality at the national and global level.  Investigations into the nature of soil health [...] More »