Securing Our Soil in Intensive Monoculture Cropping Systems | Chapter individual record

Adoption of reduced tillage and no-till cotton is one of the most rapidly growing conservation areas in the United States. As conservation tillage expands in use, understanding the impact of transitioning to such systems on nutrient cycling and soil compaction and the soil’s overall health becomes paramount. Our objective was to measure the impact of long-term conservation tillage systems in cotton production systems on soil chemical, physical, and biological properties. The Soil Health Tool developed by USDA-ARS was used to measure biological properties of soil samples taken to a depth of 15 cm. Soil physical properties measured included bulk density, soil strength using penetrometers (cone index values), and infiltration. Soil cores were taken to a depth of 90 cm and segmented for analysis of soil chemical properties. Soil carbon was higher in the upper 10 cm for systems that had been in no-till for more than 10 years. We also observed that carbon sequestration was higher in systems that incorporated crop rotation, particularly wheat, versus a continuous cotton system. Among locations through the Southern High Plains of Texas, infiltration rates were generally greater in conservation tillage systems than adjacent conventional tillage systems.

author list (cited authors)
Lewis, K. L., DeLaune, P., & Keeling, W.
editor list (cited editors)
Field, D. J., Morgan, C., & McBratney, A. B.
publication date
  • Cover Crops
  • Cropping System
  • Conservation Tillage
  • Soil Health
  • Compaction
  • Soil Organic Carbon
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