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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS THAT PREVENT WIND EROSION AND ENHANCE THE ENVIRONMENT Title: Managing soil properties through dryland cropping system intensities

Authors
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item Zobeck, Teddy
item Booker, Jill - TAES
item Upchurch, Dan

Submitted to: World Cotton Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2007
Publication Date: September 14, 2007
Citation: Acosta Martinez, V., Zobeck, T.M., Booker, J., Upchurch, D.R. 2007. Managing soil properties through dryland cropping system intensities [abstract]. World Cotton Research Conference, September 10-14, 2007, Lubbock, Texas.

Technical Abstract: The transition from irrigated to dryland production is imminent for the Southern High Plains region due to the minimum recharge occurring to the Ogallala aquifer. Thus, a long-term dryland study was established on USDA-ARS farmland near Lubbock, Texas in 2003 to evaluate the ability of different cropping systems to modify the properties of semiarid soils including the potential of these soils as a water storage-reservoir for crop production. After 3 yrs, rotations with a winter cover crop such as cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)-rye (Secale cereale)-sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and haygrazer (alfalfa-sorghum hybrid, Sorghum bicolor L.)-rye demonstrated higher soil microbial populations (1.7 times higher) and enzyme activities of C and P cycling (up to 2 times higher) compared to continuous cotton or cotton-sorghum. Soil organic mater was higher under hay-rye rotation compared to the other cropping systems. Water infiltration rates were higher among cropping systems under no-tillage compared to conventional tillage. Although there have been rapid improvements in soil properties, total weight and lint of cotton have been similar in continuous monoculture compared to the rotations.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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