Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Classification of Surface Mine Soils and Prediction of Corn Yields Based on Soil Classification.

Debra Foye, Purdue Univ, 7803 Oxford Court, Brighton, MI 48116

In 1979, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) was passed beginning a continual challenge for mining operators and agriculturalists to determine if prime agricultural land could be successfully reclaimed after it is mined. For soils in Indiana to be considered successfully reclaimed, they must be able to produce yields greater than or equal to those prior to mining. Mining companies and reclamation professionals have strived to find other means of predicting long term yield trends for planning purposes. This poster summaries several view points relating to soil taxonomy when such soil characteristics as bulk density, and available water holding capacity have been drastically altered by the coal strip mining process, and then using those altered soil properties in proven crop models show that expected corn yields can be produced. This study focused on the CERES-Maize model version 4.0 and the Indiana Corn Yield Model as a way to estimate corn yields.