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Remediation/Restoration of Degraded Soil: I. Impact on Soil Chemical Properties

Maysoon M. Mikha, Joseph G. Benjamin, Phillip W. Stahlman, Patrick W. Geier
Agronomy journal 2014 v.106 no.1 pp. 252-260
Haplustolls, acid soils, cattle manure, conventional tillage, eroded soils, fertilizer rates, nitrogen fertilizers, no-tillage, phosphorus, remediation, silt, silt loam soils, soil nutrient dynamics, soil organic carbon, soil pH, soil sampling, spring, urea, Kansas
Nutrient dynamics in the calcareous eroded soils of the western United States may react differently than the acid soils in the eastern United States. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the impact of tillage practices and N treatments on changes in soil nutrient constituents. The eroded study was initiated in 2006 at the Agriculture Research Center, Hays, KS, on an Armo silt loam (fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Entic Haplustolls). Tillage practices were no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT). Beef manure (M) and urea, as commercial fertilizer (F) at low (L) and high (H) rates were applied as N sources. The control (C) treatment, with no N added, was included under both tillage practices. Annually (2006–2011) spring soil samples were taken at 0- to 15-cm and 15- to 30-cm depths. Soil chemical properties were influenced by N treatments and sampling depths, but not by tillage. Soil acidity (pH) was reduced in 2011 compared with 2006. Relative to control, more reduction in soil pH was observed with HM (21%) compared with HF treatment. Soil EC with HM and HF was approximately 2.2 times greater than LM and LF. Soil extractable P with HM substantially increased, 45.9 mg kg–¹, compared with LM, 18.3 mg kg–¹, at the surface 0 to 15 cm. The change in soil organic carbon (ΔSOC) associated with M was 36-fold higher than F treatments. In general, the use of M as N source improved soil nutrient dynamics in this eroded site compared with F.