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Comparison Of Two Soil Quality Indexes To Evaluate Cropping Systems In Northern Colorado

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Abstract:

The soil management assessment framework (SMAF) and the soil conditioning index (SCI) have been proposed to evaluate soils for agricultural use. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the SMAF soil quality index (SQI) can detect more subtle changes in soil management than SCI and to test SCI response to other soil quality (SQ) indicators. These SQ indexes were tested on irrigated cropping systems that included no-till (NT) and conventionally-tilled (CT) corn and NT corn with rotations including barley, soybean, and dry bean at three levels of nitrogen varying from 0 to 224 kg N ha-1. Both indexes seemed to differentiate among levels of N. The SQI could clearly distinguish the plots with a very high level of N from plots with no N. However, the mid-level of N was statistically the same as both extreme levels. Although differences in SCI values among N levels seemed apparent lack of adequate replication did not allow statistical comparison of levels. The SQI seemed to make more detailed differentiation among management systems compared with the SCI. The SCI separated the systems into only two groups with no overlap among groups. The SQI separated the cropping systems into three groups with decreasing SQI with increasing tillage and decreasing residue as lower residue crops are introduced in to the cropping system. The SQI allowed overlap among cropping groups not recognized by SCI. Selection of the most appropriate SQ index seems to be a tradeoff in data requirements and resolution desired in the tool.
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Association:
Name: SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY
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http://www.swcs.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p235518_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Zobeck, Ted., Halvorson, Ardell., Wienhold, Brian., Acosta-Martinez, Veronica. and Karlen, Douglas. "Comparison Of Two Soil Quality Indexes To Evaluate Cropping Systems In Northern Colorado" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY, TBA, Tucson, Arizona, Jul 26, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p235518_index.html>

APA Citation:

Zobeck, T. M., Halvorson, A. , Wienhold, B. , Acosta-Martinez, V. and Karlen, D. L. , 2008-07-26 "Comparison Of Two Soil Quality Indexes To Evaluate Cropping Systems In Northern Colorado" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY, TBA, Tucson, Arizona <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p235518_index.html

Publication Type: Poster Presentation
Abstract: The soil management assessment framework (SMAF) and the soil conditioning index (SCI) have been proposed to evaluate soils for agricultural use. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the SMAF soil quality index (SQI) can detect more subtle changes in soil management than SCI and to test SCI response to other soil quality (SQ) indicators. These SQ indexes were tested on irrigated cropping systems that included no-till (NT) and conventionally-tilled (CT) corn and NT corn with rotations including barley, soybean, and dry bean at three levels of nitrogen varying from 0 to 224 kg N ha-1. Both indexes seemed to differentiate among levels of N. The SQI could clearly distinguish the plots with a very high level of N from plots with no N. However, the mid-level of N was statistically the same as both extreme levels. Although differences in SCI values among N levels seemed apparent lack of adequate replication did not allow statistical comparison of levels. The SQI seemed to make more detailed differentiation among management systems compared with the SCI. The SCI separated the systems into only two groups with no overlap among groups. The SQI separated the cropping systems into three groups with decreasing SQI with increasing tillage and decreasing residue as lower residue crops are introduced in to the cropping system. The SQI allowed overlap among cropping groups not recognized by SCI. Selection of the most appropriate SQ index seems to be a tradeoff in data requirements and resolution desired in the tool.

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