Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Soil Physical Characterization of Soil under Long-Term Tillage and Manure Application.

Dexter Watts1, H. Allen Torbert2, and Francisco Arriaga2. (1) USDA-ARS, Nat'l. Soil Dynamics Lab., 411 S Donahue, Auburn, AL 36832, (2) USDA-ARS, USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Lab., 411 South Donahue Drive, Auburn, AL 36832

Soil physical properties play an intergral role in maintaining soil quality for sustainable agricultural practices. Agronomic practices such as tillage systems and organic amendments have been shown to influence soil physical properties. A study was conducted to evaluate effects of long-term manure application (>10 years) and tillage under continuous corn and soybean cropping systems. Soil texture, saturated hydraulic conductivity, water retention analysis, bulk density, infiltration in the field, and aggregate stability were performed on plots with and without manure under conventional and no-tillage systems at the Sand Mountain Substation in the Appalanchian Plateau region of Northeast Alabama on a Hartsells fine sandy loam.  This study will provide evidence of how long-term tillage and manure management in agricultural row crop production can greatly affect the soil phyical properties. The information acquired from this study may aid in better understanding the effects that tillage and manure application has on improving soil quality.