WorldWideScience

Sample records for agriculture soil conservation

  1. Conservation agriculture effects on soil pore characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkholm, Lars Juhl; Abdollahi, Lotfollah

    Conservation tillage in combination with crop rotation, residue management and cover crops are key components of conservation agriculture. A positive long-term effect of applying all components of conservation agriculture on soil structural quality is expected. However, there is a lack...

  2. Knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of soil: agricultural chemistry aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Adamo

    Full Text Available Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. With respect to management of contamination with potentially toxic elements, an approach based on the identification and quantification of the various forms or, at least, the main pools, in which contaminants occur in soil, is envisaged. The residence time of an element in soil depends, indeed, by the mobility of its predominant forms. Speciation studies provide information on the mobility and biological availability of contaminants, and seek to assess not simply the contamination level, but rather the risk/toxicity of a polluted soil and to predict its reduction after application of remediation techniques. Soil degradation is often associated with a decrease in the organic matter content, mainly caused by soil use change and global warming. Improving the accumulation of organic matter in soil or contrasting its reduction has positive effects on soil and water quality, crop yields, biodiversity and climate leading to a reduction of green-house gas emissions from soil to the atmosphere. In order to obtain a real accumulation of organic matter in soil, it is not sufficient to temporarily increase its total content, but it is necessary to favour the main processes which govern organic matter stabilization. This requires an approach at both molecular and multidisciplinary level. The reforestation of agricultural and highly degraded soils or conservative agronomic practices, such as the use of humified compounds characterized by

  3. Knowledge, conservation and sustainable use of soil: agricultural chemistry aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Adamo

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. With respect to management of contamination with potentially toxic elements, an approach based on the identification and quantification of the various forms or, at least, the main pools, in which contaminants occur in soil, is envisaged. The residence time of an element in soil depends, indeed, by the mobility of its predominant forms. Speciation studies provide information on the mobility and biological availability of contaminants, and seek to assess not simply the contamination level, but rather the risk/toxicity of a polluted soil and to predict its reduction after application of remediation techniques. Soil degradation is often associated with a decrease in the organic matter content, mainly caused by soil use change and global warming. Improving the accumulation of organic matter in soil or contrasting its reduction has positive effects on soil and water quality, crop yields, biodiversity and climate leading to a reduction of green-house gas emissions from soil to the atmosphere. In order to obtain a real accumulation of organic matter in soil, it is not sufficient to temporarily increase its total content, but it is necessary to favour the main processes which govern organic matter stabilization. This requires an approach at both molecular and multidisciplinary level. The reforestation of agricultural and highly degraded soils or conservative agronomic practices, such as the use of humified compounds characterized by

  4. Abatement costs of soil conservation in China's Loess Plateau: balancing income with conservation in an agricultural system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Lingling; Hoag, Dana L K; Keske, Catherine M H

    2015-02-01

    This study proposes the use of marginal abatement cost curves to calculate environmental damages of agricultural systems in China's Loess Plateau. Total system costs and revenues, management characteristics and pollution attributes are imputed into a directional output distance function, which is then used to determine shadow prices and abatement cost curves for soil and nitrogen loss. Marginal abatement costs curves are an effective way to compare economic and conservation tradeoffs when field-specific data are scarce. The results show that sustainable agricultural practices can balance soil conservation and agricultural production; land need not be retired, as is current policy.

  5. Conservation agriculture impact for soil conservation in maize–wheat cropping system in the Indian sub-Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.N. Ghosh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Conservation agriculture (CA is considered as a suitable technique for soil erosion control, productivity enhancement, and improved economic benefits. To investigate these issues, an experiment was conducted under rainfed conditions using grass vegetation strip (VS with minimum tillage, organic amendments and weed mulch during June 2007–October 2011 at Dehradun, Uttarakhand in the Indian Himalayan region. Results showed that the mean wheat equivalent yield was ~47% higher in the plots under with CA compared with conventional agriculture in a maize–wheat crop rotation. Mean runoff coefficients and soil loss with CA plots were ~45% less and ~54% less than conventional agriculture plots. On average, after the harvest of maize, soil moisture conservation up to 90 cm soil depth for wheat crop was 108% higher under CA than conventional agriculture plots. The net return from the plots with CA was 85% higher, and when expressed net return per tonne of soil loss, it was four and half times higher than conventional practice. Results demonstrate that the suitable CA practice (a grass strip of Palmarosa with applied organic amendments (farmyard manure, vermicompost and poultry manure along with weed mulching under conservation tillage enhances system productivity, reduces runoff, soil loss and conserve soil moisture.

  6. Beyond conservation agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giller, K.E.; Andersson, J.A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and s

  7. Conservation agriculture increases soil organic carbon and residual water content in upland crop production systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor B. Ella

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Conservation agriculture involves minimum soil disturbance, continuous ground cover, and diversified crop rotations or mixtures. Conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS have the potential to improve soil quality if appropriate cropping systems are developed. In this study, five CAPS including different cropping patterns and cover crops under two fertility levels, and a plow-based system as control, were studied in a typical upland agricultural area in northern Mindanao in the Philippines. Results showed that soil organic carbon (SOC at 0- 5-cm depth for all CAPS treatments generally increased with time while SOC under the plow-based system tended to decline over time for both the high (120, 60 and 60 kg N P K ha-1 and moderate (60-30-30 kg N P K ha-1 fertility levels. The cropping system with maize + Stylosanthes guianensis in the first year followed by Stylosanthes guianensis and fallow in the second year, and the cassava + Stylosanthes guianensis exhibited the highest rate of SOC increase for high and moderate fertility levels, respectively. After one, two, and three cropping seasons, plots under CAPS had significantly higher soil residual water content (RWC than under plow-based systems. Results of this study suggest that conservation agriculture has a positive impact on soil quality, while till systems negatively impact soil characteristics.

  8. Earthworm activity and soil structural changes under conservation agriculture in central Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castellanos Navarrete, A.; Rodriguez-Aragonés, C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Kooistra, M.J.; Sayre, K.D.; Brussaard, L.; Pulleman, M.M.

    2012-01-01

    Crop residue mulching combined with zero tillage and crop rotation, known as conservation agriculture (CA), is being promoted as an alternative system to revert soil degradation in maize-based farming in the central highlands of Mexico. The goal of this paper was to determine the effects of CA vs. c

  9. Watershed sediment losses to lakes accelerating despite agricultural soil conservation efforts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heathcote, Adam J; Filstrup, Christopher T; Downing, John A

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural soil loss and deposition in aquatic ecosystems is a problem that impairs water quality worldwide and is costly to agriculture and food supplies. In the US, for example, billions of dollars have subsidized soil and water conservation practices in agricultural landscapes over the past decades. We used paleolimnological methods to reconstruct trends in sedimentation related to human-induced landscape change in 32 lakes in the intensively agricultural region of the Midwestern United States. Despite erosion control efforts, we found accelerating increases in sediment deposition from erosion; median erosion loss since 1800 has been 15.4 tons ha(-1). Sediment deposition from erosion increased >6-fold, from 149 g m(-2) yr(-1) in 1850 to 986 g m(-2) yr(-1) by 2010. Average time to accumulate one mm of sediment decreased from 631 days before European settlement (ca. 1850) to 59 days mm(-1) at present. Most of this sediment was deposited in the last 50 years and is related to agricultural intensification rather than land clearance or predominance of agricultural lands. In the face of these intensive agricultural practices, traditional soil conservation programs have not decelerated downstream losses. Despite large erosion control subsidies, erosion and declining water quality continue, thus new approaches are needed to mitigate erosion and water degradation.

  10. Effects of Conservation Agriculture on Soil Physical Properties and Yield of Lentil in Northern Syria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahbi, Ammar; Miwak, Hisham; Singh, Raphy

    2014-05-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture and subsequently improve livelihoods of farmers based on three main components, i.e. minimum or no tillage, retention of crop residues and use of crop rotation. However, to promote CA in semi-arid areas where precipitation is erratic, low, and falls over short periods in winter, its effects on soil and crop yield have to be investigated. The present study was conducted at the main research station of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Syria, during the agricultural season of 2010-2011, in the frame of a long term trial (2003-2011), where two treatments; i.e. conservation versus conventional agriculture (replicated twice), and six varieties of lentil (early, medium and late maturity genotypes; 2 each), selected from 100 varieties, were used. Soil samples were taken (before planting and after harvesting), to determine soil bulk density, particle density and total porosity. Aggregate stability was also determined using dry and wet sieving methods for the 0-15 cm soil depth, and the effective diameter of the aggregate was calculated for both treatments of conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional tillage (CT). Soil moisture was monitored in the top soil layer (0-15 cm) using Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) on a weekly or two weekly-intervals. Soil moisture release curve was done for disturbed, 2 mm dry sieved soil at 0-15, 15-30, 30-45 and 45-60 cm depth using pressure plate chamber. Dry plant production (oven dry at 70°C) was estimated at the harvesting stage, and then threshed to estimate grain yield. CA showed higher (p = 0.001) soil moisture values than CT. The difference in volumetric soil moisture content between CA and CT during the studied period ranged from 20 to 30 %. Volumetric water content was higher for, CA compared with CT, at a given soil water potential especially at the lower pressure; this observation was consistent

  11. Effects of Conservation Agriculture and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Diversity and Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Habig

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities perform critical functions in ecosystem processes. These functions can be used to assess the impact of agricultural practices on sustainable crop production. In this five-year study, the effect of various agricultural practices on soil microbial diversity and activity was investigated in a summer rainfall area under South African dryland conditions. Microbial diversity and activity were measured in the 0–15 cm layer of a field trial consisting of two fertilizer levels, three cropping systems, and two tillage systems. Using the Shannon–Weaver and Evenness diversity indices, soil microbial species richness and abundance were measured. Microbial enzymatic activities: β-glucosidase, phosphatase and urease, were used to evaluate ecosystem functioning. Cluster analysis revealed a shift in soil microbial community diversity and activity over time. Microbial diversity and activity were higher under no-till than conventional tillage. Fertilizer levels seemed to play a minor role in determining microbial diversity and activity, whereas the cropping systems played a more important role in determining the activity of soil microbial communities. Conservation agriculture yielded the highest soil microbial diversity and activity in diversified cropping systems under no-till.

  12. Tailoring conservation agriculture technologies to West Africa semi-arid zones: Building on traditional local practices for soil restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lahmar, R.; Bationo, B.A.; Lamso, N.D.; Guéro, Y.; Tittonell, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    Low inherent fertility of tropical soils and degradation, nutrient deficiency and water stress are the key factors that hamper rainfed agriculture in semi-arid West Africa. Conservation Agriculture (CA) is currently promoted in the region as a technology to reduce soil degradation, mitigate the effe

  13. Beyond Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken E Giller

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance, soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals and biotechnology. Over the past ten years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub- tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.

  14. Beyond conservation agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giller, Ken E.; Andersson, Jens A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture. PMID:26579139

  15. Can conservation agriculture reduce the impact of soil erosion in northern Tunisia ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahri, Haithem; Annabi, Mohamed; Chibani, Roukaya; Cheick M'Hamed, Hatem; Hermessi, Taoufik

    2016-04-01

    Mediterranean countries are prone to soil erosion, therefore Tunisia, with Mediterranean climate, is threatened by water erosion phenomena. In fact, 3 million ha of land is threatened by erosion, and 50% is seriously affected. Soils under conservation agriculture (CA) have high water infiltration capacities reducing significantly surface runoff and thus soil erosion. This improves the quality of surface water, reduces pollution from soil erosion, and enhances groundwater resources. CA is characterized by three interlinked principles, namely continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversification of crop species grown in sequence or associations. Soil aggregate stability was used as an indicator of soil susceptibility to water erosion. Since 1999, In Tunisia CA has been introduced in rainfed cereal areas in order to move towards more sustainable agricultural systems. CA areas increased from 52 ha in 1999 to 15000 ha in 2015. The objective of this paper is to study the effect of CA on soil erosion in northern Tunisia. Soil samples were collected at 10 cm of depth from 6 farmers' fields in northern Tunisia. Conventional tillage (CT), CA during less than 5 years (CA5 years) have been practiced in each farmers field experiment of wheat crop. Soil aggregate stability was evaluated according to the method described by Le Bissonnais (1996), results were expressed as a mean weight diameter (MWD); higher values of MWD indicate higher aggregate stability. Total organic carbon (TOC) was determined using the wet oxidation method of Walkley-Black. A significant increase in SOC content was observed in CA>5years (1.64 %) compared to CT (0.97 %). This result highlights the importance of CA to improve soil fertility. For aggregate stability, a net increase was observed in CA compared to CT. After 5 years of CA the MWD was increased by 16% (MWD=1.8 mm for CT and MWD=2.1 mm for CAsoil organic carbon (r=0.52, n=18). It is assumed that this

  16. Effectiveness of conservation agriculture practices on soil erosion processes in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikwari, Emmanuel; Mhaka, Luke; Gwandu, Tariro; Chipangura, Tafadzwa; Misi Manyanga, Amos; Sabastian Matsenyengwa, Nyasha; Rabesiranana, Naivo; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - The application of fallout radionuclides (FRNs) in soil erosion and redistribution studies has gained popularity since the late 1980s. In Zimbabwe, soil erosion research was mostly based on conventional methods which included the use of erosion plots for quantitative measurements and erosion models for predicting soil losses. Only limited investigation to explore the possibility of using Caesium-137 (Cs-137) has been reported in the early 1990s for undisturbed and cultivated lands in Zimbabwe. In this study, the Cs-137 technique was applied to assess the impact of soil conservation practices on soil losses and to develop strategies and support effective policies that help farmers in Zimbabwe for sustainable land management. The study was carried out at the Makoholi research station 30 km north of the Masvingo region which is located 260 km south of Harare. The area is semi-arid and the study site comprises coarse loamy sands, gleyic lixisols. The conservation agriculture (CA) practices used within the area since 1988 include (i) direct seeding (DS) with mulch, (ii) CA basins with mulch, and (iii) 18 years direct seeding, left fallow for seven years and turned into conventional tillage since 2012 (DS/F/C). The Cs-137 reference inventory was established at 214 ± 16 Bq/m2. The mean inventories for DS, CA basins and DS/F/C were 195, 190 and 214 Bq/m2 respectively. Using the conversion Mass Balance Model 2 on the Cs-137 data obtained along transects for each of the practices, gross erosion rates were found to be 7.5, 7.3 and 2.6 t/ha/yr for direct seeding, CA basins and the DS/F/C while the net erosion rates were found to be 3.8, 4.6 and 0 t/ha/yr respectively. Sediment delivery ratios were 50%, 63% and 2% in the respective order. These preliminary results showed the effectiveness of DS over CA basins in erosion control. The efficiency of fallowing in controlling excessive soil loss was significant in the plot that started as DS for 18 years but left fallow for 7

  17. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change and extremes on soil erosion in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preservation of top soil is critical for the long term sustainability of agricultural productivity, food security, and biodiversity. However, today’s growing population and increasing demand for food and fiber is stressing the agricultural soil and water resources. Climate change imposes additional ...

  18. Global achievements in soil and water conservation: The case of Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Kassam

    2014-03-01

    In 2011, CA had spread over 125 million hectares (9% of the global cropped land across all continents and most agro-ecologies, including small and large farms. In addition, there is a significant area of CA orchards in the Mediterranean countries. CA is now considered to be a practical agro-ecological approach to achieving sustainable agriculture intensification. It offers environmental, economic and social advantages that are not fully possible with tillage-based production systems, as well as improved productivity and resilience, and improved ecosystem services while minimizing the excessive use of agrochemicals, energy and heavy machinery. While there are challenges to the adoption of CA, there is also increasing interest from producers, the civil society, donors and private sector institutions to further promote and service the uptake and spread of CA globally.

  19. Conservation agriculture practices to enhance soil organic in Lombardy plain (Northern Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perego, Alessia; Giussani, Andrea; Corsi, Stefano; Tosini, Andrea; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that conservation agriculture (CA) determines a long-term increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock in cropland. The present study aimed to estimate the amount of SOC stored in soil of Lombardy plain (Northern Italy) following the change from tillage agriculture (TA) to CA by using crop ARMOSA crop over 23 years (1989-2011). The territorial analysis was performed at agrarian region scale (AR) after identification of the representative crops rotation and soil types. The land use information were data available at cadastral scale and referred to 5 years (from 2007 to 2011). The meteorological data (i.e. maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation) were measured at 14 monitoring stations. Solar radiation was estimated using the equation of the Bristow and Campbell model (1994). A spatial interpolation method was used to extend the meteorological data throughout the entire plain of the region by employing Thiessen polygon method; the meteorological data of the polygon were assigned to each AR. ARMOSA was parameterized to simulate the two tillage systems. For TA and CA scenario the depth of tillage was limited to 35 and 10 cm, respectively; crop residual incorporation was not simulated under CA. In TA scenario, we used the parameters calibrated and validated by Perego et al.(2013) on a wide dataset collected at six monitoring sites in Lombardy plain. In CA, the rate of C decomposition of humified organic C was assumed to be smaller by 30% in no-tillage than in TA (Oorts et al., 2007). The model results showed a significant improve of SOC (pmaize monoculture with or without cover crop. References: Oorts K., Garnier P., Findeling A., Mary B., Richard G., Nicolardot B., (2007). Modeling soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in no-till and conventional tillage using PASTIS model. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 7, pp. 336-346 Perego A., Giussani A., Sanna M., Fumagalli M., Carozzi M., Alfieri L., Brenna S., Acutis M., 2013. The ARMOSA simulation crop model

  20. Large-Scale Agricultural Management and Soil Meso- and Macrofauna Conservation in the Argentine Pampas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Camilo Bedano

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil is the most basic resource for sustainable agricultural production; it promotes water quality, is a key component of the biogeochemical cycles and hosts a huge diversity of organisms. However, we are not paying enough attention to soil degradation produced by land use. Modern agriculture has been successful in increasing yields but has also caused extensive environmental damage, particularly soil degradation. In the Argentine Pampas, agriculturization reached a peak with the generalized use of the no-till technological package: genetically modified soybeans tolerant to glyphosate, no-till, glyphosate, and inorganic fertilizers. This phenomenon has been widely spread in the country; the no-till package has been applied in large areas and has been used by tenants in a 60%–70% of cultivated lands. Thus, those who were involved in developing management practices may not be the same as those who will face degradation issues related to those practices. Indeed, most evidence reviewed in this paper suggests that the most widely distributed practices in the Pampas region are actually producing severe soil degradation. Biological degradation is particularly important because soil biota is involved in numerous soil processes on which soil functioning relies, affecting soil fertility and productivity. For example, soil meso- and macrofauna are especially important in nutrient cycling and in soil structure formation and maintenance, and they are key components of the network that links microbial process to the scale of fields and landscapes where ecosystem services are produced. However, the knowledge of the impact of different agricultural managements on soil meso- and macrofauna in Pampas agroecosystems is far from conclusive at this stage. The reason for this lack of definite conclusions is that this area has been given less attention than in other parts of the world; the response of soil fauna to agricultural practices is complex and taxa

  1. [Estimation on value of water and soil conservation of agricultural ecosystems in Xi' an metropolitan, Northwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-yan; Zhou, Zhong-xue

    2014-12-01

    With the urban eco-environment increasingly deteriorating, the ecosystem services provided by modern urban agriculture are exceedingly significant to maintain and build more suitable environment in a city. Taking Xi' an metropolitan as the study area, based on remote sensing data, DEM data and the economic and social statistics data, the water and soil conservation service of the agricultural ecosystems was valued employing the remote sensing and geographic information system method, covering the reduction values on land waste, soil fertility loss and sediment loss from 2000 to 2011, and analyzed its changes in time and space. The results showed that during the study period, the total value of water and soil conservation service provided by agricultural systems in Xi' an metropolitan was increased by 46,086 and 33.008 billion yuan respectively from period of 2000 to 2005 and from 2005 to 2011. The cultivated land (including grains, vegetables and other farming land), forest (including orchard) and grassland provided higher value on the water and soil conservation service than waters and other land use. Ecosystem service value of water and soil conserva- tion provided by agriculture was gradually decreasing from the southern to the northern in Xi' an metropolitan. There were significantly positive relationship between the ecosystem service value and the vegetation coverage. Forest, orchard and grassland distributed intensively in the southern which had higher vegetation coverage than in northern where covered by more cultivated land, sparse forest and scattered orchard. There were significantly negative correlation between the urbanization level and the value of water and soil conservation. The higher level of urbanization, the lower value there was from built-up area to suburban and to countryside within Xi' an metropolitan.

  2. Evaluation of the Soil Conservation Service curve number methodology using data from agricultural plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, Mohan; Mishra, S. K.; Pandey, Ashish; Pandey, R. P.; Meena, P. K.; Chaudhary, Anubhav; Jha, Ranjit Kumar; Shreevastava, Ajit Kumar; Kumar, Yogendra

    2016-08-01

    The Soil Conservation Service curve number (SCS-CN) method, also known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service curve number (NRCS-CN) method, is popular for computing the volume of direct surface runoff for a given rainfall event. The performance of the SCS-CN method, based on large rainfall (P) and runoff (Q) datasets of United States watersheds, is evaluated using a large dataset of natural storm events from 27 agricultural plots in India. On the whole, the CN estimates from the National Engineering Handbook (chapter 4) tables do not match those derived from the observed P and Q datasets. As a result, the runoff prediction using former CNs was poor for the data of 22 (out of 24) plots. However, the match was little better for higher CN values, consistent with the general notion that the existing SCS-CN method performs better for high rainfall-runoff (high CN) events. Infiltration capacity (fc) was the main explanatory variable for runoff (or CN) production in study plots as it exhibited the expected inverse relationship between CN and fc. The plot-data optimization yielded initial abstraction coefficient (λ) values from 0 to 0.659 for the ordered dataset and 0 to 0.208 for the natural dataset (with 0 as the most frequent value). Mean and median λ values were, respectively, 0.030 and 0 for the natural rainfall-runoff dataset and 0.108 and 0 for the ordered rainfall-runoff dataset. Runoff estimation was very sensitive to λ and it improved consistently as λ changed from 0.2 to 0.03.

  3. Measuring, understanding and implementing (or at least trying) soil and water conservation in agricultural areas in Mediterranean conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Burguet, María; Castillo, Carlos; de Luna, Elena; Guzmán, Gema; Lora, Ángel; Lorite, Ignacio; Mora, José; Pérez, Rafael; Soriano, María A.; Taguas, Encarnación V.

    2015-04-01

    Understanding soil erosion processes is the first step for designing and implementing effective soil conservation strategies. In agricultural areas, spatially in arid and semiarid conditions, water conservation is interlinked with soil conservation, and usually need to be addressed simultaneously to achieve success in their use by farmers. This is so for different reasons, but usually because some reduction in runoff is required to prevent soil erosion or to the need to design soil conservation systems that do maintain a favourable water balance for the crop to prevent yield reductions. The team presenting this communication works around both issues in Southern Spain, interconnecting several lines of research with the final objective of contribute to reverse some severe issues relating soil conservation in agricultural areas, mostly on tree crops (olives and vineyards). One of these lines is long-term experiments measuring, runoff and sediment losses at plot and small catchment scale. In these experiments we test the effect of different soil management alternatives on soil and water conservation. We also measured the evolution of soil properties and, in some cases, the evolution of soil moisture as well as nutrient and carbon losses with runoff and sediment. We also tests in these experiments new cover crops, from species better adapted to the rainfall regime of the region to mixes with several species to increase biodiversity. We complement these studies with surveys of soil properties in commercial farms. I some of these farms we follow the introduction by farmers of the cover crop strategies previously developed in our experimental fields. These data are invaluable to elaborate, calibrate and validate different runoff generation, water balance, and water erosion models and hillslope and small catchment scale. This allows us to elaborate regional analysis of the effect of different strategies to soil and water conservation in olive growing areas, and to refine

  4. Farmer Perceptions of Soil and Water Conservation Issues: Implications to Agricultural and Extension Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruening, Thomas; Martin, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    A survey of 731 Iowa farmers received 432 responses indicating that (1) groundwater and water quality were of greater concern than soil conservation; (2) field demonstrations and county meetings were useful information sources on these issues; and (3) government agencies such as cooperative extension and state universities were useful sources of…

  5. Practical improvements in soil redox potential (Eh) measurement for characterisation of soil properties. Application for comparison of conventional and conservation agriculture cropping systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Husson, Olivier, E-mail: Olivier.husson@cirad.fr [CIRAD/PERSYST/UPR 115 AIDA and AfricaRice Centre, 01 BP 2031 Cotonou (Benin); Husson, Benoit, E-mail: bhusson@ideeaquaculture.com [IDEEAQUACULTURE, Parc Euromédecine 2, 39 Rue Jean Giroux, 34080 Montpellier (France); Brunet, Alexandre, E-mail: brunet.alexandre@outlook.com [CIRAD/US 49 Analyse, Avenue Agropolis, TA B-49/01, 34398 Montpellier Cedex (France); Babre, Daniel, E-mail: Daniel.babre@cirad.fr [CIRAD/US 49 Analyse, Avenue Agropolis, TA B-49/01, 34398 Montpellier Cedex (France); Alary, Karine, E-mail: Karine.alary@cirad.fr [CIRAD/US 49 Analyse, Avenue Agropolis, TA B-49/01, 34398 Montpellier Cedex (France); Sarthou, Jean-Pierre, E-mail: sarthou@ensat.fr [ENSAT/INRA/INP UMR AGIR. BP 52627, Chemin de Borde Rouge, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan Cedex (France); Charpentier, Hubert, E-mail: Charpentier.hub@wanadoo.fr [La Boisfarderie, Brives 36100 (France); Durand, Michel, E-mail: earldeslacs@orange.fr [Le Cazals, Castanet 81 150 (France); Benada, Jaroslav, E-mail: benada@vukrom.cz [Agrotest fyto, Kromeriz Institute, Havlíckova 2787, 76701 Kromeriz (Czech Republic); Henry, Marc, E-mail: henry@unistra.fr [UMR CNRS/UdS 7140, Université de Strasbourg, Institut Le Bel, 4, rue Blaise Pascal, CS 90032, Strasbourg 67081 (France)

    2016-02-04

    The soil redox potential (Eh) can provide essential information to characterise soil conditions. In practice, however, numerous problems may arise regarding: (i) Eh determination in soils, especially aerobic soils, e.g. variations in the instrumentation and methodology for Eh measurement, high spatial and temporal Eh variability in soils, irreversibility of the redox reaction at the surface electrode, chemical disequilibrium; and (ii) measurement interpretation. This study aimed at developing a standardised method for redox potential measurement in soils, in order to use Eh as a soil quality indicator. This paper presents practical improvements in soil Eh measurement, especially regarding the control of electromagnetic perturbations, electrode choice and preparation, soil sample preparation (drying procedure) and soil:water extraction rate. The repeatability and reproducibility of the measurement method developed are highlighted. The use of Eh corrected at pH7, pe+pH or rH{sub 2}, which are equivalent notions, is proposed to facilitate interpretation of the results. The application of this Eh measurement method allows characterisation of soil conditions with sufficient repeatability, reproducibility and accuracy to demonstrate that conservation agriculture systems positively alter the protonic and electronic balance of soil as compared to conventional systems. - Highlights: • Electromagnetic fields can dramatically perturb soil Eh measurement. • Our method overcomes the main difficulties in soil Eh measurement. • Accurate and reproducible measurement of mean soil Eh are achieved. • Eh{sub pH7}, pe+pH and rH{sub 2} are equivalent notions characterising electron activity. • Agricultural practices alter soil protonic and electronic characteristics.

  6. Practical improvements in soil redox potential (Eh) measurement for characterisation of soil properties. Application for comparison of conventional and conservation agriculture cropping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husson, Olivier; Husson, Benoit; Brunet, Alexandre; Babre, Daniel; Alary, Karine; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Charpentier, Hubert; Durand, Michel; Benada, Jaroslav; Henry, Marc

    2016-02-04

    The soil redox potential (Eh) can provide essential information to characterise soil conditions. In practice, however, numerous problems may arise regarding: (i) Eh determination in soils, especially aerobic soils, e.g. variations in the instrumentation and methodology for Eh measurement, high spatial and temporal Eh variability in soils, irreversibility of the redox reaction at the surface electrode, chemical disequilibrium; and (ii) measurement interpretation. This study aimed at developing a standardised method for redox potential measurement in soils, in order to use Eh as a soil quality indicator. This paper presents practical improvements in soil Eh measurement, especially regarding the control of electromagnetic perturbations, electrode choice and preparation, soil sample preparation (drying procedure) and soil:water extraction rate. The repeatability and reproducibility of the measurement method developed are highlighted. The use of Eh corrected at pH7, pe+pH or rH2, which are equivalent notions, is proposed to facilitate interpretation of the results. The application of this Eh measurement method allows characterisation of soil conditions with sufficient repeatability, reproducibility and accuracy to demonstrate that conservation agriculture systems positively alter the protonic and electronic balance of soil as compared to conventional systems.

  7. Influence of agricultural practice on trace metals in soils and vegetation in the water conservation area along the East River (Dongjiang River), South China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Chunling, E-mail: clluo@gig.ac.cn [Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Yang, Renxiu [Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon (Hong Kong); Wang, Yan; Li, Jun; Zhang, Gan [Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Li, Xiangdong [Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2012-08-01

    Dongjiang (East River) is the key resource of potable water for the Pearl River Delta region, South China. Although industrial activities are limited in the water conservation area along this river, agriculture is very intensive. The present study evaluated trace metals in four soils under different cultivation. The total concentrations of trace metals decreased in the order orchard soil > vegetable soil > paddy soil > natural soil, reflecting decreasing inputs of agrochemicals to soils. Relatively high concentrations of Cd were recorded in the 60-cm soil profiles. The {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratio in the above-ground tissues of plant was significantly lower than their corresponding soils. In combination with the low transfer factor of Pb from soil to plant shoots, atmospheric deposition is probably a major pathway for Pb to enter plant leaves. Regular monitoring on the soil quality in this area is recommended for the safety of water resource and agricultural products. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Soil Cd exceeded the upper limit of Chinese standard for agricultural soils. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Relatively high concentrations of Cd were recorded in the 60-cm soil profiles. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Agricultural soil had higher concentrations of metals and lower {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb ratios. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Pb in above-ground tissues of plant was more anthropogenic than soil. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Atmospheric deposition may be a major pathway for Pb to enter plant leaves.

  8. Effects of Zero Tillage (No-Till) Conservation Agriculture on soil physical and biological properties and their contributions to sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landers, John N.; Rass, Gerard; de Freitas, Pedro L.; Basch, Gottlieb; González Sanchez, Emilio J.; Tabaglio, Vincenzo; Kassan, Amir; Derpsch, Rolf; Friedrich, Theodor; Giupponi, Luca

    2013-04-01

    Not cultivating soil, rotating crops over the years, and leaving crop residues on the surface in the practice of zero tillage/conservation agriculture (ZT/CA) reverses the historically accelerating degradation of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil structure, while increasing soil biological activity by a factor of 2 to 4. The results of this are many: (a) not cultivating reduces soil compaction, leaving old root holes to facilitate internal drainage, averts the pulverization of soil aggregates and formation of pans, reduces draft power for planting and gives shelter, winter food and nesting sites for fauna, (b) crop residues on the surface practically eliminate wind and water erosion, reduce soil moisture loss through the mulch effect, slow spring warm-up (possibly offset by a lower specific heat demand with less water retention in surface soil) and act as a reserve of organically-compounded nutrients (as they decompose to humus), (c) more SOM means higher available water and nutrient retention, higher biological activity year round (enhancing biological controls), higher levels of water-stable aggregates and a positive carbon sink in incremental SOM. The positive impacts for society are: (i) more and cheaper food, (ii) reduced flood and drought-induced famine risks, (iii) a positive carbon sink in SOM and possible reductions in NO2 emissions, (iv) cleaner water and greater aquifer recharge due to reduced runoff, (v) cleaner air through effective elimination of dust as a product of cultivation (vi) less water pollution and greater aquifer recharge from reduced rainfall runoff, (vii) farm diesel consumption halved, (viii) reduced demand for (tropical) de-forestation, by permitting crop expansion on steeper lands, (ix) increased wildlife populations (skylarks, plovers, partridge and peccaries) and (x) an improved conservation mindset in farmers. It is notable that, in spite of successful practitioners in all European countries, mainstream adoption is still to come

  9. Towards Conservation Agriculture systems in Moldova

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Boincean

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available As the world population and food production demands rise, keeping agricultural soils and landscapes healthy and productive are of paramount importance to sustaining local and global food security and the flow of ecosystem services to society. The global population, expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, will put additional pressure on the available land area and resources for agricultural production. Sustainable production intensification for food security is a major challenge to both industrialized and developing countries. The paper focuses on the results from long-term multi-factorial experiments involving tillage practices, crop rotations and fertilization to study the interactions amongst the treatments in the context of sustainable production intensification. The paper discusses the results in relation to reported performance of crops and soil quality in Conservation Agriculture systems that are based on no or minimum soil disturbance (no-till seeding and weeding, maintenance of soil mulch cover with crop biomass and cover crops, and diversified cropping s involving annuals and perennials. Conservation Agriculture also emphasizes the necessity of an agro-ecosystems approach to the management of agricultural land for sustainable production intensification, as well as to the site-specificity of agricultural production. Arguments in favor of avoiding the use of soil tillage are discussed together with agro-ecological principles for sustainable intensification of agriculture. More interdisciplinary systems research is required to support the transformation of agriculture from the conventional tillage agriculture to a more sustainable agriculture based on the principles and practices of Conservation Agriculture, along with other complementary practices of integrated crop, nutrient, water, pest, energy and farm power management.

  10. Eight years of Conservation Agriculture-based cropping systems research in Eastern Africa to conserve soil and water and mitigate effects of climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Tesfay; Nyssen, Jan; Govaerts, Bram; Lanckriet, Sil; Baudron, Frédéric; Deckers, Jozef; Cornelis, Wim

    2014-05-01

    In Ethiopia, repeated plowing, complete removal of crop residues at harvest, aftermath grazing of crop fields and occurrence of repeated droughts have reduced the biomass return to the soil and aggravated cropland degradation. Conservation Agriculture (CA)-based resource conserving cropping systems may reduce runoff and soil erosion, and improve soil quality, thereby increasing crop productivity. Thus, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2012) on a Vertisol to quantify - among others - changes in runoff and soil loss for two local tillage practices, modified to integrate CA principles in semi-arid northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, ploughed only once at planting by refreshing the furrow from 2005 to 2012 and 30% standing crop residue retention, (ii) terwah+ (TER+) with furrows made at 1.5 m interval, plowed once at planting, 30% standing crop residue retention and fresh broad beds, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three plain tillage operations and complete removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plough mahresha and wheat, teff, barley and grass pea were grown. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year onwards (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weeds in CA plots. Runoff and soil loss were measured daily. Soil water content was monitored every 6 days. Significantly different (pwater storage during the growing season was constantly higher in CA-based systems compared with CT. A period of at least three years of cropping was required before improvements in crop yield became significant. Further, modeling of the sediment budgets shows that total soil loss due to sheet and rill erosion in cropland, when CA would be practiced

  11. Malawi - Conservation Agriculture

    Data.gov (United States)

    Millennium Challenge Corporation — The randomized control trial impact evaluation tests different strategies for communicating information about agricultural technologies to smallholder maize farmers...

  12. Conservation Agriculture in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Á. Kertész

    2014-03-01

    Yield performance and stability, operating costs, environmental policies and programs of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP, and climate change will likely be the major driving forces defining the direction and for the extension of CA in Europe. The role of agriculture in climate change mitigation in the EU is discussed in the paper.

  13. Creative Soil Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martha

    2010-01-01

    Take plant lessons outdoors with this engaging and inquiry-based activity in which third-grade students learn how to apply soil conservation methods to growing plants. They also collect data and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of their method of soil conservation. An added benefit to this activity is that the third-grade students played…

  14. Conservation agriculture among small scale farmers in semi-arid region of Kenya does improve soil biological quality and soil organic carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waweru, Geofrey; Okoba, Barrack; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    The low food production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been attributed to declining soil quality. This is due to soil degradation and fertility depletion resulting from unsustainable conventional farming practices such as continuous tillage, crop residue burning and mono cropping. To overcome these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is actively promoted. However, little has been done in evaluating the effect of each of the three principles of CA namely: minimum soil disturbance, maximum surface cover and diversified/crop rotation on soil quality in SSA. A study was conducted for three years from 2012 to 2015 in Laikipia East sub county in Kenya to evaluate the effect of tillage, surface cover and intercropping on a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators, crop parameters and the field-water balance. This abstract reports on soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and soil organic carbon (SOC). The experimental set up was a split plot design with tillage as main treatment (conventional till (CT), no-till (NT) and no-till with herbicide (NTH)), and intercropping and surface cover as sub treatment (intercropping maize with: beans, MB; beans and leucaena, MBL; beans and maize residues at 1.5 Mg ha-1 MBMu, and dolichos, MD). NT had significantly higher SMBC by 66 and 31% compared with CT and NTH respectively. SOC was significantly higher in NTH than CT and NT by 15 and 4%, respectively. Intercropping and mulching had significant effect on SMBC and SOC. MBMu resulted in higher SMBC by 31, 38 and 43%, and SOC by 9, 20 and 22% as compared with MBL, MD and MB, respectively. SMBC and SOC were significantly affected by the interaction between tillage, intercropping and soil cover with NTMBMu and NTHMBMu having the highest SMBC and SOC, respectively. We conclude that indeed tillage, intercropping and mulching substantially affect SMBC and SOC. On the individual components of CA, tillage and surface cover had the highest effect on SMBC and

  15. Dynamics of soil carbon, nitrogen and soil respiration in farmer’s field with conservation agriculture Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Science.gov (United States)

    The years of intensive tillage in many countries, including Cambodia, have caused significant decline in agriculture’s natural resources that could threaten the future of agricultural production and sustainability worldwide. Long-term tillage system and site-specific crop management can affect chang...

  16. Linking soil biodiversity and agricultural soil management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thiele-Bruhn, S.; Bloem, J.; Vries, de F.T.; Kalbitz, K.; Wagg, C.

    2012-01-01

    Soil biodiversity vastly exceeds aboveground biodiversity, and is prerequisite for ecosystem stability and services. This review presents recent findings in soil biodiversity research focused on interrelations with agricultural soil management. Richness and community structure of soil biota depend o

  17. Two Centuries of Soil Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Douglas

    1991-01-01

    Narrates U.S. soil conservation history since the late eighteenth century. Discusses early practices such as contour plowing. Profiles individuals who promoted soil conservation and were largely responsible for the creation of the Soil Conservation Service. Explains the causes of erosion and how soil conservation districts help farmers prevent…

  18. Plant-conservative agriculture of acid and degraded Raña-grassland enhances diversity of the common soil mites (Oribatida)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jorrín, J.; González-Fernández, P.

    2016-11-01

    The seminatural prairie of the Raña of Cañamero (Spain) is a degraded and unproductive agrosystem with acid and stony soils, and low coverage of xerophytic grasses. In a project about secondary reconversion of the raña-prairie to a more productive cropland, an experimental field (EF) was established to assess the effect on plot-productivity of the interaction between correction of soil pH (liming) with three cropping systems: a no-tilled and annually fertilized and improved prairies, and a conventionally-tilled forage crop. The EF model of management was designed as plant-conservative, because no herbicide was applied after seeding to preserve the post-emergence of wild herbs and the natural grass diversity of the prairie. Between 2008 and 2012, we analysed the effect of managing factors (initial conventional-tillage, fertilization, liming and cropping) and agricultural predictors (pH, C:N ratio, soil bulk density and herbaceous biomass) on the alpha(α)-diversity of one of the major group of soil animals, the oribatids. In relation to the raña-prairie, all EF-plots improved their soil bulk density (ρs) and herbaceous biomass (t/ha), and enhanced desirable α-diversity values (richness, abundance and community equity). We conclude that the plant-conservative model: i) do not affect statistically the species richness of the prairie; ii) the desirable α-diversity responses are negatively correlated with soil bulk density and positively with herbaceous biomass, and iii) the low input or minimum intervention model, of an initial and conventional till and annual fertilisation, is the threshold and optimal model of agricultural management to improving oribatids diversity of the raña-soil. (Author)

  19. Plant-conservative agriculture of acid and degraded Raña-grassland enhances diversity of the common soil mites (Oribatida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Jorrín

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The seminatural prairie of the Raña of Cañamero (Spain is a degraded and unproductive agrosystem with acid and stony soils, and low coverage of xerophytic grasses. In a project about secondary reconversion of the raña-prairie to a more productive cropland, an experimental field (EF was established to assess the effect on plot-productivity of the interaction between correction of soil pH (liming with three cropping systems: a no-tilled and annually fertilized and improved prairies, and a conventionally-tilled forage crop. The EF model of management was designed as plant-conservative, because no herbicide was applied after seeding to preserve the post-emergence of wild herbs and the natural grass diversity of the prairie. Between 2008 and 2012, we analysed the effect of managing factors (initial conventional-tillage, fertilization, liming and cropping and agricultural predictors (pH, C:N ratio, soil bulk density and herbaceous biomass on the alpha(α-diversity of one of the major group of soil animals, the oribatids. In relation to the raña-prairie, all EF-plots improved their soil bulk density (ρs and herbaceous biomass (t/ha, and enhanced desirable α-diversity values (richness, abundance and community equity. We conclude that the plant-conservative model: i do not affect statistically the species richness of the prairie; ii the desirable α-diversity responses are negatively correlated with soil bulk density and positively with herbaceous biomass, and iii the low input or minimum intervention model, of an initial and conventional till and annual fertilisation, is the threshold and optimal model of agricultural management to improving oribatids diversity of the raña-soil.

  20. Effectiveness of Conservation Measures in Reducing Runoff and Soil Loss Under Different Magnitude-Frequency Storms at Plot and Catchment Scales in the Semi-arid Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, T X

    2016-03-01

    In this study, multi-year stormflow data collected at both catchment and plot scales on an event basis were used to evaluate the efficiency of conservation. At the catchment scale, soil loss from YDG, an agricultural catchment with no conservation measures, was compared with that from CZG, an agricultural catchment with an implementation of a range of conservation measures. With an increase of storm recurrence intervals in the order of 20 years, the mean event sediment yield was 639, 1721, 5779, 15191, 19627, and 47924 t/km(2) in YDG, and was 244, 767, 3077, 4679, 8388, and 15868 t/km(2) in CZG, which represented a reduction effectiveness of 61.8, 55.4, 46.7, 69.2, 57.2, and 66.8 %, respectively. Storm events with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years contributed about two-thirds of the total runoff and sediment in both YDG and CZG catchments. At the plot scale, soil loss from one cultivated slopeland was compared with that from five conservation plots. The mean event soil loss was 1622 t/km(2) on the cultivated slopeland, in comparison to 27.7 t/km(2) on the woodland plot, 213 t/km(2) on the grassland plot, 467 t/km(2) on the alfalfa plot, 236 t/km(2) on the terraceland plot, and 642 t/km(2) on the earthbank plot. Soil loss per unit area from all the plots was significantly less than that from the catchments for storms of all categories of recurrence intervals.

  1. Effectiveness of Conservation Measures in Reducing Runoff and Soil Loss Under Different Magnitude-Frequency Storms at Plot and Catchment Scales in the Semi-arid Agricultural Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, T. X.

    2016-03-01

    In this study, multi-year stormflow data collected at both catchment and plot scales on an event basis were used to evaluate the efficiency of conservation. At the catchment scale, soil loss from YDG, an agricultural catchment with no conservation measures, was compared with that from CZG, an agricultural catchment with an implementation of a range of conservation measures. With an increase of storm recurrence intervals in the order of 20 years, the mean event sediment yield was 639, 1721, 5779, 15191, 19627, and 47924 t/km2 in YDG, and was 244, 767, 3077, 4679, 8388, and 15868 t/km2 in CZG, which represented a reduction effectiveness of 61.8, 55.4, 46.7, 69.2, 57.2, and 66.8 %, respectively. Storm events with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years contributed about two-thirds of the total runoff and sediment in both YDG and CZG catchments. At the plot scale, soil loss from one cultivated slopeland was compared with that from five conservation plots. The mean event soil loss was 1622 t/km2 on the cultivated slopeland, in comparison to 27.7 t/km2 on the woodland plot, 213 t/km2 on the grassland plot, 467 t/km2 on the alfalfa plot, 236 t/km2 on the terraceland plot, and 642 t/km2 on the earthbank plot. Soil loss per unit area from all the plots was significantly less than that from the catchments for storms of all categories of recurrence intervals.

  2. Effects of conservation practices on fishes, amphibians, and reptiles within agricultural streams and wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation practices have been traditionally used to manage soil and water resources to improve agricultural production, and now include methods to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture on streams and wetlands. These practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watershed...

  3. Approved Practices in Soil Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Albert B.

    This book is written for individuals who wish to apply conservation practices, especially those of soil and water conservation, without technical assistance, to meet one's own conditions, and within his own capability to apply them. To meet these needs, the book includes a discussion and description of soil and water conservation methods for the…

  4. Household adoption behaviour and agricultural sustainability in the northeastern mountains of Tanzania : the case of soil conservation in the North Pare and West Usambara Mountains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Semgalawe, Z.M.

    1998-01-01

    The northeastern mountains make up the major part of agricultural land in Tanzania. These areas have been experiencing rapid population growth, leading to increased demand for food, fuelwood and agricultural land. Most parts of the slopes have been experiencing declining soil fertility and severe so

  5. Conserving Soil. Revised.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    This book of enrichment materials is an interdisciplinary study of soil designed for students in grades 6-9. The materials are presented in three units. Unit 1 contains eight activities in which students investigate soil science and study the social impact of soil by examining the history of land use by local Native Americans. Unit 2 contains 10…

  6. Assessment of soil erosion and conservation on agricultural sloping lands using plot data in the semi-arid hilly loess region of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.X. Zhu

    2014-11-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: The results revealed that runoff per unit area slightly increased with slope angle on SSP, but reached a maximum at 15° and then decreased with slope angle on LSP. Soil loss per unit area increased with slope angle on both SSP and LSP. An average of 36.4% less runoff but only 3.6% less soil loss per unit area was produced on LSP than on SSP. The S factor calculated using the slope factor equations in USLE/RUSLE was significantly greater than that estimated from the measured soil loss on the plots. Rainstorms with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years were responsible for more than two thirds of the total soil and water loss. The effectiveness in reducing surface runoff by five types of conservation practices was mixed. However, all the conservation practices yielded much less soil loss than cropland.

  7. Sustainable agriculture and soil conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Preben; Dubgaard, Alex

    The Danish case study area consists of the two municipalities Bjerringbro and Hvorslev, being located in the central part of the peninsula of Jutland, approximately 30 km southwest of the city of Randers. In 2007 the municipality of Bjerringbro was merged with 5 other municipalities forming a new...

  8. 保护性耕作对农田土壤有机碳及农业生产力的影响%Effects of Conservation Tillage on Soil Organic Carbon and Agricultural Productivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王岩松; 李梦迪; 朱连奇

    2016-01-01

    Farmland soil organic carbon pool is the carbon pool affected by human mostly, its recovery has important significance on soil quality enhancement, food security guarantee, water conservation and CO2 emission decrease. Conservation tillage has significant effect on the decrease of water and soil loss, the increase of soil organic carbon and the increase of crop yield. The authors summarized the influence of conservation tillage on soil organic carbon and soil physical and chemical properties, discussed its effect on agricultural productivity, put forward improvement suggestions based on the problems existing in the conservation tillage, and provided scientific basis for reasonable cultivation measures and agricultural management.%农田土壤有机碳库作为陆地生态系统中受人类影响最大的碳库,其恢复对于增强土壤质量,保障粮食安全,涵养水源,减少大气CO2排放具有重要意义.保护性耕作对减少水土流失,增加土壤有机碳、增加农作物产量等方面有显著效果.笔者综述了保护性耕作对农田土壤有机碳及土壤理化性质的影响,探讨了保护性耕作对农业生产力的影响,对保护性耕作存在的问题提出了改进建议,为合理制订耕作措施和农业生产管理措施提供了科学依据.

  9. Conservation Tillage Impacts on Soil Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hake, K.

    2012-04-01

    As recent as the 1970's in University lecture halls cotton production was vilified for being "hard on the soil". This stigma is still perpetuated today in the popular press, deserving a close scrutiny of its origin and its reality as soil quality is an essential but unappreciated component of cotton's unique tolerance to heat and drought. The objective of expanding food, feed and fiber production to meet the global demand, during forecast climate disruption requires that scientists improve both the above and below ground components of agriculture. The latter has been termed the "final frontier" for its inaccessibility and complexity. The shift to conservation tillage in the U.S.A. over the previous three decades has been dramatic in multiple crops. Cotton and its major rotation crops (corn, soybean, and wheat) can be grown for multiple years without tillage using herbicides instead to control weeds. Although pesticide resistant insects and weeds (especially to Bt proteins and glyphosate) are a threat to Integrated Pest Management and conservation tillage that need vigilance and proactive management, the role of modern production tools in meeting agricultural objectives to feed and clothe the world is huge. The impact of these tools on soil quality will be reviewed. In addition ongoing research efforts to create production practices to further improve soil quality and meet the growing challenges of heat and drought will be reviewed.

  10. Soil conservation applications with C-band SAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisco, B.; Brown, R. J.; Naunheimer, J.; Bedard, D.

    1992-01-01

    Soil conservation programs are becoming more important as the growing human population exerts greater pressure on this non-renewable resource. Indeed, soil degradation affects approximately 10 percent of Canada's agricultural land with an estimated loss of 6,000 hectares of topsoil annually from Ontario farmland alone. Soil loss not only affects agricultural productivity but also decreases water quality and can lead to siltation problems. Thus, there is a growing demand for soil conservation programs and a need to develop an effective monitoring system. Topography and soil type information can easily be handled within a geographic information system (GIS). Information about vegetative cover type and surface roughness, which both experience considerable temporal change, can be obtained from remote sensing techniques. For further development of the technology to produce an operational soil conservation monitoring system, an experiment was conducted in Oxford County, Ontario which investigated the separability of fall surface cover type using C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data.

  11. Soil Conservation Unit for the Advanced Crop Production and Marketing Course. Student Reference. AGDEX 570.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Bob R.; And Others

    This student reference booklet is designed to accompany lessons outlined in the companion instructor's guide on soil conservation. The soil conservation unit builds on competencies gained in Agricultural Science I and II. Informative material is provided for these eight lessons: benefits of conservation, land utilization, how soils are eroded,…

  12. Rethinking soil and water conservation in a changing society : A case study in eastern Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mazzucato, V.M.; Niemeijer, D.

    2000-01-01

    Soil and water conservation is at the top of development agendas in Africa. Virtually every project related to agriculture or the environment has a soil and water conservation component to it and environmental protection plans are being drawn up by African governments in which soil and water conserv

  13. Conservation tillage impacts on soil, crop and the environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mutiu Abolanle Busari

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to match food production with increasing world population through identification of sustainable land management strategies. However, the struggle to achieve food security should be carried out keeping in mind the soil where the crops are grown and the environment in which the living things survive. Conservation agriculture (CA, practising agriculture in such a way so as to cause minimum damage to the environment, is being advocated at a large scale world-wide. Conservation tillage, the most important aspect of CA, is thought to take care of the soil health, plant growth and the environment. This paper aims to review the work done on conservation tillage in different agro-ecological regions so as to understand its impact from the perspectives of the soil, the crop and the environment. Research reports have identified several benefits of conservation tillage over conventional tillage (CT with respect to soil physical, chemical and biological properties as well as crop yields. Not less than 25% of the greenhouse gas effluxes to the atmosphere are attributed to agriculture. Processes of climate change mitigation and adaptation found zero tillage (ZT to be the most environmental friendly among different tillage techniques. Therefore, conservation tillage involving ZT and minimum tillage which has potential to break the surface compact zone in soil with reduced soil disturbance offers to lead to a better soil environment and crop yield with minimal impact on the environment.

  14. Practicing Conservation Agriculture to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change in Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khresat, Saeb

    2016-04-01

    Climate change scenarios indicate that Jordan and the Middle East could suffer from reduced agricultural productivity and water availability among other negative impacts. Based on the projection models for the area, average temperature in Jordan is projected to increase between 1.2 and 1.6 °C by 2050. Projections for precipitation trends are projected to decrease by 16% by the year 2050. Evaporation is likely to increase due to higher temperatures. This is likely to increase the incidence of drought potential since precipitation is projected to decrease. The dominant form of agriculture system in Jordan is based on intensive tillage. This form of tillage has resulted in large losses of organic soil carbon, weaker soil structure, and cause compaction. It has negative effects on soil aeration, root development and water infiltration among other factors. There is a need to transform farming practices to conservation agriculture to sequester carbon so that climate change mitigation becomes an inherent property of future farming systems. Conservation Agriculture, a system avoiding or minimizing soil disturbance, combined with soil cover and crop diversification, is considered to be a sustainable production system that can also sequester carbon unlike tillage agriculture. Conservation agriculture promotes minimal disturbance of the soil by tillage (zero tillage), balanced application of chemical inputs and careful management of residues and wastes. This study was conducted to develop a clear understanding of the impacts and benefits of the two most common types of agriculture, traditional tillage agriculture and conservation agriculture with respect to their effects on land productivity and on soil carbon pools. The study results indicated that conservation agriculture contributed to the reduction of the farming systems' greenhouse gas emissions and enhance its role as carbon sinks. Also, it was found that by shifting to conservation agriculture labor cost needed for

  15. The Soil Conservation District Movement in Tennessee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Thomas Cochran; And Others

    The development of soil conservation districts in Tennessee is the subject of this graduate study. Related literature, existing records, and personal interviews are used to record progress since Tennessee adopted Public Law 46 establishing soil conservation districts in 1939. In 1959 all 95 counties of Tennessee had organized soil conservation…

  16. Integrating agricultural expansion into conservation biogeography: conflicts and priorities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo Dobrovolski

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Increasing food production without compromising biodiversity is one of the great challenges for humanity. The aims of my thesis were to define spatial priorities for biodiversity conservation and to evaluate conservation conflicts considering agricultural expansion in the 21st century. I also tested the effect of globalizing conservation efforts on both food production and biodiversity conservation. I found spatial conflicts between biodiversity conservation and agricultural expansion. However, incorporating agricultural expansion data into the spatial prioritization process can significantly alleviate conservation conflicts, by reducing spatial correlation between the areas under high impact of agriculture and the priority areas for conservation. Moreover, developing conservation blueprints at the global scale, instead of the usual approach based on national boundaries, can benefit both food production and biodiversity. Based on these findings I conclude that the incorporation of agricultural expansion as a key component for defining global conservation strategies should be added to the list of solutions for our cultivated planet.

  17. Alternative Land Management Strategies and Their Impact on Soil Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziano Gomiero

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil conservation is threatened by a number of factors, namely the effects of intensive agricultural practices, the increasing pressure for food production linked to the increasing human population, the consumption patterns in developed and emerging economies, and the conversion of agriculture from the production of commodities (which is itself a goal in need of discussion to the production of biofuels. The extent of human pressure and the effects of conflicting land use systems need to be addressed. Alternative and conservative agricultural practices need to be explored and widely adopted in order to preserve the soil fertility, assessing their pros and cons. In this paper, the main potential alternative practices are reviewed, focusing in particular on organic farming. It is also argued that in order to better plan to preserve soil health a strategy considering the whole food system is required.

  18. Evaluation of conservation-oriented management on grayish brown soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consuelo E. Hernández Rodríguez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Conservation and improvement actions were taken to ensure the soil preservation in agricultural areas affected by erosion on a grayish brown soil of Sarduy farm in Cumanayagua, Cuba. The technology that was used included strip-till, crop rotation, live and/or dead barriers, channel terraces, contour farming and the addition of organic matter and biofertilizers. The implementation of the soil conservation-oriented management had an influence on the yield increase of 10.6% - 20.2%, on the decrease of the erosive processes with a retention of soils to 13.33 t.ha -1, on maintaining the soil pH and on the increment of the assimilable P2O5 contents and soil organic matter.

  19. Soil and water conservation investments and rural development in China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heerink, N.; Bao, X.; Li, R.; Lu, K.; Feng, S.

    2009-01-01

    This study uses a unique set of annual provincial data on soil and water conservation (SWC) investments during the period 1989–2005 to estimate the impact of such investments on the extent and severity of erosion, the growth rate of agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) and rural poverty reducti

  20. Remote sensing techniques for the detection of soil erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelletier, R. E.; Griffin, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    The following paper is a summary of a number of techniques initiated under the AgRISTARS (Agriculture and Resources Inventory Surveys Through Aerospace Remote Sensing) project for the detection of soil degradation caused by water erosion and the identification of soil conservation practices for resource inventories. Discussed are methods to utilize a geographic information system to determine potential soil erosion through a USLE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) model; application of the Kauth-Thomas Transform to detect present erosional status; and the identification of conservation practices through visual interpretation and a variety of enhancement procedures applied to digital remotely sensed data.

  1. Ice nucleation properties of agricultural soil dusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinke, Isabelle; Funk, Roger; Busse, Jacqueline; Iturri, Antonela; Kirchen, Silke; Leue, Martin; Möhler, Ottmar; Schwartz, Thomas; Sierau, Berko; Toprak, Emre; Ulrich, Andreas; Hoose, Corinna; Leisner, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Soil dust particles emitted from agricultural areas contain large amounts of organic material such as fungi, bacteria and plant debris. Being carrier for potentially highly ice-active biological particles, agricultural soil dusts are candidates for being very ice-active as well. In this work, we present ice nucleation experiments conducted in the AIDA cloud chamber. We investigated the ice nucleation efficiency of four types of soil dust from different regions of the world. Results are presented for the immersion freezing and the deposition nucleation mode: all soil dusts show higher ice nucleation efficiencies than desert dusts, especially at temperatures above 254 K. For one soil dust sample, the effect of heat treatments was investigated. Heat treatments did not affect the ice nucleation efficiency which presumably excludes primary biological particles as the only source of the increased ice nucleation efficiency. Therefore, organo-mineral complexes or organic compounds may contribute substantially to the high ice nucleation activity of agricultural soil dusts.

  2. Data on four criteria for targeting the placement of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeyuan Qiu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Four criteria are generally used to prioritize agricultural lands for placing conservation buffers. The criteria include soil erodibility, hydrological sensitivity, wildlife habitat, and impervious surface rate that capture conservation buffers’ benefits in reducing soil erosion, controlling runoff generation, enhancing wildlife habitat, and mitigating stormwater impacts, respectively. This article describes the data used to derive the values of those attributes and a scheme to classify the values in multi-criteria analysis of conservation buffer placement in “Choosing between alternative placement strategies for conservation buffers using borda count” [1].

  3. A VSA-based strategy for placing conservation buffers in agricultural watersheds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Zeyuan

    2003-09-01

    Conservation buffers have the potential to reduce agricultural nonpoint source pollution and improve terrestrial wildlife habitat, landscape biodiversity, flood control, recreation, and aesthetics. Conservation buffers, streamside areas and riparian wetlands are being used or have been proposed to control agricultural nonpoint source pollution. This paper proposes an innovative strategy for placing conservation buffers based on the able source area (VSA) hydrology. VSAs are small, variable but predictable portion of a watershed that regularly contributes to runoff generation. The VSA-based strategy involves the following three steps: first, identifying VSAs in landscapes based on natural characteristics such as hydrology, land use/cover, topography and soils; second, targeting areas within VSAs for conservation buffers; third, refining the size and location of conservation buffers based on other factors such as weather, environmental objectives, available funding and other best management practices. Building conservation buffers in VSAs allows agricultural runoff to more uniformly enter buffers and stay there longer, which increases the buffer's capacity to remove sediments and nutrients. A field-scale example is presented to demonstrate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the within-VSA conservation buffer scenario relative to a typical edge-of-field buffer scenario. The results enhance the understanding of hydrological processes and interactions between agricultural lands and conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes, and provide practical guidance for land resource managers and conservationists who use conservation buffers to improve water quality and amenity values of agricultural landscape.

  4. Gliocladium and Trichoderma in agricultural soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Chen; LI Bao-du; LU Guo-zhong

    2004-01-01

    @@ Gliocladium and Trichoderma are common fungi in agricultural soil. Several species of them were isolated and identified, great diversity was displayed in different agricultural soils of different crops,agricultural climate zones, different seasons, depths, different treated soybean cyst nematode soil,healthy and diseased crop soil. Among five crops soil samples, wheat and corn soil were found to possess the largest number of Gliocladium and Trichoderma separately. Gliocladium and Trichoderma of three major crops showed consistent changing patterns with seasonal variation. Corn soil displayed distinct vertical distribution of Trichoderna. There is a different distribution of the two fungi in diseased and healthy plant soil. Among the various isolated methods, diluted plate method is the best for isolating Gliocladium, and Trichoderma could be found in plant residue method and be tolerant to steam for two minutes. In the soybean cyst nematode soil mycobiota, the frequency of Gliocladium is higher than that of the others fungi, and Trichoderma may have the role of bioremediation in herbicide treated soil. Similarly, Gliocladium occurred frequently in different climate zones.

  5. Agricultural management practices and soil quality : measuring, assessing, and comparing laboratory and field test kit indicators of soil quality atributes

    OpenAIRE

    Evanylo, Gregory K.; McGuinn, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes some indicators of soil that can be measured with a simple test kit developed by the United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resource Conservation Service, directions for interpreting these measurements, the effects of soil amendments on soil quality attributes, and comparisons of field kit and laboratory results.

  6. Virginia Tech to host Biodiversity Conservation in Agriculture Symposium

    OpenAIRE

    Felker, Susan B.

    2006-01-01

    Virginia Tech will host the Biodiversity Conservation in Agriculture Symposium at its Caribbean Center for Education and Research in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic, May 31 - June 2. The symposium is designed to promote inclusion of biodiversity conservation objectives in agricultural development activities.

  7. Conservation agriculture for food security in the Philippines

    OpenAIRE

    University of the Philippines - Los Baños

    2010-01-01

    This brochure describes the project to promote Conservation Agriculture as a technologically-feasible, economically-viable, environmentally-sustainable and gender-responsive production system that will contribute to food security of small farm communities in the Philippines. LTRA-12 (Conservation agriculture for food security in Cambodia and the Philippines)

  8. Evolving concepts and opportunities in soil conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Dumanski

    2015-03-01

    The paper discusses some of the new driving forces, new international programs, and new potential partners in soil conservation. Increasingly, international efforts to mitigate land degradation are shifting from studies of the biophysical processes to improving the global, national and local enabling policy environment, as well as mainstreaming of soil conservation into national and regional policies and programs. Also, increased emphasis is placed on economic instruments and international markets, such as carbon trading, and incorporation of non-market values in ecosystem investment, such as payment for ecosystem services, certification schemes, etc. The paper discusses some of the opportunities for soil conservation that accrue from these new driving forces.

  9. Influencia de la agricultura de conservación en la temperatura del suelo y su relación con las poblaciones microbianas Influence of conservation agriculture over soil temperature and the relation with microbial populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Muñoz

    2009-01-01

    óptimos de temperatura para el crecimiento microbiano en los manejos de agricultura de conservación.The temperature of the soil is a key factor in the growth of the maize, a sensible culture to the temperature variations, with high optimal temperature for germination of the seed, growth of plant and fruition. The conservation agriculture tends to diminish the temperature of the soil, due to the stubbles that are left in surface, in whose decomposition the microorganisms of the soil play a fundamental role, and to the associated increase of humidity this type of management. For a suitable management of soils under conservation agriculture is recommendable the study of the temperature and the microbial populations in the surface horizon. For these reasons, the objective of this study has been to make a comparative study of the oscillations of temperature in different managements from agriculture of conservation as opposed to the obtained with a conventional management, and to determine how affect these variations of temperature to the microbial populations associated to the rhizosphere of the culture. Field experiences have been made in four different managements under a same soil, located in contiguous subparcels; one of direct seeding (DS, two of direct seeding with cover (DSC with different antiquity from implantation and a conventional tillage (CT. It has been made an exhaustive measurement of the temperature of the soil during three years and a monitoring of the evolution of the microbial populations. The analysis of the results allows to conclude that during the period of culture takes place a diminution of the temperature in SD and SDC with respect to LC, with smaller oscillations of temperature for the conservation agriculture. In addition, an increase in the microbial populations associated to SD and SDC with respect to LC is observed, that would indicate the existence of optimal intervals of temperature for the microbial growth in the managements of

  10. Response of agricultural soils to acid deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arthur, M.F.; Wagner, C.K.

    1982-07-01

    Proceedings of the workshop, Response of Agricultural Soils to Acid Deposition, which was held May 12-13 1981, in Columbus, Ohio, and which evaluated the potential beneficial and harmful impacts of atmospheric acid deposition on agricultural soils are presented. Those issues requiring further research are also identified. Five working papers and a literature review prepared by soils specialists are included as is a summary of conclusions reached by the participants. Each of the five working papers has been abstracted and indexed individually for ERA/EDB. (JGB)

  11. Conservative tracer bromide inhibits pesticide mineralisation in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bech, Tina B; Rosenbom, Annette E; Sørensen, Sebastian R; Jacobsen, Carsten S

    2017-03-01

    Bromide is a conservative tracer that is often applied with non-conservative solutes such as pesticides to estimate their retardation in the soil. It has been applied in concentrations of up to 250 g Br L(-1), levels at which the growth of single-celled organisms can be inhibited. Bromide applications may therefore affect the biodegradation of non-conservative solutes in soil. The present study investigated the effect of potassium bromide (KBr) on the mineralisation of three pesticides - glyphosate, MCPA and metribuzin - in four agricultural A-horizon soils. KBr was added to soil microcosms at concentrations of 0, 0.5, 2.5 and 5 g Br(-) L(-1) in the soil solution. The study concluded that KBr had a negative effect on pesticide mineralisation. The inhibitory effect varied depending on the KBr concentration, the type of pesticide and the type of soil. Furthermore, 16 S amplicon sequencing revealed that the KBr treatment generally reduced the abundance of bacteroidetes and proteobacteria on both an RNA and DNA level. Therefore, in order to reduce the effect of KBr on the soil bacterial community and consequently also on xenobiotic degradation, it is recommended that KBr be applied in a concentration that does not exceed 0.5 g Br(-) L(-1) in the soil water.

  12. Soil biodiversity for agricultural sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does conf

  13. Effects of conservation practices on fishes within agricultural watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watersheds in the United States without documentation of their impacts. The goal of the ARS Conservation Effects Assessment Project Watershed Assessment Study is to quantify the effect of conservation practices within 14 agri...

  14. Approved Practices in Soil Conservation. Fifth Edition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosworth, Duane A.; Foster, Albert B.

    This book is designed for individuals who want to apply conservation practices either without or with minimal technical assistance. These individuals include students who want to practice soil/water conservation with some instructor guidance and others who want to apply the principles in their own way, to their own conditions, and within their own…

  15. Overview of the Worldwide Spread of Conservation Agriculture

    OpenAIRE

    A. Kassam; Friedrich, T.; Derpsch, R.; Kienzle, J.

    2015-01-01

    The global empirical evidence shows that farmer-led transformation of agricultural production systems based on Conservation Agriculture (CA) principles is already occurring and gathering momentum globally as a new paradigm for the 21st century. The data presented in this paper has been collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations from several sources including estimates made by ministries of agriculture, by farmer organizations, and well-informed individuals in res...

  16. Soil Conservation and Sediment Control in Europe

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anton Charles Imeson

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of soil conservation and sediment control in Europe from the perspectives of policy makers seeking solutions to current problems of soil loss and flooding. Data and information are derived from detailed reports written in support of the European Soils Directive, that addressed the threats facing European soils and from workshops organised to identify best practices and achieve sustainable land use in different EU countries. These were organised by the SCAPE (Strategies for Soil Conservation and Protection in Europe) supporting action. Regarding technical measures used to limit erosion and restore ecosystems, there is much similarity between Europe and China. The main soil and land degradation problems that soil conservation practitioners and scientists have to address are caused by land use and management impacts that have proved difficult or impossible to resist because of political conditions. The political leadership that regarded soil conservation and sediment control, as a cornerstone of sustainable economic development, which seemed to be present eight years, is urgently required once more.

  17. Microbial Community Structure and Enzyme Activities in Semiarid Agricultural Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acosta-Martinez, V. A.; Zobeck, T. M.; Gill, T. E.; Kennedy, A. C.

    2002-12-01

    The effect of agricultural management practices on the microbial community structure and enzyme activities of semiarid soils of different textures in the Southern High Plains of Texas were investigated. The soils (sandy clay loam, fine sandy loam and loam) were under continuous cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) or in rotations with peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and had different water management (irrigated or dryland) and tillage (conservation or conventional). Microbial community structure was investigated using fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis by gas chromatography and enzyme activities, involved in C, N, P and S cycling of soils, were measured (mg product released per kg soil per h). The activities of b-glucosidase, b-glucosaminidase, alkaline phosphatase, and arylsulfatase were significantly (Pconservation tillage in comparison to continuous cotton under conventional tillage. Principal component analysis showed FAME profiles of these soils separated distinctly along PC1 (20 %) and PC2 (13 %) due to their differences in soil texture and management. No significant differences were detected in FAME profiles due to management practices for the same soils in this sampling period. Enzyme activities provide early indications of the benefits in microbial populations and activities and soil organic matter under crop rotations and conservation tillage in comparison to the typical practices in semiarid regions of continuous cotton and conventional tillage.

  18. Soil degradation processes in the Italian agricultural and forest ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edoardo A.C. Costantini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A number of processes of degradation threaten soil functions. Ten of them are acknowledged by the European Union and fifteen by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, but at least another seven have been indicated by different authors in Italy and in other parts of the world. This short review paper summarizes the nature, economic relevance, and territorial impact of soil degradation in Italy, and with reference to Europe as a whole, and highlights the most relevant research needs in soil conservation. The direct annual costs of the main soil degradation processes are estimated to be over 38,000,000,000 euro per year in Europe as a whole, while in Italy, only for landslides, floods, and soil erosion, costs amount to 900,000,000 euro. Loss of the ability to produce food commodities because of soil degradation is particularly important in Italy, since selfsufficiency in food has recently decreased to less than 80% and Italian agricultural soils are hit by several problems, such as limited soil drainage, unfavorable texture and stoniness, shallow rooting depth, and poor chemical properties. On average, soil sealing, reduction in organic matter, and soil compaction in Italy are comparable with those of many other countries, but the occurrence of soil erosion, floods, and landslides is more widespread than in most parts of Europe, and also the presence of salt-affected soils is becoming a major worry. The fight against soil degradation in Italy is certainly more difficult than in other countries because of the high environmental variability. However, according to the current trends, Italy is mostly probably destined not to achieve the European objective to significantly reduce main soil degradation processes by the year 2020. There are several research needs in the field of soil conservation in Italy. These include: i a better basic knowledge about many soil degradation processes and of pedodiversity; ii reliable, sensitive

  19. The role of soil quality and soil conservation for private gardening in South-West Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuber, Sandra; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    In the past centuries, agriculture played a major role in the economy of Germany, and private gardening was common practice. With the shift from agriculture to (service-) industry, less people work in their own garden for subsistence purposes and thus are no longer in direct contact with soil. However, the "Kleingarten"- and "Schrebergarten"-movements still exist in Germany, within which gardeners use soil to provide themselves with fruit and vegetables. The gardeners spend their leisure time cultivating the soil, planting, and harvesting. We ask as to whether these gardeners have a specific relation to soil quality and soil conservation, and what it is they associate with soil. Moreover, how do they use soil? Is soil quality assessed prior to planting? How do private gardeners conserve their soil? Interviewer-administered questionnaires were carried out in the respective gardens. Additionally, management practices were observed, and the fertility of the topsoil was measured. The research area is located in South-West Germany between the Black Forest and the Swabian Jura in a rural district. However, the "Kleingärten" investigated belong to the regional centre there and thus developed in an urban context. The theoretical framework of the SFB 1070 ResourceCultures was used for the study. A small portion of the surveyed private gardeners used simple box kits to analyse soil quality. However, the majority relied on experience and traditional knowledge to determine their management practices. This behaviour complicates the establishment of up-to-date knowledge about sustainable soil use like no-till and raised vegetable beds. Many surveyed persons have an agricultural background inasmuch as their (grand-) parents were farmers or at least owned a garden. Soil conservation practices are common, like the use of green manure to prevent the soil from drying out and supplementing soil with compost. Soil pollution is related to the use of chemical fertilizers which many

  20. A meta-analysis of long-term effects of conservation agriculture on maize grain yield under rain-fed conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusinamhodzi, L.; Corbeels, M.; Wijk, van M.T.; Rufino, M.C.; Nyamangara, J.; Giller, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    Conservation agriculture involves reduced tillage, permanent soil cover and crop rotations to enhance soil fertility and to supply food from a dwindling land resource. Recently, conservation agriculture has been promoted in Southern Africa, mainly for maize-based farming systems. However, maize yiel

  1. The magnetic susceptibility of European agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, K.; Reimann, C.

    2012-04-01

    The GEMAS (Geochemical mapping of agricultural soils) project, a cooperation project between EuroGeoSurveys and Eurometaux, aims at providing soil quality data for Europe. Samples of arable soil were taken during 2008 at an average density of 1 site/2500 km2 covering the member states of the European Union (except Malta and Romania) and several neighbouring countries (e.g., Norway, Serbia, Ukraine). While the primary aim of the GEMAS project is to produce REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals - EC, 2006) consistent soil geochemistry data at the continental scale, the data set is also optimally apt to provide the first continental scale overview of magnetic properties in European soils. Soil samples from the upper 20 cm were taken as composites from 5 sites spread over a ca. 100 m2 area in a large agricultural field (Ap-sample). The samples were air dried and sieved to pass a 2 mm nylon screen. Weight normalized magnetic susceptibility of these dried samples was measured using a Sapphire Instruments SI2B susceptibility meter with dynamic background removal. The here presented maps of magnetic susceptibility in relation to geochemical composition and geological structures for the first time allow to outline the large scale influence of tectonics and climate on magnetic mineral concentration in European soils. The data set also provides the background variability for regional studies aiming to relate magnetic susceptibility of soils to local contamination sources.

  2. Planning and programing in the soil conservation service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, R. M.

    1972-01-01

    The historical base is presented for the framework plan for soil conservation. Conservation effects, resource management systems, and accomplishments, activities, and costs of the Soil Conservation Service are discussed.

  3. Integrating Green Fiscal Reforms into the Agricultural Transformation Agenda: Panacea for Boosting Soil Enrichment and Water Conservation for Sustainable Food Production in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. O. Okojie

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Nigeria had a booming agricultural industry and prominent world market shares in many of its commodities at independence. With the continuous decline in these, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA has been floated to promote twelve commodities in production along their value chains. Various innovations and expected benefits feature in the programme. The cultivation methods and other activities within the nodes of the value chains do not however specify green growth strategy promoted by green fiscal reform policies. This implies the shortchanging of green growth strategy in the national development process and so the compromising of sustainability. This paper valued the environmental services loss resulting from deforestation associated with “slash and burn” arable crop expansion and the benefits of “green grabbing” - the deliberate appropriation of nature in the ATA. The profitability of food crop production with and without green fiscal reform policies integration was also assessed. Sampling procedures that included the stratified, simple random and purposive sampling were used at various stages depending on the objective. Primary data were collected through structured questionnaire. The analytical tools adopted were the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM of the referendum type, on-day site travel cost method and the budgetary analysis. Results showed that 66.37% forest land use changes occurred in a seven year periods for arable food crops expansion. The environmental services loss as depicted by the Willingness To Pay (WTP was averagely N0.60billion/year. The stock recreation value derived from “green grabbing” for the same period with 5% of the Nigerian population of 150 million visiting the Obudu Mountain Resort (OMR for recreational purposes considered was N4.41 x 1012 million. The recreation use benefits of the OMR based on the Marshalian consumer surplus computation was slightly higher for the same period. Profitability

  4. The impact of marketing systems on soil sustainability of agriculture in developing countries : a method and an application

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castaño, J.; Meulenberg, M.T.G.; Tilburg, van A.

    2005-01-01

    This article is concerned with soil-sustainability problems of agriculture in developing countries, in particular with soil erosion. The aim of our study is to develop a comprehensive model that explains the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices with respect to soil conservation. Our approa

  5. Agricultural Land Use and Conservation Options

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zander, P.

    2003-01-01

    The thesis presents the modeling system MODAM (Multi-Objective Decision support tool for Agroecosystem Management) which was developed at the Centre for Agricultural Landscape and Land Use Research (ZALF) Müncheberg. The aim of the development of MODAM is to foster sustainable development o

  6. Life cycle assessment to evaluate the environmental impact of biochar implementation in conservation agriculture in Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparrevik, Magnus; Field, John L; Martinsen, Vegard; Breedveld, Gijs D; Cornelissen, Gerard

    2013-02-01

    Biochar amendment to soil is a potential technology for carbon storage and climate change mitigation. It may, in addition, be a valuable soil fertility enhancer for agricultural purposes in sandy and/or weathered soils. A life cycle assessment including ecological, health and resource impacts has been conducted for field sites in Zambia to evaluate the overall impacts of biochar for agricultural use. The life cycle impacts from conservation farming using cultivation growth basins and precision fertilization with and without biochar addition were in the present study compared to conventional agricultural methods. Three different biochar production methods were evaluated: traditional earth-mound kilns, improved retort kilns, and micro top-lit updraft (TLUD) gasifier stoves. The results confirm that the use of biochar in conservation farming is beneficial for climate change mitigation purposes. However, when including health impacts from particle emissions originating from biochar production, conservation farming plus biochar from earth-mound kilns generally results in a larger negative effect over the whole life cycle than conservation farming without biochar addition. The use of cleaner technologies such as retort kilns or TLUDs can overcome this problem, mainly because fewer particles and less volatile organic compounds, methane and carbon monoxide are emitted. These results emphasize the need for a holistic view on biochar use in agricultural systems. Of special importance is the biochar production technique which has to be evaluated from both environmental/climate, health and social perspectives.

  7. Sorption of phenanthrene in agricultural soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soares, António Carlos Alves; Minh, Luong Nhat; Vendelboe, Anders Lindblad

    the saturation line as defined by Dexter. Top soils and subsoils showed different sorption behavior, with typically higher Koc for topsoils, likely due to different organic matter quality related to soil management and hydrological impact. Topsoils generally exhibited Koc values between the traditionally applied...... for predicting average Koc for agricultural topsoils. Subsoils mostly followed Abdul, in agreement with that this model was developed for deeper soils and groundwater sediments lower in organic carbon (0.4 - 2%). This study only concerns solid-liquid partioning and thus the probability for PAH adsorption onto...... assumingly non-mobile soil particles. In perspective, the combined risk of dissolved PAH leaching and colloid-facilitated PAH leaching from cultivated land areas should be considered....

  8. Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittelkow, Cameron M; Liang, Xinqiang; Linquist, Bruce A; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Lee, Juhwan; Lundy, Mark E; van Gestel, Natasja; Six, Johan; Venterea, Rodney T; van Kessel, Chris

    2015-01-15

    One of the primary challenges of our time is to feed a growing and more demanding world population with reduced external inputs and minimal environmental impacts, all under more variable and extreme climate conditions in the future. Conservation agriculture represents a set of three crop management principles that has received strong international support to help address this challenge, with recent conservation agriculture efforts focusing on smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, conservation agriculture is highly debated, with respect to both its effects on crop yields and its applicability in different farming contexts. Here we conduct a global meta-analysis using 5,463 paired yield observations from 610 studies to compare no-till, the original and central concept of conservation agriculture, with conventional tillage practices across 48 crops and 63 countries. Overall, our results show that no-till reduces yields, yet this response is variable and under certain conditions no-till can produce equivalent or greater yields than conventional tillage. Importantly, when no-till is combined with the other two conservation agriculture principles of residue retention and crop rotation, its negative impacts are minimized. Moreover, no-till in combination with the other two principles significantly increases rainfed crop productivity in dry climates, suggesting that it may become an important climate-change adaptation strategy for ever-drier regions of the world. However, any expansion of conservation agriculture should be done with caution in these areas, as implementation of the other two principles is often challenging in resource-poor and vulnerable smallholder farming systems, thereby increasing the likelihood of yield losses rather than gains. Although farming systems are multifunctional, and environmental and socio-economic factors need to be considered, our analysis indicates that the potential contribution of no-till to the

  9. Root Induced Heterogeneity In Agricultural Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, C.; Gabai, R.; Weisbrod, N.; Furman, A.

    2012-12-01

    In this study we investigate the role of plant induced heterogeneity on water dynamics in agricultural soils. We conducted three experiments in two sites (one still ongoing) in which a trench was excavated in the root zone of an orchard and the subsurface, to a depth of over 1 m, was instrumented in high resolution with water content, water potential and temperature sensors. High temporal resolution monitoring of soil state was carried for over a year, period that included natural (Mediterranean) climate boundary forcing. In addition, sprinkler, flood, and spray irrigation boundary conditions were forced for short time periods to explore the infiltration process under these conditions. One site was an Avocado orchard planted in red sandy soil while the other, still on-going, is in a grape vineyards irrigated by tap and treated wastewater, planted over alluvial clayey soil. In the vineyard, we are comparing soil irrigated with fresh water to soil irrigated with treated waste water for more than 10 years. Our preliminary results indicate several interesting phenomena. First, the role of plant roots is clearly seen as the major roots act as a conduit for water (and solute), providing a fast bypass of the upper soil. Further, we identified different regions of the subsurface that apparently were of the same texture, but in practice presented very different hydraulic properties. Second, the role of these roots depends on the boundary conditions. That is, the root bypass acts differently when soil is flooded than when flow is strictly unsaturated. As expected, simulation of the experimental results show good fit only if the domain heterogeneity of soil properties was incorporated. Results for the clayey soils were not available at time of abstract submission.

  10. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  11. Terraced agriculture protects soil from erosion: Case studies in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabesiranana, Naivo; Rasolonirina, Martin; Fanantenansoa Solonjara, Asivelo; Nomenjanahary Ravoson, Heritiana; Mabit, Lionel

    2016-04-01

    - Soil degradation is a major concern in Madagascar but quantitative information is not widely available. Due to its impact on the sustainability of agricultural production, there is a clear need to acquire data on the extent and magnitude of soil erosion/sedimentation under various agricultural practices in order to promote effective conservation strategies. Caesium-137 and 210Pbex fallout radionuclides (FRNs) possess particular characteristics that make them effective soil tracers for erosion studies. After fallout, 137Cs and 210Pbex are rapidly adsorbed onto fine soil particles. But to date, combined use of these FRNs has never been used to document soil erosion in Madagascar. The study area is located 40 km east of Antananarivo, in Madagascar highlands. Two adjacent cultivated fields have been selected (i.e. a sloped field and a terraced field) as well as an undisturbed reference site in the vicinity of these agricultural fields. Soil samples were collected along downslope transects using motorized corer. The 137Cs and 210Pb gamma analysis were performed at the Institut National des Sciences et Techniques Nucléaires (INSTN-Madagascar) using a high resolution and low background N-type HPGe detector. Results showed that at the terraced field, 137Cs and 210Pbex inventories reached 145 Bq/m2 to 280 Bq/m2 and 2141 Bq/m2 to 4253 Bq/m2, respectively. At the sloped field, the 137Cs and 210Pbex inventories values ranged from 110 Bq/m2 to 280 Bq/m2 and from 2026 Bq/m2 to 4110 Bq/m2, respectively. The net soil erosion determined for the sloped field were 9.6 t/ha/y and 7.2 t/ha/y for 137Cs and 210Pbex methods, respectively. In contrast, at the terraced field, the net soil erosion rates reached only 3.4 t/ha/y and 3.8 t/ha/y, respectively. The preliminary results of this research highlighted that terraced agricultural practice provides an efficient solution to protect soil resources of the Malagasy highlands.

  12. [Landscape planning approaches for biodiversity conservation in agriculture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yun-hui; Li, Liang-tao; Yu, Zhen-rong

    2008-11-01

    Biodiversity conservation in agriculture not only relates to the sustainable development of agriculture, but also is an essential part of species conservation. In recent years, the landscape planning approach for biodiversity was highlighted instead of species-focused approach. In this paper, the landscape factors affecting the biodiversity in agriculture were reviewed, and the possible landscape approaches at three different scales for more efficient conservation of biodiversity in agro-landscape were suggested, including: (1) the increase of the proportion of natural or semi-natural habitats in agriculture, diversification of land use or crop pattern, and protection or construction of corridor at landscape level; (2) the establishment of non-cropping elements such as field margin at between-field level; and (3) the application of reasonable crop density, crop distribution pattern and rotation, and intercrop etc. at within-field level. It was suggested that the relevant policies for natural conservation, land use planning, and ecological compensation should be made to apply the landscape approaches for biodiversity conservation at larger scale.

  13. Knowledge needs, available practices, and future challenges in agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key, Georgina; Whitfield, Mike G.; Cooper, Julia; De Vries, Franciska T.; Collison, Martin; Dedousis, Thanasis; Heathcote, Richard; Roth, Brendan; Mohammed, Shamal; Molyneux, Andrew; Van der Putten, Wim H.; Dicks, Lynn V.; Sutherland, William J.; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2016-10-01

    The goal of this study is to clarify research needs and identify effective practices for enhancing soil health. This was done by a synopsis of soil literature that specifically tests practices designed to maintain or enhance elements of soil health. Using an expert panel of soil scientists and practitioners, we then assessed the evidence in the soil synopsis to highlight practices beneficial to soil health, practices considered detrimental, and practices that need further investigation. A partial Spearman's correlation was used to analyse the panel's responses. We found that increased certainty in scientific evidence led to practices being considered to be more effective due to them being empirically justified. This suggests that for practices to be considered effective and put into practice, a substantial body of research is needed to support the effectiveness of the practice. This is further supported by the high proportion of practices (33 %), such as changing the timing of ploughing or amending the soil with crops grown as green manures, that experts felt had unknown effectiveness, usually due to insufficiently robust evidence. Only 7 of the 27 reviewed practices were considered to be beneficial, or likely to be beneficial in enhancing soil health. These included the use of (1) integrated nutrient management (organic and inorganic amendments); (2) cover crops; (3) crop rotations; (4) intercropping between crop rows or underneath the main crop; (5) formulated chemical compounds (such as nitrification inhibitors); (6) control of traffic and traffic timing; and (7) reducing grazing intensity. Our assessment, which uses the Delphi technique, is increasingly used to improve decision-making in conservation and agricultural policy, identified practices that can be put into practice to benefit soil health. Moreover, it has enabled us to identify practices that need further research and a need for increased communication between researchers, policy-makers, and

  14. Influence of sustainable management on aggregate stability and soil organic matter on agricultural soil of southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morugan-Coronado, Alicia; Arcenegui, Victoria; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Gomez-Lucas, Ignacio; Garcia-Orenes, Fuensanta

    2016-04-01

    Intensive agriculture has increased crop yields but also posed severe environmental problems. Unsustainable land management such as excessive tillage can lead to a loss of soil fertility and a drastic reduction in the aggregate stability and soil organic matter content. However sustainable agriculture can keep good crop yields with minimal impact on ecological factors conserving the soil quality and its ecosystem services. Sustainable agriculture management promotes the maintenance of soil organic matter levels providing plant nutrients through the microbial decomposition of organic materials. Also this management has a positive effect on soil structure with the improvement of stability of aggregates. The resistance of soil aggregates to the slaking and dispersive effects of water (aggregate stability) is important for maintaining the structure in arable soils. Our purpose was to investigate and compare the effects of sustainable agricultural practices versus intensive agriculture on aggregate stability and soil organic matter. Three agricultural areas are being monitored in the southern of Spain, two of them with citrus orchards (AL) and (FE) and one with grapevine(PA). In all of them two agricultural treatments are being developed, organic with no-tillage management(O) and inorganic fertilization with herbicide application and intensive tillage (I). The sustainable agricultural management (manure, no tillage and vegetation cover) contributed to the improve of soil conditions, increasing organic matter and aggregate stability. Meanwhile, herbicide treatment and intensive tillage with inorganic fertilization managements resulted in the decreasing of aggregate stability and low levels of soil organic carbon. Soil organic matter content is generally low in all unsustainable treatments plots and tends to decline in aggregate stability and soil physical condition. In both treatments the crop yield are comparable.

  15. Determination of soil conservation effects on shadow price of soil quality in dry-farmed wheat in Iran (a case study).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, S S; Ghorbani, M; Ghahremanzadeh, M

    2008-02-01

    This study attempts to measure the effects of soil conservation practices on soil quality in dry-farmed wheat in Iran (Zanjan province) using a bio-economic production function. Because of the nature of data (panel data) and information used in this study, error components approach (REM method) was used for estimating the production functions. The results indicate that the shadow price increases with soil depth and its magnitude is greater 72% in average--in conserved soils compared to non-conserved ones. In fact the results support the effectiveness of soil conservation in improving physical, chemical and biochemical properties of soil which contributes to sustainable agriculture. Finally, soil conservation benefits were estimated to be about 29.98 dollar pre hectare. That may be use for extension, payment of green subsidy, investment and adoption of new technologies for soil conservation. In this way, it will increase the real value of farm and farmer's welfare.

  16. Soil phosphorus landscape models for precision soil conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Jinseok; Grunwald, Sabine; Vasques, Gustavo M

    2015-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) enrichment in soils has been documented in the Santa Fe River watershed (SFRW, 3585 km) in north-central Florida. Yet the environmental factors that control P distribution in soils across the landscape, with potential contribution to water quality impairment, are not well understood. The main goal of this study was to develop soil-landscape P models to support a "precision soil conservation" approach combining fine-scale (i.e., site-specific) and coarse-scale (i.e., watershed-extent) assessment of soil P. The specific objectives were to: (i) identify those environmental properties that impart the most control on the spatial distribution of soil Mehlich-1 extracted P (MP) in the SFRW; (ii) model the spatial patterns of soil MP using geostatistical methods; and (iii) assess model quality using independent validation samples. Soil MP data at 137 sites were fused with spatially explicit environmental covariates to develop soil MP prediction models using univariate (lognormal kriging, LNK) and multivariate methods (regression kriging, RK, and cokriging, CK). Incorporation of exhaustive environmental data into multivariate models (RK and CK) improved the prediction of soil MP in the SFRW compared with the univariate model (LNK), which relies solely on soil measurements. Among all tested environmental covariates, land use and vegetation related properties (topsoil) and geologic data (subsoil) showed the largest predictive power to build inferential models for soil MP. Findings from this study contribute to a better understanding of spatially explicit interactions between soil P and other environmental variables, facilitating improved land resource management while minimizing adverse risks to the environment.

  17. Soil macronutrient sensing for precision agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hak-Jin; Sudduth, Kenneth A; Hummel, John W

    2009-10-01

    Accurate measurements of soil macronutrients (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are needed for efficient agricultural production, including site-specific crop management (SSCM), where fertilizer nutrient application rates are adjusted spatially based on local requirements. Rapid, non-destructive quantification of soil properties, including nutrient levels, has been possible with optical diffuse reflectance sensing. Another approach, electrochemical sensing based on ion-selective electrodes or ion-selective field effect transistors, has been recognized as useful in real-time analysis because of its simplicity, portability, rapid response, and ability to directly measure the analyte with a wide range of sensitivity. Current sensor developments and related technologies that are applicable to the measurement of soil macronutrients for SSCM are comprehensively reviewed. Examples of optical and electrochemical sensors applied in soil analyses are given, while advantages and obstacles to their adoption are discussed. It is proposed that on-the-go vehicle-based sensing systems have potential for efficiently and rapidly characterizing variability of soil macronutrients within a field.

  18. Laggards or Leaders: Conservers of Traditional Agricultural Knowledge in Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilles, Jere L.; Thomas, Justin L.; Valdivia, Corinne; Yucra, Edwin S.

    2013-01-01

    Many sustainable agricultural practices are based on local and traditional farming knowledge. This article examines the conservation and loss of three traditional practices in the Bolivian Altiplano that agronomic research has shown increase the resiliency of small farmers in the face of climate-related risks. These practices are the use of…

  19. Soil Organic Carbon dynamics in agricultural soils of Veneto Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bampa, F. B.; Morari, F. M.; Hiederer, R. H.; Toth, G. T.; Giandon, P. G.; Vinci, I. V.; Montanarella, L. M.; Nocita, M.

    2012-04-01

    One of the eight soil threats expressed in the European Commission's Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (COM (2006)231 final) it's the decline in Soil Organic Matter (SOM). His preservation is recognized as with the objective to ensure that the soils of Europe remain healthy and capable of supporting human activities and ecosystems. One of the key goals of the strategy is to maintain and improve Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) levels. As climate change is identified as a common element in many of the soil threats, the European Commission (EC) intends to assess the actual contribution of the soil protection to climate change mitigation and the effects of climate change on the possible depletion of SOM. A substantial proportion of European land is occupied by agriculture, and consequently plays a crucial role in maintaining natural resources. Organic carbon preservation and sequestration in the EU's agricultural soils could have some potential to mitigate the effects of climate change, particularly linked to preventing certain land use changes and maintaining SOC stocks. The objective of this study is to assess the SOC dynamics in agricultural soils (cropland and grassland) at regional scale, focusing on changes due to land use. A sub-objective would be the evaluation of the most used land management practices and their effect on SOC content. This assessment aims to determine the geographical distribution of the potential GHG mitigation options, focusing on hot spots in the EU, where mitigation actions would be particularly efficient and is linked with the on-going work in the JRC SOIL Action. The pilot area is Veneto Region. The data available are coming from different sources, timing and involve different variables as: soil texture, climate, soil disturbance, managements and nutrients. The first source of data is the LUCAS project (Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame statistical Survey). Started in 2001, the LUCAS project aims to monitor changes in land cover/use and

  20. Socio-Economic Factors Assessment Affecting the Adoption of Soil Conservation Technologies on Rwenzori Mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nabalegwa Wambede Muhamud

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study analysed the role of socio-economic factors in influencing farmers’ adoption to soil conservation technologies in Bugoye Sub-county, Rwenzori Mountain. A cross sectional household survey design was used in this study, using systematic sampling to obtain 150 household samples. Qualitative analysis and chi-square tests were used to analyze these data. Results indicated that only 54% of the sampled households have adopted soil conservation, and revealed that eight of the nine factors significantly influenced farmers’ adoption, which are slope, farm size, farm distance from home, education level, family income, training, membership to NGOs, and credit accessibility. Only family size was insignificant. Other constraints are labour demands, cost of conservation work, land fragmentation, crop pests, and the limited agricultural extension services. It is recommended to perform training for farmers on designing soil conservation structures. Policies for empowering farmers with extra income are crucial to increase the adoption of soil conservation efforts.

  1. Impact of conservation agriculture on harnessing sustainability and building resilience against land degradation in the northern Ethiopian highlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araya, Tesfay; Cornelis, Wim M.; Govaerts, Bram; Bauer, Hans; Deckers, Jozef; Nyssen, Jan

    2013-04-01

    Conservation Agriculture (CA) aims at improving soil quality and crop yield whilst reducing runoff and topsoil erosion which raises the soil resilience to combat soil degradation. Different chemical, physical, and biological properties of a soil interact in complex ways that determine the crop productivity potential of the soil. Hence, a medium-term tillage experiment was carried out (2005 to 2011) on a Vertisol to evaluate changes in soil quality, runoff and soil loss due to CA-based field conservation practices in northern Ethiopia. The experimental layout was implemented in a randomized complete block design with three replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were derdero+ (DER+) with a furrow and permanent raised bed planting system, plowed once at planting by refreshing the furrow and with 30% standing crop residue retention, terwah+ (TER+) with plowing once at planting with 30% standing crop residue retention and contour furrows made at 1.5 m distance interval, and conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of three tillage operations and removal of crop residues. All the plowing and reshaping of the furrows was done using the local ard plow mahresha. Local crop rotation practices followed during the seven years sequentially from the first to the seventh year included wheat-teff-wheat-barley-wheat-teff-grass pea. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year (2007) at 2 l ha-1 before planting to control pre-emergent weed in DER+ and TER+. Significantly different (pplanting system compared to CT, specifically at 0-10 cm depth. Aggregate instability index, crack size at harvest, relative water capacity and plastic limit were significantly larger in CT compared to CA treatments. Adoption of improved local practices of DER+ and TER+ planting systems that employ conservation agriculture principles can reduce runoff, soil loss and improve crop yield and soil quality and thus, sustainability in Vertisols. Keywords: Soil resilience

  2. Sampling for Soil Carbon Stock Assessment in Rocky Agricultural Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beem-Miller, Jeffrey P.; Kong, Angela Y. Y.; Ogle, Stephen; Wolfe, David

    2016-01-01

    Coring methods commonly employed in soil organic C (SOC) stock assessment may not accurately capture soil rock fragment (RF) content or soil bulk density (rho (sub b)) in rocky agricultural soils, potentially biasing SOC stock estimates. Quantitative pits are considered less biased than coring methods but are invasive and often cost-prohibitive. We compared fixed-depth and mass-based estimates of SOC stocks (0.3-meters depth) for hammer, hydraulic push, and rotary coring methods relative to quantitative pits at four agricultural sites ranging in RF content from less than 0.01 to 0.24 cubic meters per cubic meter. Sampling costs were also compared. Coring methods significantly underestimated RF content at all rocky sites, but significant differences (p is less than 0.05) in SOC stocks between pits and corers were only found with the hammer method using the fixed-depth approach at the less than 0.01 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 5.80 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 4.74 kilograms C per square meter) and at the 0.14 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site (pit, 8.81 kilograms C per square meter; hammer, 6.71 kilograms C per square meter). The hammer corer also underestimated rho (sub b) at all sites as did the hydraulic push corer at the 0.21 cubic meters per cubic meter RF site. No significant differences in mass-based SOC stock estimates were observed between pits and corers. Our results indicate that (i) calculating SOC stocks on a mass basis can overcome biases in RF and rho (sub b) estimates introduced by sampling equipment and (ii) a quantitative pit is the optimal sampling method for establishing reference soil masses, followed by rotary and then hydraulic push corers.

  3. Multiple Knowledges for Agricultural Production: Implications for the Development of Conservation Agriculture in Kenya and Uganda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Keith M.; Lamb, Jennifer N.; Sikuku, Dominic Ngosia; Ashilenje, Dennis S.; Laker-Ojok, Rita; Norton, Jay

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This article investigates the extent of multiple knowledges among smallholders and connected non-farm agents around Mount Elgon in Kenya and Uganda in order to build the communicative competence needed to scale up conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS). Design/methodology/approach: Our methodological approach examines local…

  4. Perennial grasses for energy and conservation: Evaluating some ecological agricultural, and economic issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downing, M.; Walsh, M.; McLaughlin, S.

    1995-11-01

    Perennial prairie grasses offer many advantages to the developing biofuels industry. High yielding varieties of native prairie grasses such as switchgrass, which combine lower levels of nutrient demand, diverse geographical growing range, high net energy yields and high soil and water conservation potential indicate that these grasses could and should supplement annual row crops such as corn in developing alternative fuels markets. Favorable net energy returns, increased soil erosion prevention, and a geographically diverse land base that can incorporate energy grasses into conventional farm practices will provide direct benefits to local and regional farm economies and lead to accelerated commercialization of conversion technologies. Displacement of row crops with perennial grasses will have major agricultural, economic, sociologic and cross-market implications. Thus, perennial grass production for biofuels offers significant economic advantages to a national energy strategy which considers both agricultural and environmental issues.

  5. Biodiversity, Urban Areas, and Agriculture: Locating Priority Ecoregions for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Ricketts

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization and agriculture are two of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide. The intensities of these land-use phenomena, however, as well as levels of biodiversity itself, differ widely among regions. Thus, there is a need to develop a quick but rigorous method of identifying where high levels of human threats and biodiversity coincide. These areas are clear priorities for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we combine distribution data for eight major plant and animal taxa (comprising over 20,000 species with remotely sensed measures of urban and agricultural land use to assess conservation priorities among 76 terrestrial ecoregions in North America. We combine the species data into overall indices of richness and endemism. We then plot each of these indices against the percent cover of urban and agricultural land in each ecoregion, resulting in four separate comparisons. For each comparison, ecoregions that fall above the 66th quantile on both axes are identified as priorities for conservation. These analyses yield four "priority sets" of 6-16 ecoregions (8-21% of the total number where high levels of biodiversity and human land use coincide. These ecoregions tend to be concentrated in the southeastern United States, California, and, to a lesser extent, the Atlantic coast, southern Texas, and the U.S. Midwest. Importantly, several ecoregions are members of more than one priority set and two ecoregions are members of all four sets. Across all 76 ecoregions, urban cover is positively correlated with both species richness and endemism. Conservation efforts in densely populated areas therefore may be equally important (if not more so as preserving remote parks in relatively pristine regions.

  6. Water-conserving Potential for Agriculture in the Tarim Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1999-01-01

    To satisfy the water demand for Tarim Basin's economic development in the year 2000, about 33.4×108 m3 water needs to be further tapped. Acco rding t o the analysis of the current status of water utilization, it is pointed out th at, to achieve such economic objectives, the policy of emphasizing both water ex ploitation and water conservation with the preference given to conservation meas ures must be followed. For this end, the potentials of exploring new additional sources and strengthening water conservation have been well analyzed, along with the calculation and tech-economic-assessment of some related parameters like the canal transmission efficiency in water delivery systems and the water irrigation effi ciency in the field. The results indicate the potentials of water resource expan sion and conservation are 34×108 m3 and 57×108 m3, respectively. Bas ed on such rese arch outputs, a water conservation program has been developed for the Tarim Basi n, to provide important references and policy recommendations for the decision- makers in Xinjiang agricultural department to implement water utilization measur es.

  7. Agricultural Waste Management Systems on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 312

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP312), Agricultural...

  8. Soil Properties in Natural Forest Destruction and Conversion to Agricultural Land,in Gunung Leuser National Park, North Sumatera Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basuki Wasis

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Destruction of the Gunung Leuser National Park area of North Sumatera Province through land clearing and land cover change from natural forest to agricultural land. Less attention to land use and ecosystem carrying capacity of the soil can cause soil degradation and destruction of flora, fauna, and wildlife habitat destruction. Environmental damage will result in a national park wild life will come out of the conservation area and would damage the agricultural community. Soil sampling conducted in purposive sampling in natural forest and agricultural areas.  Observation suggest that damage to the natural forest vegetation has caused the soil is not protected so that erosion has occurred. Destruction of natural forest into agricultural are as has caused damage to soil physical properties, soil chemical properties, and biological soil properties significantly. Forms of soil degradation caused by the destruction of natural forests, which is an increase in soil density (density Limbak by 103%, a decrease of 93% organic C and soil nitrogen decreased by 81%. The main factors causing soil degradation is the reduction of organic matter and soil erosion due to loss of natural forest vegetation.  Criteria for soil degradation in Governance Regulation Number 150/2000 can be used to determine the extent of soil degradation in natural forest ecosystems.Keywords: Gunung Leuser National Park, natural forest, agricultural land, land damage, soil properties

  9. Soil, water and nutrient conservation in mountain farming systems: case-study from the Sikkim Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, E; Rai, S C; Sharma, R

    2001-02-01

    The Khanikhola watershed in Sikkim is agrarian with about 50% area under rain-fed agriculture representing the conditions of the middle mountains all over the Himalaya. The study was conducted to assess overland flow, soil loss and subsequent nutrient losses from different land uses in the watershed, and identify biotechnological inputs for management of mountain farming systems. Overland flow, soil and nutrient losses were very high from open agricultural (cropped) fields compared to other land uses, and more than 72% of nutrient losses were attributable to agriculture land use. Forests and large cardamom agroforestry conserved more soil compared to other land uses. Interventions, like cultivation of broom grass upon terrace risers, N2-fixing Albizia trees for maintenance of soil fertility and plantation of horticulture trees, have reduced the soil loss (by 22%). Soil and water conservation values (> 80%) of both large cardamom and broom grass were higher compared to other crops. Use of N2-fixing Albizia tree in large cardamom agroforestry and croplands contributed to soil fertility, and increased productivity and yield. Bio-composting of farm resources ensured increase in nutrient availability specially phosphorus in cropped areas. Agricultural practices in mountain areas should be strengthened with more agroforestry components, and cash crops like large cardamom and broom grass in agroforestry provide high economic return and are hydroecologically sustainable.

  10. Conservation tillage in dryland agriculture impacts watershed hydrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Wie, J. B.; Adam, J. C.; Ullman, J. L.

    2013-03-01

    increase soil water storage of winter precipitation in the root-zone, which may lead to higher wheat yields in the Palouse region. Furthermore, DHSVM was found to be suitable for investigating some watershed-scale agricultural management opportunities and has the potential to address additional questions pertaining to sustainable farming.

  11. An integrated GIS/remote sensing data base in North Cache soil conservation district, Utah: A pilot project for the Utah Department of Agriculture's RIMS (Resource Inventory and Monitoring System)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, D. J.; Ridd, M. K.; Merola, J. A.

    1984-01-01

    A basic geographic information system (GIS) for the North Cache Soil Conservation District (SCD) was sought for selected resource problems. Since the resource management issues in the North Cache SCD are very complex, it is not feasible in the initial phase to generate all the physical, socioeconomic, and political baseline data needed for resolving all management issues. A selection of critical varables becomes essential. Thus, there are foud specific objectives: (1) assess resource management needs and determine which resource factors ae most fundamental for building a beginning data base; (2) evaluate the variety of data gathering and analysis techniques for the resource factors selected; (3) incorporate the resulting data into a useful and efficient digital data base; and (4) demonstrate the application of the data base to selected real world resoource management issues.

  12. Pore Size Distribution as a Soil Physical Quality Index for Agricultural and Pasture Soils in Northeastern Iran

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    H.SHAHAB, H.EMAMI; G.H.HAGHNIA; A.KARIMI

    2013-01-01

    Assessment of soil quality is important for optimum production and natural resources conservation.Agricultural and pasture soil qualities of Deh-Sorkh region located at south of Mashhad,northeastern Iran were assessed using the integrated quality index (IQI) and Nemero quality index (NQI) models in combination with two datasets,i.e.,total data set (TDS) and minimum data set (MDS).In this study 6 soil properties considered as MDS were selected out of 18 properties as TDS using principle component analysis.Soil samples were divided into 3 groups based on optimum ranges of 8 soil physical quality indicators.Soil samples with the most indicators at optimum range were selected as group 1 and the samples having fewer indicators at optimum range were located in groups 2 and 3.Optimum ranges of soil pore size distribution functions were also determined as soil physical quality indices based on 8 soil physical quality indicators.Pore size distribution curves of group 1 were considered as the optimum pore size functions.The results showed that relatively high organic carbon contents could improve pore size distribution.Mean comparisons of soil physical quality indicators demonstrated that mean weight diameter of wet aggregates,structural stability index,the slope of moisture retention curve at inflection point,and plant available water content in agricultural land use decreased significantly in relation to pasture land use.In addition,the results demonstrated that the studied MDS could be a suitable representative of TDS.78% of pasture soils had the optimum pore size distribution functions,while this parameter for agricultural soils was only 13%.In general,the soils of the studied region showed high limitations for plant growth according to the studied indicators.

  13. Land Conservation in an Evolving Agricultural Industry: Trade-offs to Consider

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, J. S.; Murray, B. C.; McCarl, B. A.; Jackson, R. B.

    2008-12-01

    This study analyzes the interactions of land conservation policy with biofuel expansion using an economic model of the U.S. forest and agricultural sectors. The world agricultural industry is changing rapidly under emerging market and policy-based pressures. An important driver in the U.S. is the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates significant expansion in biofuels production (up to 36 billion gallons/year by 2022). Traditional land conservation practices such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are at risk in this changing agricultural climate, as the opportunity costs of reverting to cropland continue to rise. Large- scale reversion of CRP acreage is likely to lead to substantial losses in soil carbon, biodiversity, soil erosion protection, and water quality. However, given the increased competition for land resources, continued efforts to maintain the CRP could induce land use change (LUC) and agricultural development from even more sensitive ecosystems, including native grasslands and forests. This study uses economic modeling to study CRP reversion and LUC under multiple scenarios, including: 1) Baseline assumptions of growth in world agricultural demand and energy prices, with and without CRP reversion; 2) Implementation of the RFS while maintaining the CRP; and 3) RFS with CRP reversion allowed. The study is done using the FASOMGHG model (Lee, McCarl et al, 2008), which is well suited for this analysis as it: 1) Depicts land use competition between crops, pasture, CRP, and forestry over a 100 year period 2) Contains comprehensive GHG accounting across the sectors, 3) Allows land in the CRP to revert to cultivation at an economically optimal rate as land values increase, and 4) Extensively models biofuel and conventional agricultural production possibilities. Results generated to date show significant reversion to cultivation, even under the baseline (36% of the total CRP stock by 2020). Implementing the RFS further pressures conservation

  14. Conservation Agriculture for combating land degradation in Central Asia: a synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.P.A. Lamers

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This manuscript reviews scientific findings on agricultural systems, associated land degradation and selected remedies such as Conservation Agricultural (CA practices to counterbalance these. In particular, this review addresses the research findings onCA practices conducted in the rainfed and irrigated systems in Central Asia. The arid and semi-arid croplands in this region are vulnerable to different types of soil and environmental degradation, and particularly to degradation caused by intensive tillage, irrigation water mismanagement, and cropping practices, especially in the Aral Sea Basin. Overall, the evidence shows that various CA elements, such as permanent beds, seems to be technically suitable for the major cropping systems and despite the heterogeneous conditions in the region. CA practices can contribute to combating on-going land degradation. No-till seeding along with the maintenance of a permanent soil coverage e.g. by residue retention, reduces wind and water erosion, increases water infiltration and storage which can reduce crop water stress, improve soil quality and increase soil organic matter. Further, CA practices can lead to similar or even higher crop yields while reducing production resource needs and costs considerably, including fuel, seeds, agrochemicals, water and labour. Nevertheless, the growing research evidence on the productivity, economic and environmental benefits that can be harnessed with CA, still is from a limited number of studies and hence more research at local scale is needed.

  15. Estimating soil erosion risk and evaluating erosion control measures for soil conservation planning at Koga watershed in the highlands of Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molla, Tegegne; Sisheber, Biniam

    2017-01-01

    Soil erosion is one of the major factors affecting sustainability of agricultural production in Ethiopia. The objective of this paper is to estimate soil erosion using the universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) model and to evaluate soil conservation practices in a data-scarce watershed region. For this purpose, soil data, rainfall, erosion control practices, satellite images and topographic maps were collected to determine the RUSLE factors. In addition, measurements of randomly selected soil and water conservation structures were done at three sub-watersheds (Asanat, Debreyakob and Rim). This study was conducted in Koga watershed at upper part of the Blue Nile basin which is affected by high soil erosion rates. The area is characterized by undulating topography caused by intensive agricultural practices with poor soil conservation practices. The soil loss rates were determined and conservation strategies have been evaluated under different slope classes and land uses. The results showed that the watershed is affected by high soil erosion rates (on average 42 t ha-1 yr-1), greater than the maximum tolerable soil loss (18 t ha-1 yr-1). The highest soil loss (456 t ha-1 yr-1) estimated from the upper watershed occurred on cultivated lands of steep slopes. As a result, soil erosion is mainly aggravated by land-use conflicts and topographic factors and the rugged topographic land forms of the area. The study also demonstrated that the contribution of existing soil conservation structures to erosion control is very small due to incorrect design and poor management. About 35 % out of the existing structures can reduce soil loss significantly since they were constructed correctly. Most of the existing structures were demolished due to the sediment overload, vulnerability to livestock damage and intense rainfall. Therefore, appropriate and standardized soil and water conservation measures for different erosion-prone land uses and land forms need to be implemented in Koga

  16. The Effectiveness of Communication Forms Used by the Soil Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation Districts: A Dual Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Sylvia Jean

    This study investigated the effectiveness of communication modes used by the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) and Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) of Clinton, Highland, and Warren countries in southwest Ohio. The evaluation was based on the recorded perceptions of SCS and SWCD personnel and farmers from each of the study countries. Two…

  17. Effect of restoring soil hydrological poperties on water conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moore, D.; Kostka, S.J.; Boerth, T.J.; Franklin, M.A.; Ritsema, C.J.; Dekker, L.W.; Oostindie, K.; Stoof, C.R.; Park, D.M.

    2008-01-01

    Water repellency in soil is more wide spread than previously thought ¿ and has a significant impact on irrigation efficiency and water conservation. Soil water repellency has been identified in many soil types under a wide array of climatic conditions world wide. Consequences include increased runof

  18. Phosphorus accumulation and spatial distribution in agricultural soils in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rubæk, Gitte Holton; Kristensen, Kristian; Olesen, S E;

    2013-01-01

    Over the past century, phosphorus (P) has accumulated in Danish agricultural soils. We examined the soil P content and the degree of P saturation in acid oxalate (DPS) in 337 agricultural soil profiles and 32 soil profiles from deciduous forests sampled at 0–0.25, 0.25–0.50, 0.50–0.75 and 0.75–1....... discusses the potential importance of leaching, deep tillage, erosion and bioturbation for the observed accumulation of P in the subsoil....

  19. A fourth principle is required to define Conservation Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa: The appropriate use of fertilizer to enhance crop productivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanlauwe, B.; Wendt, J.; Giller, K.E.; Corbeels, M.; Gerard, B.; Nolte, C.

    2014-01-01

    Intensification of agricultural systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is considered a pre-condition for alleviation of rural poverty. Conservation Agriculture (CA) has been promoted to achieve this goal, based on three principles: minimum tillage, soil surface cover, and diversified crop rotations. CA

  20. Sorption of Phenanthrene on Agricultural Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soares, Antonio Alves; Møldrup, Per; Minh, Luong Nhat

    2013-01-01

    Polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) sorption to soil is a key process deciding the transport and fate of PAH, and potential toxic impacts in the soil and groundwater ecosystems, for example in connection with atmospheric PAH deposition on soils. There are numerous studies on PAH sorption in relatively...... low organic porous media such as urban soils and groundwater sediments, but less attention has been given to cultivated soils. In this study, the phenanthrene partition coefficient, KD (liter per kilogram), was measured on 143 cultivated Danish soils (115 topsoils, 0–0.25-m soil depth and 28 subsoils...... (COC and NCOC, grams per gram). Multiple regression analyses showed that the NCOC-based phenanthrene partition coefficient (KNCOC) could be markedly higher than the COC-based partition coefficient (KCOC) for soils with a clay/OC ratio

  1. Assessment of the microbiological activity in agricultural and urban soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DEC DOROTA

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the enzymatic soil and the number of selected microorganisms in urban soil, which are located in the lane of the reconstructed road and compare it with a soil cultivated for agricultural purposes. The conducted analysis showed significant differences between the results of the soil taken from the roadway and the soil cultivated from agricultural purposes. The C:N ratio in soils of the roadway (from 24 to 31 indicated that they were degraded and heavily degraded soils. Urban soils had a neutral pH. The activity of dehydrogenase (1.93–6.95 μg TPF g−1·h−1, acid phosphatase (2.42–4.92 mM pNP·g−1·h−1 and alkaline phosphatase (2.34–4.80 mM pNP·g−1·h−1 in urban soils were low. In agricultural soils the acid phosphatase enzyme levels ranged 6.32–8.04 mM pNP·g−1·h−1, and alkaline phosphatase were 7.26–9.16 mM pNP·g−1·h−1. In urban soil samples collected along the roadway, a significant correlation between potassium and dehydrogenase activity, and between the C:N ratio and the activity of acid phosphatase was found.

  2. You can’t eat your mulch and have it too : cropping system design and tradeoffs around biomass use for Conservation Agriculture in Cameroon and Madagascar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naudin, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conservation agriculture is defined by three main principles: minimum soil   disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations. CA is promoted as a   promising technology for Africa, but to date, only a small area under CA fully   complies with the above three princi

  3. Identifying potential recommendation domains for conservation agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km(2)) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5% of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21% of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  4. Identifying Potential Recommendation Domains for Conservation Agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfaye, Kindie; Jaleta, Moti; Jena, Pradyot; Mutenje, Munyaradzi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. Using high resolution (≈1 km2) biophysical and socioeconomic geospatial data, this study identified potential recommendation domains (RDs) for CA in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi. The biophysical variables used were soil texture, surface slope, and rainfall while the socioeconomic variables were market access and human and livestock population densities. Based on feasibility and comparative performance of CA over conventional agriculture, the biophysical and socioeconomic factors were first used to classify cultivated areas into three biophysical and three socioeconomic potential domains, respectively. Combinations of biophysical and socioeconomic domains were then used to develop potential RDs for CA based on adoption potential within the cultivated areas. About 39, 12, and 5 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and socioeconomic potential while 50, 39, and 21 % of the cultivated areas showed high biophysical and medium socioeconomic potential for CA in Malawi, Kenya, and Ethiopia, respectively. The results indicate considerable acreages of land with high CA adoption potential in the mixed crop-livestock systems of the studied countries. However, there are large differences among countries depending on biophysical and socio-economic conditions. The information generated in this study could be used for targeting CA and prioritizing CA-related agricultural research and investment priorities in the three countries.

  5. Biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in an agricultural management continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relationships among biological indicators of soil quality and soil organic matter characteristics in a claypan soil were evaluated across a continuum of long-term agricultural practices in Missouri, USA. In addition to chemical and physical soil quality indicators, dehydrogenase and phenol oxidase a...

  6. Organic matter matters for ice nuclei of agricultural soil origin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Tobo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Heterogeneous ice nucleation is a~crucial process for forming ice-containing clouds and subsequent ice-induced precipitation. The importance for ice nucleation of airborne desert soil dusts composed predominantly of minerals is relatively well understood. On the other hand, the potential influence of agricultural soil dusts on ice nucleation has been poorly recognized, despite recent estimates that they may account for up to ∼25% of the global atmospheric dust load. We have conducted freezing experiments with various dusts, including agricultural soil dusts derived from the largest dust source region in North America. Here we show evidence for the significant role of soil organic matter (SOM in particles acting as ice nuclei (IN under mixed-phase cloud conditions. We find that the ice nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts is similar to that of desert soil dusts, but is reduced to almost the same level as that of clay minerals (e.g., kaolinite after either H2O2 digestion or dry heating to 300 °C. In addition, based on chemical composition analysis, we show that organic-rich particles are more important than mineral particles for the ice nucleating ability of the agricultural soil dusts at temperatures warmer than about −36 °C. Finally, we suggest that such organic-rich particles of agricultural origin (namely, SOM particles may contribute significantly to the ubiquity of organic-rich IN in the global atmosphere.

  7. Management of agricultural soils for greenhouse gas mitigation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sánchez, B.; Iglesias, A.; McVittie, A.; Álvaro-Fuentes, J.; Ingram, J.; Mills, J.; Lesschen, J.P.; Kuikman, P.J.

    2016-01-01

    A portfolio of agricultural practices is now available that can contribute to reaching European mitigation targets. Among them, the management of agricultural soils has a large potential for reducing GHG emissions or sequestering carbon. Many of the practices are based on well tested agronomic an

  8. The Brief Introduction to the Sino-US Joint Centers for Soil and Water Conservation and Environmental Protection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Jing; LI Rui; ZHENG Fen-li

    2004-01-01

    Erosion and transport of soil has worldwide implications for agriculture, landscape stability, climate, natural hazards, and clean, renewable resources of water and air. Assured access to clean water and a healthy and safe environment requires an ethic of conservation and protection. The minimum scale in which these principles apply successfully is basin wide. These are the fundamental concerns of the Sino-US Centers for Soil and Water Conservation and Environmental Protection.

  9. Soil Quality Impacts of Current South American Agricultural Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B. Wingeyer

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Increasing global demand for oil seeds and cereals during the past 50 years has caused an expansion in the cultivated areas and resulted in major soil management and crop production changes throughout Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil. Unprecedented adoption of no-tillage as well as improved soil fertility and plant genetics have increased yields, but the use of purchased inputs, monocropping i.e., continuous soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr., and marginal land cultivation have also increased. These changes have significantly altered the global food and feed supply role of these countries, but they have also resulted in various levels of soil degradation through wind and water erosion, soil compaction, soil organic matter (SOM depletion, and nutrient losses. Sustainability is dependent upon local interactions between soil, climate, landscape characteristics, and production systems. This review examines the region’s current soil and crop conditions and summarizes several research studies designed to reduce or prevent soil degradation. Although the region has both environmental and soil resources that can sustain current agricultural production levels, increasing population, greater urbanization, and more available income will continue to increase the pressure on South American croplands. A better understanding of regional soil differences and quantifying potential consequences of current production practices on various soil resources is needed to ensure that scientific, educational, and regulatory programs result in land management recommendations that support intensification of agriculture without additional soil degradation or other unintended environmental consequences.

  10. Soil Type Identification Using Remotely Sensed Data for Agricultural Purpose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiji, G. Wiselin; Nadar, Pallavi

    2016-09-01

    Soil assessment plays important role in making decisions for Agriculture. In this paper, an approach by integrating the image processing and pattern recognition techniques to find the type of soil has been presented. The soil from the area of interest is selected and soil indices are extracted as features. Indexing technique is used for faster retrieval. The efficiency of the proposed system is proved using sensitivity, specificity, precision and recall. Our empirical evaluation has a superior retrieval performance over the performance of other works. This work is of great use to the farmers, who need to identify their field's soil type.

  11. Suppression of plant parasitic nematodes in the chinampa agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerman, B M; Dicklow, M B; Coles, G C; Garcia-E, R; Marban-Mendoza, N

    1989-06-01

    Soil from the chinampa agricultural system in the Valley of Mexico suppressed damage by plant-parasitic nematodes to tomatoes and beans in greenhouse and growth chamber trials. Sterilization of the chinampa soil resulted in a loss of the suppressive effect, thereby indicating that one or more biotic factors were responsible for the low incidence of nematode damage. Nine organisms were isolated from chinampa soil, which showed antinematodal properties in culture. Naturally occurring populations of plant-parasitic nematodes were of lower incidence in chinampa soil than in Chapingo soil.

  12. Soil Salinity Changes in the Jordan Valley Potentially Threaten Sustainable Irrigated Agriculture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    T.G.AMMARI; R.TAHHAN; S.ABUBAKER; Y.AL-ZU'BI; A.TAHBOUB; R.TA'ANY; S.ABU-ROMMAN

    2013-01-01

    The integrated effect of irrigation and agricultural practices on soil salinity in the Jordan Valley (JV),where over 60% of Jordan's agricultural produce is grown,was investigated in this study during 2009 2010.Due to the differences in agricultural operations,cropping patterns,irrigation management,and weather conditions,206 top-and sub-soil samples were taken every 1 to 3 km from representative farms along a north-south (N-S) transect with 1 to 2 km lateral extents.Soil electrical conductivity of saturated extract (ECse),Ca,Mg,K,Na,Cl,and Na adsorption ratio (SAR) were determined in saturated paste extracts.Results indicated that about 63% of soils in the JV are indeed saline,out of which almost 46% are moderately to strongly saline.Along the N-S transect of the JV,ECse increased from 4.5 to 14.1 dS m-1 in top-soil samples.Similar increase was observed for the sub-soil samples.The major chemical components of soil salinity; i.e.,Ca,Mg,and C1,also showed a similar increase along the N-S transect of the valley.Moreover,compared to previous field sampling,results showed that changes in soil salinity in the JV were dramatic.In addition,it was found that C1 imposed an existing and potential threat to sensitive crops in 60% of the soils in the JV,where C1 concentrations were greater than 710 mg L-1.Under the prevalent arid Mediterranean conditions,improving the management of irrigation water,crops,and nutrient inputs and increasing water and fertilizer use efficiencies should be indispensable to conserve and sustain the already fragile agricultural soils in the JV.

  13. Soil governance in the agricultural landscapes of New South Wales, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley A Webb

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil is a valuable natural resource. In the state of New South Wales, Australia, the governance of soil has evolved since Federation in 1901. Following rapid agricultural development, and in the face of widespread soil degradation, the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service marked a turning point in the management of soil. Throughout the 20th century, advances in knowledge were translated into evolving governance frameworks that were largely reactionary but saw progressive reforms such as water pollution legislation and case studies of catchment-scale land and vegetation management. In the 21st century, significant reforms have embedded sustainable use of agricultural soils within catchment- and landscape-scale legislative and institutional frameworks. What is clear, however, is that a multitude of governance strategies and models are utilised in NSW. No single governance model is applicable to all situations because it is necessary to combine elements of several different mechanisms or instruments to achieve the most desired outcomes. Where an industry, such as the sugar industry, has taken ownership of an issue such as acid sulfate soil management, self-regulation has proven to be extremely effective. In the case of co-managing agricultural soils with other landuses, such as mining, petroleum exploration and urban development, regulation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms have been preferred. Institutional arrangements in the form of independent commissioners have also played a role. At the landscape or total catchment level, it is clear that a mix of mechanisms is required. Fundamental, however, to the successful evolution of soil governance is strategic investment in soil research and development that informs the ongoing productive use of agricultural landscapes while preventing land degradation or adverse environmental effects.

  14. Agricultural practices that store organic carbon in soils: is it only a matter of inputs ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Claire; Cardinael, Rémi; Autret, Bénédicte; Chevallier, Tiphaine; Girardin, Cyril; Mary, Bruno

    2016-04-01

    Increasing the world soils carbon stocks by a factor of 4 per mil annually would compensate the annual net increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This statement is the core of an initiative launched by the French government at the recent COP21, followed by many countries and international bodies, which attracts political attention to the storage potential of C in soils. Compared to forest and pasture soils, agricultural soils have a higher C storage potential, because they are often characterized by low C contents, and increasing their C content is associated with benefits in terms of soil properties and ecosystem services. Here we quantified, under temperate conditions, the additional C storage related to the implementation of two set of practices that are recognized to be in the framework of agroecology: conservation tillage on the one hand and agroforestry on the other hand. These studies were based on long-term experiments, a 16-years comparison on cropping systems on luvisols in the Paris area and a 18-year-old silvoarable agroforestry trial, on fluvisols in southern France, the main crops being cereals in both cases. C stocks were measured on an equivalent soil mass basis. Both systems allowed for a net storage of C in soils, which are, for the equivalent of the 0-30 cm tilled layer, of 0.55 ± 0.16 t ha- 1 yr- 1 for conservation agriculture (i.e. no tillage with permanent soil coverage with an associated plant, fescue or alfalfa) and of 0.25 ± 0.03 t ha-1 yr-1 for the agroforestry system. These results are in line with estimates proposed in a recent French national assessment concerning the potential of agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to recent literature, they further show that practices that increase C inputs to soil through additional biomass production would be more effective to store C in soil (tree rows, cover crops in conservation agriculture) than practices, such as no-tillage, that are assumed to reduce

  15. Soil and Water Challenges for Pacific Northwest Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil and water conservation has been a major concern in the Inland Pacific Northwest since the onset of farming 125 years ago. Some of the highest historic water erosion rates in the USA have occurred on steep slopes in the Palouse region where soil loss averaged 45 Mg ha-1 yr-1 and could reach 450 ...

  16. Soil biota and agriculture production in conventional and organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrama, Maarten; de Haan, Joj; Carvalho, Sabrina; Kroonen, Mark; Verstegen, Harry; Van der Putten, Wim

    2015-04-01

    Sustainable food production for a growing world population requires a healthy soil that can buffer environmental extremes and minimize its losses. There are currently two views on how to achieve this: by intensifying conventional agriculture or by developing organically based agriculture. It has been established that yields of conventional agriculture can be 20% higher than of organic agriculture. However, high yields of intensified conventional agriculture trade off with loss of soil biodiversity, leaching of nutrients, and other unwanted ecosystem dis-services. One of the key explanations for the loss of nutrients and GHG from intensive agriculture is that it results in high dynamics of nutrient losses, and policy has aimed at reducing temporal variation. However, little is known about how different agricultural practices affect spatial variation, and it is unknown how soil fauna acts this. In this study we compare the spatial and temporal variation of physical, chemical and biological parameters in a long term (13-year) field experiment with two conventional farming systems (low and medium organic matter input) and one organic farming system (high organic matter input) and we evaluate the impact on ecosystem services that these farming systems provide. Soil chemical (N availability, N mineralization, pH) and soil biological parameters (nematode abundance, bacterial and fungal biomass) show considerably higher spatial variation under conventional farming than under organic farming. Higher variation in soil chemical and biological parameters coincides with the presence of 'leaky' spots (high nitrate leaching) in conventional farming systems, which shift unpredictably over the course of one season. Although variation in soil physical factors (soil organic matter, soil aggregation, soil moisture) was similar between treatments, but averages were higher under organic farming, indicating more buffered conditions for nutrient cycling. All these changes coincide with

  17. Agricultural Commercialisation, Diversification, and Conservation of Renewable Resources in Northern Thailand Highlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy Trébuil

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The process of commercialisation-diversification in the highlands of upper northern Thailand and the accompanying dismissal of self-subsistence are documented based on the findings from seven case studies carried out in different agricultural and social situations during the past decade. The characteristics of the key driving forces powering this agrarian transition such as rapid economic growth, decrease in the share of labour employed in the agriculture, urbanization and changes in food consumption patterns, and improved communication infrastructures, are presented in the Thai context. The environmental impact of these profound agrarian transformations on the degradation of key renewable resources, particularly soil erosion, is assessed. Their socio-economic consequences on an extensive differentiation among farming households and equity issues are also discussed. Finally the authors draw several lessons from this Thai experience that illustrate the very strong adaptive capacity of small highland farmers. They could be useful in similar agro-ecological zones of neighbouring countries that are presently experiencing the same kind of agricultural transition in the Montane Mainland Southeast Asia ecoregion. Particularly, the article underlines the need for more holistic and integrated approaches to agricultural development and the management of renewable resources in highland agro-ecosystems to alleviate poverty while conserving the resource base.

  18. Pesticide use and biodiversity conservation in the Amazonian agricultural frontier

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schiesari, L.; Waichman, A.; Brock, T.C.M.; Adams, C.; Grillitsch, B.

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural frontiers are dynamic environments characterized by the conversion of native habitats to agriculture. Because they are currently concentrated in diverse tropical habitats, agricultural frontiers are areas where the largest number of species is exposed to hazardous land management practi

  19. About soil cover heterogeneity of agricultural research stations' experimental fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rannik, Kaire; Kõlli, Raimo; Kukk, Liia

    2013-04-01

    Depending on local pedo-ecological conditions (topography, (geo) diversity of soil parent material, meteorological conditions) the patterns of soil cover and plant cover determined by soils are very diverse. Formed in the course of soil-plant mutual relationship, the natural ecosystems are always influenced to certain extent by the other local soil forming conditions or they are site specific. The agricultural land use or the formation of agro-ecosystems depends foremost on the suitability of soils for the cultivation of feed and food crops. As a rule, the most fertile or the best soils of the area, which do not present any or present as little as possible constraints for agricultural land use, are selected for this purpose. Compared with conventional field soils, the requirements for the experimental fields' soil cover quality are much higher. Experimental area soils and soil cover composition should correspond to local pedo-ecological conditions and, in addition to that, represent the soil types dominating in the region, whereas the fields should be as homogeneous as possible. The soil cover heterogeneity of seven arable land blocks of three research stations (Jõgeva, Kuusiku and Olustvere) was studied 1) by examining the large scale (1:10 000) digital soil map (available via the internet), and 2) by field researches using the transect method. The stages of soils litho-genetic and moisture heterogeneities were estimated by using the Estonian normal soils matrix, however, the heterogeneity of top- and subsoil texture by using the soil texture matrix. The quality and variability of experimental fields' soils humus status, was studied more thoroughly from the aspect of humus concentration (g kg-1), humus cover thickness (cm) and humus stocks (Mg ha-1). The soil cover of Jõgeva experimental area, which presents an accumulative drumlin landscape (formed during the last glacial period), consist from loamy Luvisols and associated to this Cambisols. In Kuusiku area

  20. Is it appropriate to support the farmers for adopting conservation agriculture? Economic and environmental impact assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Troccoli

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Conservation agriculture (CA in the last decades has been spread in several parts of the world, especially in South and North America and Australia. In Italy, however, its adoption is often restrained by the risk to have a reduction in crop production in the early years of transition from conventional (CT to CA. To quantify sufficient financial support to promote no-tillage and CA, a mini-review about main effects of CA was conducted. The effect on crop yield, soil fertility - especially as it is influenced by the chemical, physical and microbiological factors - on soil compaction, the economic balance of the farm and the cost of equipment for direct seeding, the influence of environment on soil erosion, water retention, emissions of greenhouse gases, and carbon sequestration are briefly treated. The paper reports findings from national and international scientific literature and some results from long-term experiments conducted in Southern Italy. The main conclusions are about the reduction of yield in the first years of transition from CT to CA (from -5 to -10%, an improvement of soil fertility (soil organic carbon increases in the upper layers, reduction of management cost (less machinery operations, improvement of soil C sequestration (in specific conditions, a reduction of greenhouse gases emission and soil erosion risk. The paper provides the scientific basis in order to justify and quantify the amount to be paid to the farmers who decide to adopt the model of CA, oriented to protect the agro-ecosystem and to promote the principle of subsidiarity. Finally, a proposal of public subsidy in cash and for machinery purchase has been described.

  1. Conservation agriculture practices in rainfed uplands of India improve maize-based system productivity and profitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliza Pradhan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift towards more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over three years (2011-2014 of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation i.e. minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e. conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

  2. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

  3. Replenishing Humic Acids in Agricultural Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Susic

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available For many decades, it was commonly believed that humic acids were formed in soils by the microbial conversion of plant lignins. However, an experiment to test whether these humic acids were formed prior to plant matter reaching the soil was never reported until the late 1980s (and then only as a side issue, even though humic acids were first isolated and reported in 1786. This was a serious omission, and led to a poor understanding of how the humic acid content of soils could be maintained or increased for optimum fertility. In this study, commercial sugar cane mulch and kelp extracts were extracted with alkali and analyzed for humic acid content. Humic acids in the extracts were positively identified by fluorescence spectrophotometry, and this demonstrated that humic acids are formed in senescent plant and algal matter before they reach the soil, where they are then strongly bound to the soil and are also resistant to microbial metabolism. Humic acids are removed from soils by wind and water erosion, and by water leaching, which means that they must be regularly replenished. This study shows that soils can be replenished or fortified with humic acids simply by recycling plant and algal matter, or by adding outside sources of decomposed plant or algal matter such as composts, mulch, peat, and lignite coals.

  4. Conservation Tillage Systems on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 329

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP329 ),...

  5. An assessment of alternative agricultural management practice impacts on soil carbon in the corn belt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnwell, T.O. Jr.; Jackson, R.B.; Mulkey, L.A. [Environmental Research Laboratory, Athens, GA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    This impact of alternative management practices on agricultural soil C is estimated by a soil C mass balance modeling study that incorporates policy considerations in the analysis. A literature review of soil C modeling and impacts of management practices has been completed. The models selected for use and/or modification to meet the needs of representing soil C cycles in agroecosystems and impacts of management practices are CENTURY and DNDC. These models share a common ability to examine the impacts of alternative management practices on soil organic C, and are readily accessible. An important aspect of this effort is the development of the modeling framework and methodology that define the agricultural production systems and scenarios (i.e., crop-soil-climate combinations) to be assessed in terms of national policy, the integration of the model needs with available databases, and the operational mechanics of evaluating C sequestration potential with the integrated model/database system. We are working closely with EPA`s Office of Policy and Program Evaluation to define a reasonable set of policy alternatives for this assessment focusing on policy that might be affected through a revised Farm Bill, such as incentives to selectively promote conservation tillage, crop rotations, and/or good stewardship of the conservation reserve. Policy alternatives are translated into basic data for use in soil C models through economic models. These data, including such elements as agricultural practices, fertilization rates, and production levels are used in the soil C models to produce net carbon changes on a per unit area basis. The unit-area emissions are combined with areal-extent data in a GIS to produce an estimate of total carbon and nitrogen changes and thus estimate greenhouse benefits.

  6. Soil management and conservation: Irrigation: Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irrigation applies water to soil to improve crop production. The three main methods of irrigation are surface, sprinkler and micro. Surface irrigation is used on 85% of the irrigated land in the world. It generally requires lower capital investment because the soil conveys water within the field, ra...

  7. Barriers to Uptake of Conservation Agriculture in southern Africa: Multi-level Analyses from Malawi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay; Whitfield, Stephen; Wood, Ben; Chinseu, Edna

    2015-04-01

    Conservation agriculture is a key set of actions within the growing body of climate-smart agriculture activities being advocated and rolled out across much of the developing world. Conservation agriculture has purported benefits for environmental quality, food security and the sustained delivery of ecosystem services. In this paper, new multi-level analyses are presented, assessing the current barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture practices in Malawi. Despite significant donor initiatives that have targeted conservation agriculture projects, uptake rates remain low. This paper synthesises studies from across 3 levels in Malawi: i.) national level- drawing on policy analysis, interviews and a multi-stakeholder workshop; ii.) district level - via assessments of development plans and District Office and extension service support, and; iii) local level - through data gained during community / household level studies in Dedza District that have gained significant donor support for conservation agriculture as a component of climate smart agriculture initiatives. The national level multi-stakeholder Conservation Agriculture workshop identified three areas requiring collaborative research and outlined routes for the empowerment of the National Conservation Agriculture Task Force to advance uptake of conservation agriculture and deliver associated benefits in terms of agricultural development, climate adaptation and mitigation. District level analyses highlight that whilst District Development Plans are now checked against climate change adaptation and mitigation criteria, capacity and knowledge limitations exist at the District level, preventing project interventions from being successfully up-scaled. Community level assessments highlight the need for increased community participation at the project-design phase and identify a pressing requirement for conservation agriculture planning processes (in particular those driven by investments in climate

  8. Sorption and transport of atrazine in an agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakan Akyol, Nihat

    2014-05-01

    Sorption and transport of atrazine in an agricultural soil Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in large quantity worldwide. The objective of this study was to perform some batch and column experiments to examine the transport of atrazine in an agricultural soil from Turkey. Batch experiments indicated that sorption isotherm was nonlinear with a freundlich isotherm over a range of concentration (0.2-10 mg/L) examined. Column experiments showed that transport of atrazine in the soil was moderately retarded compared to non-reactive tracer (R = 2.9-4.0). The degree of retardation decreased with increasing atrazine concentration and residance time had negligable impact on degree of sorption. Flow interruption tests in the column experiments indicated that the rate-limited desorption of atrazine mainly controlled the non-ideal transport of atrazine due to the presence of organic matter fraction (0.83 %) in the soil. Sorption and desorption behavior of atrazine in such soils could have important impacts for risk assessment of atrazine-contaminated soil and should be taken into account in the regulation, management, and remediation of atrazine-contaminated sites. Keywords: Atrazine, Agricultural soil, Batch, Column, Desorption, Rate-limited desorption, Sorption, Transport.

  9. Monitoring the Effect of Wetland Conservation Practices in an Agricultural Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Due to the substantial effect of agriculture on the extent and ability of wetlands to function, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) serves a key role in wetland conservation and restoration. The USDA has implemented several different conservation programs (e.g., the Wetland Reserve Program) wi...

  10. Modern trends in the development of agriculture and demands on plant breeding and soil management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kovačević Dušan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture is usually developed as much and just society where there is a branch of the economy. Today, there are different directions from industry agriculture to many concepts based on ecological principles. Future of agriculture development in the XXI century will imply sustainable agriculture as the alternative to the industrial agriculture. Conventional agriculture as an intensive one has a duty to ensure maximum production in terms of quantity and quality with the low cost. For this purpose we have many cultural practices, sometimes in addition to the expected positive but sometimes with many unexpected long-term negative effects in agroecosystems. Organic agriculture is one of the most interesting current trends in agriculture completely based on strong ecological principles and the absence of application of agrochemicals (pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, GMO, etc. Organic agriculture is a holistic way of farming: besides production of goods of high quality (better flavor, high content dry matter, vitamins, antioxidants; conservation of the natural resources (soil, water and richness of biodiversity.

  11. Substantial dust loss of bioavailable phosphorus from agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katra, Itzhak; Gross, Avner; Swet, Nitzan; Tanner, Smadar; Krasnov, Helena; Angert, Alon

    2016-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an essential element in terrestrial ecosystems. Knowledge on the role of dust in the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus is very limited with no quantitative information on aeolian (by wind) P fluxes from soils. The aim of this study is to focus on P cycling via dust emissions under common land-use practices in an arid environment by integration of sample analyses and aeolian experiments. The experiments indicate significant P fluxes by PM10 dust due to agricultural land use. Even in a single wind-dust event at moderate velocity (7.0 m s‑1), P flux in conventional agricultural fields can reach 1.83 kg km‑2, that accumulates to a considerable amount per year at a regional scale. The results highlight a negative yearly balance in P content (up to hundreds kg km‑2) in all agricultural soils, and thus more P nutrition is required to maintain efficient yield production. In grazing areas where no P nutrition is applied, the soil degradation process can lead to desertification. Emission of P from soil dust sources has significant implications for soil nutrient resources and management strategies in agricultural regions as well as for loading to the atmosphere and global biogeochemical cycles.

  12. SOIL EROSION AND CONSERVATION IN ROMANIA - SOME FIGURES, FACTS AND ITS IMPACT ON ENVIRONMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sevastel Mircea

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Being a common and finite resource, soil - as a natural and very complex ecosystem, is essential to human society. Inseveral regions of Europe, including Romania too, soil resources are degraded due to different causes, or, sometimes,irreversibly lost, mainly due to erosion, decline in organic matter or contamination. As regard to soil erosion only, inRomania, about 42% of the total agricultural lands are affected by water erosion in different forms and intensities.Soil degradation has negative impacts on other areas also, not only in-site but also off-site, areas which are alsoconsidered of common interest for the people (e.g. air and water quality, biodiversity and climate change. Costs torestore such a damages and environmental quality in general may be very high and thus preferable to be avoided.To maintain and/or improve a good quality of the soils for a long period of time, there needed to be implemented inRomania , as much as possible, some agri-environmental schemes, according to the current EU models and policies, inparticular, through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP.The paper briefly presents and analyzes such agri-environmental schemes developed for the agricultural lands from thehilly areas in Romania that is very affected by water erosion and landslides – the Curvature zone of Sub-Carpathians.The schemes, developed within the Research Station for Soil Erosion and Conservation Aldeni-Buzau, which belongs tothe University of Agricultural Sciences in Bucharest, is based on friendly agricultural practices to be implemented onagricultural lands located on slopes. Also, the new conceptual European model, known as Driving Forces-Pressures-State-Impacts-Responces (DPSIR, adapted for the soil erosion impact assesment on environment, will be herepresented, in order to be promoted and used on a large scale in Romania as well.

  13. Supporting food security in the 21st century through resource-conserving increases in agricultural production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uphoff Norman

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The Green Revolution was accomplished under a set of demographic, economic, climatic and other conditions in the 20th century that have been changing and will surely be different and more difficult in the decades ahead. The suitability and sustainability of any given agricultural technology depends on factors like resource availability and productivity, energy costs, and environmental constraints. The achievements of Green Revolution technologies in the 1960s and 1970s came at a critical time of impending food shortages, and the world’s people would be worse off without them. However, the rate of yield improvement for cereal production has been slowing since the mid-1980s. Looking ahead at the foreseeable circumstances under which 21st century agricultural producers must try to assure food security, there will be need for technologies that are less dependent on resources that are becoming relatively scarcer, like arable land and water, or becoming relatively more costly, like energy and petrochemical-based inputs. This paper considers agroecologically-based innovations that reduce farmers’ dependence on external inputs, relying more on endogenous processes and existing potentials in plants and soil systems. Such resource-conserving production represents a different approach to meeting food security goals. While these innovations are not yet fully understood and are still being researched, there are good agronomic reasons to account for their effectiveness, and scientific validations are accumulating. Enough successes have been recorded from making changes in the management of plants, soil, water and nutrients that more attention from researchers, policy-makers and practitioners is warranted, especially given the need to adapt to, and to mitigate the effects of, climate change. The same agroecological concepts and management methods that are enhancing factor productivity in rice production are giving similar results with other crops

  14. Agricultural intensification exacerbates spillover effects on soil biogeochemistry in adjacent forest remnants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael K Didham

    Full Text Available Land-use intensification is a central element in proposed strategies to address global food security. One rationale for accepting the negative consequences of land-use intensification for farmland biodiversity is that it could 'spare' further expansion of agriculture into remaining natural habitats. However, in many regions of the world the only natural habitats that can be spared are fragments within landscapes dominated by agriculture. Therefore, land-sparing arguments hinge on land-use intensification having low spillover effects into adjacent protected areas, otherwise net conservation gains will diminish with increasing intensification. We test, for the first time, whether the degree of spillover from farmland into adjacent natural habitats scales in magnitude with increasing land-use intensity. We identified a continuous land-use intensity gradient across pastoral farming systems in New Zealand (based on 13 components of farmer input and soil biogeochemistry variables, and measured cumulative off-site spillover effects of fertilisers and livestock on soil biogeochemistry in 21 adjacent forest remnants. Ten of 11 measured soil properties differed significantly between remnants and intact-forest reference sites, for both fenced and unfenced remnants, at both edge and interior. For seven variables, the magnitude of effects scaled significantly with magnitude of surrounding land-use intensity, through complex interactions with fencing and edge effects. In particular, total C, total N, δ15N, total P and heavy-metal contaminants of phosphate fertilizers (Cd and U increased significantly within remnants in response to increasing land-use intensity, and these effects were exacerbated in unfenced relative to fenced remnants. This suggests movement of livestock into surrounding natural habitats is a significant component of agricultural spillover, but pervasive changes in soil biogeochemistry still occur through nutrient spillover channels alone

  15. Soil microbial communities as suitable bioindicators of trace metal pollution in agricultural volcanic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parelho, Carolina; dos Santos Rodrigues, Armindo; do Carmo Barreto, Maria; Gonçalo Ferreira, Nuno; Garcia, Patrícia

    2015-04-01

    Summary: The biological, chemical and physical properties of soil confer unique characteristics that enhance or influence its overall biodiversity. The adaptive character of soil microbial communities (SMCs) to metal pollution allows discriminating soil health, since changes in microbial populations and activities may function as excellent indicators of soil pollutants. Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals (TM). In our previous works, we identified priority TM affecting agricultural Andosols under different agricultural land uses. Within this particular context, the objectives of this study were to (i) assess the effect of soil TM pollution in different agricultural systems (conventional, traditional and organic) on the following soil properties: microbial biomass carbon, basal soil respiration, metabolic quotient, enzymatic activities (β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase and dehydrogenase) and RNA to DNA ratio; and (ii) evaluate the impact of TM in the soil ecosystem using the integrated biomarker response (IBR) based on a set of biochemical responses of SMCs. This multi-biomarker approach will support the development of the "Trace Metal Footprint" for different agricultural land uses in volcanic soils. Methods: The study was conducted in S. Miguel Island (Azores, Portugal). Microbial biomass carbon was measured by chloroform-fumigation-incubation-assay (Vance et al., 1987). Basal respiration was determined by the Jenkinson & Powlson (1976) technique. Metabolic quotient was calculated as the ratio of basal respiration to microbial biomass C (Sparkling & West, 1988). The enzymatic activities of β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase were determined by the Dick et al. (1996) method and dehydrogenase activity by the Rossel et al. (1997) method. The RNA and DNA were co-extracted from the same

  16. Quantifying the erosion effect on current carbon budget of European agricultural soils at high spatial resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugato, Emanuele; Paustian, Keith; Panagos, Panos; Jones, Arwyn; Borrelli, Pasquale

    2016-05-01

    The idea of offsetting anthropogenic CO2 emissions by increasing global soil organic carbon (SOC), as recently proposed by French authorities ahead of COP21 in the 'four per mil' initiative, is notable. However, a high uncertainty still exits on land C balance components. In particular, the role of erosion in the global C cycle is not totally disentangled, leading to disagreement whether this process induces lands to be a source or sink of CO2. To investigate this issue, we coupled soil erosion into a biogeochemistry model, running at 1 km(2) resolution across the agricultural soils of the European Union (EU). Based on data-driven assumptions, the simulation took into account also soil deposition within grid cells and the potential C export to riverine systems, in a way to be conservative in a mass balance. We estimated that 143 of 187 Mha have C erosion rates 0.45 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1). In comparison with a baseline without erosion, the model suggested an erosion-induced sink of atmospheric C consistent with previous empirical-based studies. Integrating all C fluxes for the EU agricultural soils, we estimated a net C loss or gain of -2.28 and +0.79 Tg yr(-1) of CO2 eq, respectively, depending on the value for the short-term enhancement of soil C mineralization due to soil disruption and displacement/transport with erosion. We concluded that erosion fluxes were in the same order of current carbon gains from improved management. Even if erosion could potentially induce a sink for atmospheric CO2, strong agricultural policies are needed to prevent or reduce soil erosion, in order to maintain soil health and productivity.

  17. MAPPING SPATIAL MOISTURE CONTENT OF UNSATURATED AGRICULTURAL SOILS WITH GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Shamir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil subsurface moisture content, especially in the root zone, is important for evaluation the influence of soil moisture to agricultural crops. Conservative monitoring by point-measurement methods is time-consuming and expensive. In this paper we represent an active remote-sensing tool for subsurface spatial imaging and analysis of electromagnetic physical properties, mostly water content, by ground-penetrating radar (GPR reflection. Combined with laboratory methods, this technique enables real-time and highly accurate evaluations of soils' physical qualities in the field. To calculate subsurface moisture content, a model based on the soil texture, porosity, saturation, organic matter and effective electrical conductivity is required. We developed an innovative method that make it possible measures spatial subsurface moisture content up to a depth of 1.5 m in agricultural soils and applied it to two different unsaturated soil types from agricultural fields in Israel: loess soil type (Calcic haploxeralf, common in rural areas of southern Israel with about 30% clay, 30% silt and 40% sand, and hamra soil type (Typic rhodoxeralf, common in rural areas of central Israel with about 10% clay, 5% silt and 85% sand. Combined field and laboratory measurements and model development gave efficient determinations of spatial moisture content in these fields. The environmentally friendly GPR system enabled non-destructive testing. The developed method for measuring moisture content in the laboratory enabled highly accurate interpretation and physical computing. Spatial soil moisture content to 1.5 m depth was determined with 1–5% accuracy, making our method useful for the design of irrigation plans for different interfaces.

  18. Mapping Spatial Moisture Content of Unsaturated Agricultural Soils with Ground-Penetrating Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamir, O.; Goldshleger, N.; Basson, U.; Reshef, M.

    2016-06-01

    Soil subsurface moisture content, especially in the root zone, is important for evaluation the influence of soil moisture to agricultural crops. Conservative monitoring by point-measurement methods is time-consuming and expensive. In this paper we represent an active remote-sensing tool for subsurface spatial imaging and analysis of electromagnetic physical properties, mostly water content, by ground-penetrating radar (GPR) reflection. Combined with laboratory methods, this technique enables real-time and highly accurate evaluations of soils' physical qualities in the field. To calculate subsurface moisture content, a model based on the soil texture, porosity, saturation, organic matter and effective electrical conductivity is required. We developed an innovative method that make it possible measures spatial subsurface moisture content up to a depth of 1.5 m in agricultural soils and applied it to two different unsaturated soil types from agricultural fields in Israel: loess soil type (Calcic haploxeralf), common in rural areas of southern Israel with about 30% clay, 30% silt and 40% sand, and hamra soil type (Typic rhodoxeralf), common in rural areas of central Israel with about 10% clay, 5% silt and 85% sand. Combined field and laboratory measurements and model development gave efficient determinations of spatial moisture content in these fields. The environmentally friendly GPR system enabled non-destructive testing. The developed method for measuring moisture content in the laboratory enabled highly accurate interpretation and physical computing. Spatial soil moisture content to 1.5 m depth was determined with 1-5% accuracy, making our method useful for the design of irrigation plans for different interfaces.

  19. Assessing different agricultural managements with the use of soil quality indices in a Mediteranean calcareous soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Mataix-Solera, Jorge; Arcenegui, Vicky; Cerdà, Artemi

    2013-04-01

    Soil erosion is a major problem in the Mediterranean region due to the arid conditions and torrential rainfalls, which contribute to the degradation of agricultural land. New strategies must be developed to reduce soil losses and recover or maintain soil functionality in order to achieve a sustainable agriculture. An experiment was designed to evaluate the effect of different agricultural management on soil properties and soil quality. Ten different treatments (contact herbicide, systemic herbicide, ploughing, Oat mulch non-plough, Oats mulch plough, leguminous plant, straw rice mulch, chipped pruned branches, residual-herbicide and agro geo-textile, and three control plots including no tillage or control and long agricultural abandonment (shrub on marls and shrub on limestone) were established in 'El Teularet experimental station' located in the Sierra de Enguera (Valencia, Spain). The soil is a Typic Xerorthent developed over Cretaceous marls in an old agricultural terrace. The agricultural management can modify the soil equilibrium and affect its quality. In this work two soil quality indices (models) developed by Zornoza et al. (2007) are used to evaluate the effects of the different agricultural management along 4 years. The models were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed forest soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. Model 1, that explained 92% of the variance in soil organic carbon (SOC) showed that the SOC can be calculated by the linear combination of 6 physical, chemical and biochemical properties (acid phosphatase, water holding capacity (WHC), electrical conductivity (EC), available phosphorus (P), cation exchange capacity (CEC) and aggregate stability (AS). Model 2 explains 89% of the SOC variance, which can be calculated by means of 7 chemical and biochemical properties (urease, phosphatase, and ß-glucosidase activities, pH, EC, P and CEC). We use the

  20. 75 FR 77821 - Agricultural Water Enhancement Program and Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-14

    ... agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through either the Agricultural Water... concerns to be addressed, and specifically what water conservation resource issues and water quality... long-term conservation of surface and ground water or water quality improvement and related...

  1. Glyphosate resistant weeds - a threat to conservation agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glyphosate-resistant weeds are now present throughout the Southeast. Hundreds of thousands of conservation tillage cotton acres, some currently under USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation program contracts, are at risk of being converted to higher-intensity tillage systems....

  2. Effectiveness of sloping agricultural land technology on soil fertility status of mid-hills in Nepal

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kiran Lamichhane

    2013-01-01

    Hedgerows with intercropping systems were established at the ICIMOD test and demonstration site at Godawari to assess the effective-ness of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) in reducing run-off water volume, controlling soil loss, increasing crop production, and improving soil fertility in the mid-hills of Nepal. Runoff water volume (1996-2002), soil loss (1996-2002) and maize yield (1995-2001), and soil fertility-related parameters were assessed on SALT models with three factors:the type of nitrogen-fixing plant, the farmers’ practice, and fertilizer use. Results showed a significant effect of Alnus nepalensis and/or Indigofera dosua on runoff water volume, soil loss, crop produc-tion, soil water retention, and soil nutrients (NPK). Farmers’ practice and fertilization did not play a significant role in reducing runoff water and soil loss. However, farmers’ practice significantly increased crop produc-tion. Therefore, integrating soil conservation approaches on SALT sys-tems enhances stable economic output to hills and mountain farmers.

  3. SANREM CRSP: Cross-cutting research adapts conservation agriculture for dryland smallholders in developing countries

    OpenAIRE

    Mulvaney, Michael J.; Moore, Keith M.; Christie, Maria Elisa; Norton, George W.; Bertelsen, Michael; Sutphin, L.K.

    2011-01-01

    This poster provides an overview of the combined research efforts of the Cross-Cutting Research Activities (CCRAs) at the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP). They include analyses of economic impacts, gender, technology networks, and soil in the SANREM CRSP's Long Term Research Activities (LTRAs). CCRA-9 (Soil Quality and Soil Carbon Sequestration)

  4. Electrokinetic treatment of an agricultural soil contaminated with heavy metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Arylein; Cameselle, Claudio; Gouveia, Susana; Hansen, Henrik K

    2016-07-28

    The high organic matter content in agricultural soils tends to complex and retain contaminants such as heavy metals. Electrokinetic remediation was tested in an agricultural soil contaminated with Co(+2), Zn(+2), Cd(+2), Cu(+2), Cr(VI), Pb(+2) and Hg(+2). The unenhanced electrokinetic treatment was not able to remove heavy metals from the soil due to the formation of precipitates in the alkaline environment in the soil section close to the cathode. Moreover, the interaction between metals and organic matter probably limited metal transportation under the effect of the electric field. Citric acid and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were used in the catholyte as complexing agents in order to enhance the extractability and removal of heavy metals from soil. These complexing agents formed negatively charged complexes that migrated towards the anode. The acid front electrogenerated at the anode favored the dissolution of heavy metals that were transported towards the cathode. The combined effect of the soil pH and the complexing agents resulted in the accumulation of heavy metals in the center of the soil specimen.

  5. Chemistry of subsurface drain discharge from an agricultural polder soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hesterberg, D.; Vos, de B.; Raats, P.A.C.

    2006-01-01

    Protecting groundwater and surface water quality in drained agricultural lands is aided by an understanding of soil physical and chemical processes affecting leaching of plant nutrients and other chemical constituents, and discharge from subsurface drains. Our objectives were to determine which chem

  6. Plumbum contamination detecting model for agricultural soil using hyperspectral data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiangnan; Huang, Fang; Wang, Ping

    2008-10-01

    The issue of environmental pollution due to toxic heavy metals in agricultural land has caused worldwide growing concern in recent years. Being one of toxic heavy metals, the accumulation of Plumbum (Pb) may have negative effects on natural and agricultural vegetation growth, yield and quality. It can also constitute short-term and long-term health risks by entering the food chain. In this study, we analyze the relationships between physical and chemical characteristics, biological parameters of soil-vegetation system and hyperspectral spectrum responses systematically. The relation between hyperspectral data and the biological parameters of Pb polluted wheat canopy such as leaf pigments, leaf moisture, cell structure and leaf area index (LAI) are discussed. We detect the changes in the wheat biological parameters and spectral response associated with Pb concentration in soil. To reveal the impact mechanisms of Pb concentration on agricultural soil, six models including chlorophyll-leaf moisture model, chlorophyll-cell structure model, chlorophyll-LAI model, leaf moisture-cell structure model, leaf moisture-LAI model, cell structure- LAI model are explored. We find that changes in Pb concentration present various features in different models. Pb contamination in agricultural soil can be identified and assessed effectively while integrating the characteristics of those developed models.

  7. Bacterial diversity in agricultural soils during litter decomposition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dilly, O.; Bloem, J.; Vos, A.; Munch, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of amplified fragments of genes coding for 16S rRNA was used to study the development of bacterial communities during decomposition of crop residues in agricultural soils. Ten strains were tested, and eight of these strains produced a single band. Furth

  8. European GEMAS mapping of agricultural soils: Arsenic results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarvainen, Timo; Reimann, Clemens; Albanese, Stefano; Birke, Manfred; Poňavič, Michal; Ladenberger, Anna

    2014-05-01

    The GEMAS data set provides a homogenised overview of arsenic distribution in agricultural (Ap horizon, 0-20 cm) and grazing land soil (Gr, 0-10 cm) of Europe. The GEMAS mapping project covers western Europe at a sample density of 1 site/2500 km2. Arsenic concentrations are reported for the

  9. Effect of sludges on bacteria in agricultural soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kuntz, Jérôme; Nassr-Amellal, Najat; Lollier, Marc;

    2008-01-01

    The effect of composted (CS), digested (DS) and liquid raw (LRS) sludges unspiked or spiked with benzo[a]pyrene(BaPYR), dibuthyl phthalate (DBP) or nonyl phenol (NP) on the structure of the bacterial communities of an agricultural soil was estimated by using thermal temporal gel electrophoresis (...

  10. GEMAS: Distribution of major elements in Polish agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusza-Dobek, Aleksandra; Pasieczna, Anna; Kwecko, Paweł

    2014-05-01

    Amount and quality of produced food is highly dependent on soil chemical properties and composition. The GEMAS project (Geochemical Mapping of Agricultural and Grazing Land Soil of Europe) has provided new homogeneous geochemical data for Polish agricultural soils. This study presents the distribution of common major elements such as CaO, MgO, Fe2O3, Al2O3, K2O, Na2O, SiO2, determined in 129 samples of agricultural soil of Poland. The total element concentrations obtained by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) were compared with the results from aqua regia acid digestion determined by ICP-MS. The distribution patterns of selected major elements reveal two major geochemical provinces - the northern province and the southern province, distinguished with respect to the natural geochemical background and resulting from the geological evolution of the region. The soil of the northern province (Polish Lowland), dominated by glacial deposits, show low contents of CaO, MgO, Fe2O3, Al2O3, K2O, Na2O, and high contents of SiO2. High silica content reflects the presence of sand-rich deposits which belong to the larger European feature with cover sands and loess of mainly Weichselian age and stretching from Ukraine to western Germany and Denmark. The southern province is characterised by high concentrations of almost all major elements (except SiO2). Soils in the Sudetes, Upper Silesia and the Carpathian Mountains developed in majority on pre-Quaternary rocks. In the Sudetes, soil formed on magmatic and metamorphic rocks of Paleozoic age. In the Carpathians and Upper Silesia, the flysch and molasse formations containing various material of magmatic and sedimentary origin constitute the immediate substratum of soil.

  11. Guiding soil conservation strategy in headwater mediterranean catchments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Slimane, Abir; Raclot, Damien; Evrard, Olivier; Sanaa, Mustapha; Lefèvre, Irène; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2016-04-01

    Reservoir siltation due to water erosion is an important environmental issue in Mediterranean countries where storage of clear surface water is crucial for their economic and agricultural development. In order to reduce water erosion, this study aimed to design a methodology for guiding the implementation of efficient conservation strategies by identifying the dominant sediment sources in Mediterranean context. To this end, a fingerprinting method was combined with long-term field monitoring of catchment sediment yield in five headwater catchments (0.1-10 km2) equipped with a small reservoir between 1990 and 1995. The five catchments were chosen to cover the large diversity of environmental conditions found along the Tunisian Ridge and in the Cape Bon region. The fingerprinting techniques based on measurements of cesium-137 and Total Organic Carbon within the catchments and in reservoir sediment deposits successfully identified the contribution of rill/interrill and gully/channel erosion to sediment yield at the outlet of five small headwater catchments during the last 15-20 years. Results showed the very large variability of erosion processes among the selected catchments, with rill/interrill erosion contributions to sediment accumulated in outlet reservoirs ranging from 20 to 80%. Overall, rill/interrill erosion was the dominant process controlling reservoir siltation in three catchments whereas gully/channel erosion dominated in the other two catchments. This demonstrates that the dominant erosion process in the Mediterranean regions highly depends on the local environmental context. The lowest rill/interrill erosion contribution (2.2 Mg ha-1 yr-1) in the five catchments remained significantly higher than the tolerable soil loss indicating the severe levels reached by soil erosion along the Tunisian Ridge and in the Cape Bon region. This study also showed that although the implementation of improved topsoil management measures greatly reduced rill

  12. Organic matter and soil structure in the Everglades Agricultural Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wright, Alan L. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States); Hanlon, Edward A. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    2013-01-01

    This publication pertains to management of organic soils (Histosols) in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). These former wetland soils are a major resource for efficient agricultural production and are important globally for their high organic matter content. Recognition of global warming has led to considerable interest in soils as a repository for carbon. Soils rich in organic matter essentially sequester or retain carbon in the profile and can contribute directly to keeping that sequestered carbon from entering the atmosphere. Identification and utilization of management practices that minimize the loss of carbon from organic soils to the atmosphere can minimize effects on global warming and increase the longevity of subsiding Histosols for agricultural use. Understanding and predicting how these muck soils will respond to current and changing land uses will help to manage soil carbon. The objectives of this document are to: a. Discuss organic soil oxidation relative to storing or releasing carbon and nitrogen b. Evaluate effects of cultivation (compare structure for sugarcane vs. uncultivated soil) Based upon the findings from the land-use comparison (sugarcane or uncultivated), organic carbon was higher with cultivation in the lower depths. There is considerable potential for minimum tillage and residue management to further enhance carbon sequestration in the sugarcane system. Carbon sequestration is improved and soil subsidence is slowed with sugarcane production, and both of these are positive outcomes. Taking action to increase or maintain carbon sequestration appears to be appropriate but may introduce some risk to farming operations. Additional management methods are needed to reduce this risk. For both the longevity of these organic soils and from a global perspective, slowing subsidence through BMP implementation makes sense. Since these BMPs also have considerable societal benefit, it remains to be seen if society will help to offset a part or all

  13. Structure, composition and metagenomic profile of soil microbiomes associated to agricultural land use and tillage systems in Argentine Pampas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonetto, Belén; Rascovan, Nicolás; Álvarez, Roberto; Mentaberry, Alejandro; Vázquez, Martin P

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture is facing a major challenge nowadays: to increase crop production for food and energy while preserving ecosystem functioning and soil quality. Argentine Pampas is one of the main world producers of crops and one of the main adopters of conservation agriculture. Changes in soil chemical and physical properties of Pampas soils due to different tillage systems have been deeply studied. Still, not much evidence has been reported on the effects of agricultural practices on Pampas soil microbiomes. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of agricultural land use on community structure, composition and metabolic profiles on soil microbiomes of Argentine Pampas. We also compared the effects associated to conventional practices with the effects of no-tillage systems. Our results confirmed the impact on microbiome structure and composition due to agricultural practices. The phyla Verrucomicrobia, Plactomycetes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were more abundant in non cultivated soils while Gemmatimonadetes, Nitrospirae and WS3 were more abundant in cultivated soils. Effects on metabolic metagenomic profiles were also observed. The relative abundance of genes assigned to transcription, protein modification, nucleotide transport and metabolism, wall and membrane biogenesis and intracellular trafficking and secretion were higher in cultivated fertilized soils than in non cultivated soils. We also observed significant differences in microbiome structure and taxonomic composition between soils under conventional and no-tillage systems. Overall, our results suggest that agronomical land use and the type of tillage system have induced microbiomes to shift their life-history strategies. Microbiomes of cultivated fertilized soils (i.e. higher nutrient amendment) presented tendencies to copiotrophy while microbiomes of non cultivated homogenous soils appeared to have a more oligotrophic life-style. Additionally, we propose that conventional tillage systems may

  14. Experimental wind-driven rain erosion study on agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzen, Miriam; Iserloh, Thomas; Brings, Christine; Fister, Wolfgang; Seeger, Manuel; Ries, Johannes B.

    2014-05-01

    Wind is potentially capable to considerably increase soil erosion by rain drops. In contrast to laboratory experiments, in-situ experiments enable the measurement of soil erosion by wind and rain including the reactions of relatively intact soil surfaces and a complete body of soil. The Portable Wind and Rainfall Simulator of Trier University was applied on winter cereal fields to measure rain erosion on agricultural areas with and without the influence of wind. The test areas are situated near Pamplona, Navarre and recognized to be representative for large parts of northern Spain concerning soil, land use and climate. The soil surfaces on the fields were ploughed and sparsely covered by recently sowed winter cereals. The soil water content was close to saturation due to long lasting rainfall. Runoff was medium to high with runoff-coefficients ranging from 26 to 100%. The eroded material from rainfall simulations ranged from 14.5 to 42.5 g m² / 30min. The eroded material from wind-driven rain ranged from 28.1 to 47.3 g m² / 30 min. Compared to windless rainfall, the wind-driven rain increased erosion of soil material up to 82.2%. In one case, the eroded material decreased by 18.3%. The results indicate a strong influence of wind on rain erosion on recently seeded agricultural soils. Wind influence can be an important aspect for the general assessment of sheet erosion and supports the finding that a neglect of this factor might lead to severe underestimation of soil loss.

  15. Observation of soil moisture variability in agricultural and grassland field soils using a wireless sensor network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priesack, Eckart; Schuh, Max

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture dynamics is a key factor of energy and matter exchange between land surface and atmosphere. Therefore long-term observation of temporal and spatial soil moisture variability is important in studying impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and their possible feedbacks to the atmosphere. Within the framework of the network of terrestrial environmental observatories TERENO we installed at the research farm Scheyern in soils of two fields (of ca. 5 ha size each) the SoilNet wireless sensor network (Biogena et al. 2010). The SoilNet in Scheyern consists of 94 sensor units, 45 for the agricultural field site and 49 for the grassland site. Each sensor unit comprises 6 SPADE sensors, two sensors placed at the depths 10, 30 and 50 cm. The SPADE sensor (sceme.de GmbH, Horn-Bad Meinberg Germany) consists of a TDT sensor to estimate volumetric soil water content from soil electrical permittivity by sending an electromagnetic signal and measuring its propagation time, which depends on the soil dielectric properties and hence on soil water content. Additionally the SPADE sensor contains a temperature sensor (DS18B20). First results obtained from the SoilNet measurements at both fields sites will be presented and discussed. The observed high temporal and spatial variability will be analysed and related to agricultural management and basic soil properties (bulk density, soil texture, organic matter content and soil hydraulic characteristics).

  16. Exclusion of agricultural lands in spatial conservation prioritization strategies: consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem service representation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, América P; Duffy, James P; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-10-01

    Agroecosystems have traditionally been considered incompatible with biological conservation goals, and often been excluded from spatial conservation prioritization strategies. The consequences for the representativeness of identified priority areas have been little explored. Here, we evaluate these for biodiversity and carbon storage representation when agricultural land areas are excluded from a spatial prioritization strategy for South America. Comparing different prioritization approaches, we also assess how the spatial overlap of priority areas changes. The exclusion of agricultural lands was detrimental to biodiversity representation, indicating that priority areas for agricultural production overlap with areas of relatively high occurrence of species. By contrast, exclusion of agricultural lands benefits representation of carbon storage within priority areas, as lands of high value for agriculture and carbon storage overlap little. When agricultural lands were included and equally weighted with biodiversity and carbon storage, a balanced representation resulted. Our findings suggest that with appropriate management, South American agroecosystems can significantly contribute to biodiversity conservation.

  17. Long-term fate of nitrate fertilizer in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebilo, Mathieu; Mayer, Bernhard; Nicolardot, Bernard; Pinay, Gilles; Mariotti, André

    2013-11-05

    Increasing diffuse nitrate loading of surface waters and groundwater has emerged as a major problem in many agricultural areas of the world, resulting in contamination of drinking water resources in aquifers as well as eutrophication of freshwaters and coastal marine ecosystems. Although empirical correlations between application rates of N fertilizers to agricultural soils and nitrate contamination of adjacent hydrological systems have been demonstrated, the transit times of fertilizer N in the pedosphere-hydrosphere system are poorly understood. We investigated the fate of isotopically labeled nitrogen fertilizers in a three-decade-long in situ tracer experiment that quantified not only fertilizer N uptake by plants and retention in soils, but also determined to which extent and over which time periods fertilizer N stored in soil organic matter is rereleased for either uptake in crops or export into the hydrosphere. We found that 61-65% of the applied fertilizers N were taken up by plants, whereas 12-15% of the labeled fertilizer N were still residing in the soil organic matter more than a quarter century after tracer application. Between 8-12% of the applied fertilizer had leaked toward the hydrosphere during the 30-y observation period. We predict that additional exports of (15)N-labeled nitrate from the tracer application in 1982 toward the hydrosphere will continue for at least another five decades. Therefore, attempts to reduce agricultural nitrate contamination of aquatic systems must consider the long-term legacy of past applications of synthetic fertilizers in agricultural systems and the nitrogen retention capacity of agricultural soils.

  18. SUSTAINABILITY EFFECTS OF Crotalaria juncea L. AND Crotalaria spectabilis ROTH ON SOIL FERTILITY AND SOIL CONSERVATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    László, Márton, ,, Dr.

    2010-05-01

    Sustainable agriculture is defined as the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy changing human needs while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment and conserving natural resources. A sustained increase of agricultural production becomes a great possibility for international community. In this process a green manure crops application for example crotalaria get a new chance for improvement process on soil fertility and soil conservation. Field experiment was carried out on a calcareous chernozem soil (Experiment station Nagyhörcsök of RISSAC-HAS) in partly of experiment series (3 years) at Hungary in 1998. The soil with about 20% clay, 3% humus, 5% CaCO3 in its ploughed layer. To ensure a sufficient macro and micronutrient supply in the whole experiment, 100 kg N, 100 kg P2O5 and 100 kg K2O were given hectare. The Crotalaria juncea L. and Crotalaria spectabilis ROTH were applied with 2 replications. Each plot has an area of 45 m2 with 230-230 individual plants. In vegetation grown period were measured green and dry matter yield. The soil and plant samples were analysed for the macro and microelements contents. The main results achieved in 1998 are summarized as follows: 1. The green matter yield at before flowering reached 63.8 t ha-1 in case of Crotalaria juncea L. 2. Total dry matter yield at harvest (without roots) fluctuated between 9.6 and 17.0 t ha-1, depending on the crotalaria species. 3. The average of element concentration (including stems, leaves of Crotalaria juncea L. and Crotalaria spectabilis ROTH) before flowering reached to 3.2 % N, 2.3 % Ca, 1.3 % K, 0.39 % Mg, 0.22 % P and 0.24 % S. The content of Al and Fe total 14 - 25, while that of Sr, Mn, Na, B and Ba 2 - 6 ppm in dry matter. The Zn, Cu, Mo, Cr, Se, Ni, As, Pb, Cd and Co concentration did not reach here the value of 1 ppm. 4. The average of biological activated element uptake (including stems, leaves of Crotalaria juncea L. and Crotalaria spectabilis

  19. Sustainable agriculture, soil management and erosion from prehistoric times to 2100

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanwalleghem, Tom; Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Infante Amate, Juan; González Molina, Manuel; Fernández, David Soto; Guzmán, Gema; Vanderlinden, Karl; Laguna, Ana; Giráldez, Juan Vicente

    2015-04-01

    The rational use of soil requires the selection of management practices to take profit of the beneficial functions of plant growth, water and nutrient storage, and pollutants removal by filtering and decomposition without altering its properties. However, the first evidence of important and widespread erosion peaks can generally be found with the arrival of the first farmers all over the world. In areas with a long land-use history such as the Mediterranean, clear signs indicating the advanced degradation status of the landscape, such as heavily truncated soils, are visible throughout. Soil conservation practices are then aimed at reducing erosion to geological rates, in equilibrium with long-term soil formation rates, while maximizing agricultural production. The adoption of such practices in most areas of the world are as old as the earliest soil erosion episodes themselves. This work firstly reviews historical evidence linking soil management and soil erosion intensity, with examples from N Europe and the Mediterranean. In particular, work by the authors in olive orchards will be presented that shows how significant variations in soil erosion rates between could be linked to the historical soil management. The potential of historical documents for calibrating a soil erosion model is shown as the model, in this case RUSLE-based and combining tillage and water erosion, adequately represents the measured erosion rate dynamics. Secondly, results from present-day, long-term farm experiments in the EU are reviewed to evaluate the effect of different soil management practices on physical soil properties, such as bulk density, penetration resistance, aggregate stability, runoff coefficient or sediment yield. Finally, we reflect upon model and field data that indicate how future global climate change is expected to affect soil management and erosion and how the examples used above hold clues about sustainable historical management practices that can be used successfully

  20. Agricultural use of soil, consequences in soil organic matter and hydraulic conductivity compared with natural vegetation in central Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega, Verónica; Carral, Pilar; Alvarez, Ana Maria; Marques, Maria Jose

    2014-05-01

    When ecosystems are under pressure due to high temperatures and water scarcity, the use of land for agriculture can be a handicap for soil and water conservation. The interactions between plants and soils are site-specific. This study provides information about the influence of the preence vs. The absence of vegetation on soil in a semi-arid area of the sout-east of Madrid (Spain, in the Tagus River basin. In this area soil materials are developed over a calcareous-evaporitic lithology. Soils can be classified as Calcisols, having horizons of accumulation with powdered limestone and irregular nodules of calcium carbonate. They can be defined as Haplic Cambisols and Leptic Calcisols (WRB 2006-FAO). The area is mainly used for rainfed agriculture, olive groves, vineyards and cereals. There are some patches of bushes (Quercus sp.) and grasses (Stipa tenacissima L.) although only found on the top of the hills. This study analyses the differences found in soils having three different covers: Quercus coccifera, Stipa tenacissima and lack of vegetation. This last condition was found in the areas between cultivated olive trees. Soil organic matter, porosity and hydraulic conductivity are key properties of soil to understand its ability to adapt to climate or land use changes. In order to measure the influence of different soil covers, four replicates of soil were sampled in each condition at two soil depth, (0-10 cm and 10-20 cm). Hydraulic conductivity was measured in each soil condition and replicate using a Mini-disk® infiltrometer. There were no differences between the two depths sampled. Similarly, there were no changes in electric conductivity (average 0.1±0.03 dS m-1); pH (8.7±0.2) or calcium carbonate content (43±20 %). Nevertheless, significant differences (p>0.001) were found in soil organic matter. The maximum was found in soils under Quercus (4.7±0.5 %), followed by Stipa (2.2±1.1 %). The soil without vegetation in the areas between olive trees had only 0

  1. Challenging conservation agriculture on marginal slopes in Sehoul, Morocco

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwilch, G.; Laouina, A.; Chaker, M.; Machouri, N.; Sfa, M.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2015-01-01

    In Sehoul, Morocco, the use of marginal land for agriculture became a necessity for the local population due to increased poverty and the occupation of the best land by new owners. Desertification poses an additional threat to agricultural production on marginal slopes, which are often stony and deg

  2. Adopted Engineering and Agronomic Conservation Measures of Agricultural Land Use in Lafia L. G. A. Nasarawa State of Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Kuje Yohanna

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The study examined agricultural land use and adopted conservation measures in Lafia local government Area of Nasarawa state. The data were collected by oral interview and structured questionnaire. Two hundred farmers were randomly selected across the local government area. The field survey revealed that 42% of the farmers are at the range of 35-45 years of age. 60% of the farmers within the study area don’t practice irrigation farming. The results also showed that 58% of the farmers have attended post primary school. 66% of the land area is relatively flat thereby leading to moderate erosion. 88% of the farmers used local methods of cultivation leading to small area (1-4ha of land being cultivated per a farmer. 44% of the farmers experienced sheet erosion on their farm lands leading to 40% of low yield. 22% of the farmers practiced most of the conservation practices on the land to minimize soil degradation and nutrient restoration. 40% of farmers surveyed encountered problem of high cost of labour and 46% of them obtained loan from the agricultural bank to solve some of the problems encountered. It is therefore recommended among other things that agricultural land use should be studied and conservation methods should be adopted to increase agricultural production in the study area.

  3. The Analysis on the Influence of Water Conservancy Investment on Agricultural Economic Growth: An Empirical Study Based on the Boom Period of Shandong Agriculture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jinping; CAO; Zhe; FENG; Jilian; HU

    2014-01-01

    This paper uses econometric methods to carry out a Granger causality test on the construction of water conservancy infrastructure construction and agricultural economic growth in the boom period(1981- 2002) of Shandong agriculture. Empirical results indicate that there exists two-way Granger causality between Shandong water conservancy infrastructure construction and Shandong agricultural economic growth.Therefore,water conservancy infrastructure construction has a significant influence on agricultural economic growth in Shandong.

  4. Strategies for soil-based precision agriculture in cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neely, Haly L.; Morgan, Cristine L. S.; Stanislav, Scott; Rouze, Gregory; Shi, Yeyin; Thomasson, J. Alex; Valasek, John; Olsenholler, Jeff

    2016-05-01

    The goal of precision agriculture is to increase crop yield while maximizing the use efficiency of farm resources. In this application, UAV-based systems are presenting agricultural researchers with an opportunity to study crop response to environmental and management factors in real-time without disturbing the crop. The spatial variability soil properties, which drive crop yield and quality, cannot be changed and thus keen agronomic choices with soil variability in mind have the potential to increase profits. Additionally, measuring crop stress over time and in response to management and environmental conditions may enable agronomists and plant breeders to make more informed decisions about variety selection than the traditional end-of-season yield and quality measurements. In a previous study, seed-cotton yield was measured over 4 years and compared with soil variability as mapped by a proximal soil sensor. It was found that soil properties had a significant effect on seed-cotton yield and the effect was not consistent across years due to different precipitation conditions. However, when seed-cotton yield was compared to the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), as measured using a multispectral camera from a UAV, predictions improved. Further improvement was seen when soil-only pixels were removed from the analysis. On-going studies are using UAV-based data to uncover the thresholds for stress and yield potential. Long-term goals of this research include detecting stress before yield is reduced and selecting better adapted varieties.

  5. Historic Assessment of Agricultural Impacts on Soil and Soil Organic Carbon Erosion in an Ohio Watershed

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hao, Yueli (Other); Lal, Rattan (Other); Izaurralde, R Cesar C.(BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)); Ritchie, Jerry (Other); Owens, Lloyd (Other); Hothem, Daniel (Other)

    2002-02-01

    Agricultural management affects soil and soil organic carbon (SOC) erosion. The effect was assessed for a watershed (o.79 ha, 10% slope steepness, 132 m slope length) at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed research station near Coshocton, Ohio, from 1951 to 1998

  6. Adsorption and degradation of five selected antibiotics in agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Min; Chu, L M

    2016-03-01

    Large quantities of antibiotics are being added to agricultural fields worldwide through the application of wastewater, manures and biosolids, resulting in antibiotic contamination and elevated environmental risks in terrestrial environments. Most studies on the environmental fate of antibiotics focus on aquatic environments or wastewater treatment plants. Little is known about the behavior of antibiotics at environmentally relevant concentrations in agricultural soil. In this study we evaluated the adsorption and degradation of five different antibiotics (tetracycline, sulfamethazine, norfloxacin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol) in sterilized and non-sterilized agricultural soils under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Adsorption was highest for tetracycline (Kd, 1093 L/kg), while that for sulfamethazine was negligible (Kd, 1.365 L/kg). All five antibiotics were susceptible to microbial degradation under aerobic conditions, with half-lives ranging from 2.9 to 43.3 d in non-sterilized soil and 40.8 to 86.6 d in sterilized soil. Degradation occurred at a higher rate under aerobic conditions but was relatively persistent under anaerobic conditions. For all the antibiotics, a higher initial concentration was found to slow down degradation and prolong persistence in soil. The degradation behavior of the antibiotics varied in relation to their physicochemical properties as well as the microbial activities and aeration of the recipient soil. The poor adsorption and relative persistence of sulfamethazine under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions suggest that it may pose a higher risk to groundwater quality. An equation was proposed to predict the fate of antibiotics in soil under different field conditions, and assess their risks to the environment.

  7. A Manual on Conservation of Soil and Water. Appropriate Technologies for Development. R-38.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peace Corps, Washington, DC. Information Collection and Exchange Div.

    In order to keep the land productive, a good conservation program is imperative. The primary purpose of soil and water conservation is to prevent soil erosion and heal its scars. This handbook explains the causes, processes, and consequences of soil erosion and depletion, and describes major soil- and water-conservation measures. This book was…

  8. Water and Agricultural-Chemical Transport in a Midwestern, Tile-Drained Watershed: Implications for Conservation Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Nancy T.; Stone, Wesley W.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Wilson, John T.

    2007-01-01

    The study of agricultural chemicals is one of five national priority topics being addressed by the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in its second decade of studies, which began in 2001. Seven watersheds across the Nation were selected for the NAWQA agricultural-chemical topical study. The watersheds selected represent a range of agricultural settings - with varying crop types and agricultural practices related to tillage, irrigation, artificial drainage, and chemical use - as well as a range of landscapes with different geology, soils, topography, climate, and hydrology (Capel and others, 2004). Chemicals selected for study include nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and about 50 commonly used pesticides. This study design leads to an improved understanding of many factors that can affect the movement of water and chemicals in different agricultural settings. Information from these studies will help with decision making related to chemical use, conservation, and other farming practices that are used to reduce runoff of agricultural chemicals and sediment from fields (Capel and others, 2004). This Fact Sheet highlights the results of the NAWQA agricultural chemical study in the Leary Weber Ditch Watershed in Hancock County, Indiana. This watershed was selected to represent a tile-drained, corn and soybean, humid area typical in the Midwest.

  9. Using Agricultural Residue Biochar to Improve Soil Quality of Desert Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhe Zhang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A laboratory study was conducted to test the effects of biochars made from different feedstocks on soil quality indicators of arid soils. Biochars were produced from four locally-available agricultural residues: pecan shells, pecan orchard prunings, cotton gin trash, and yard waste, using a lab-scale pyrolyzer operated at 450 °C under a nitrogen environment and slow pyrolysis conditions. Two local arid soils used for crop production, a sandy loam and a clay loam, were amended with these biochars at a rate of 45 Mg·ha−1 and incubated for three weeks in a growth chamber. The soils were analyzed for multiple soil quality indicators including soil organic matter content, pH, electrical conductivity (EC, and available nutrients. Results showed that amendment with cotton gin trash biochar has the greatest impact on both soils, significantly increasing SOM and plant nutrient (P, K, Ca, Mn contents, as well as increasing the electrical conductivity, which creates concerns about soil salinity. Other biochar treatments significantly elevated soil salinity in clay loam soil, except for pecan shell biochar amended soil, which was not statistically different in EC from the control treatment. Generally, the effects of the biochar amendments were minimal for many soil measurements and varied with soil texture. Effects of biochars on soil salinity and pH/nutrient availability will be important considerations for research on biochar application to arid soils.

  10. Application of soil quality indices to assess the status of agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewaters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Morugán-Coronado

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The supply of water is limited in some parts of the Mediterranean region, such as southeastern Spain. The use of treated wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural soils is an alternative to using better-quality water, especially in semi-arid regions. On the other hand, this practice can modify some soil properties, change their relationships and influence soil quality. In this work two soil quality indices were used to evaluate the effects of irrigation with treated wastewater in soils. The indices were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. These indices represent the balance reached among properties in "steady state" soils. This study was carried out in four study sites from SE Spain irrigated with wastewater, including four study sites. The results showed slight changes in some soil properties as a consequence of irrigation with wastewater, the obtained levels not being dangerous for agricultural soils, and in some cases they could be considered as positive from an agronomical point of view. In one of the study sites, and as a consequence of the low quality wastewater used, a relevant increase in soil organic matter content was observed, as well as modifications in most of the soil properties. The application of soil quality indices indicated that all the soils of study sites are in a state of disequilibrium regarding the relationships between properties independent of the type of water used. However, there were no relevant differences in the soil quality indices between soils irrigated with wastewater with respect to their control sites for all except one of the sites, which corresponds to the site where low quality wastewater was used.

  11. Biodegradability of a polyacrylate superabsorbent in agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilske, Burkhard; Bai, Mo; Lindenstruth, Beate; Bach, Martin; Rezaie, Zahra; Frede, Hans-Georg; Breuer, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are used, inter alia, as soil amendment to increase the water holding capacity of soils. Biodegradability of soil conditioners has become a desired key characteristic to protect soil and groundwater resources. The present study characterized the biodegradability of one acrylate based SAP in four agricultural soils and at three temperatures. Mineralisation was measured as the (13)CO₂ efflux from (13)C-labelled SAP in soil incubations. The SAP was either single-labelled in the carboxyl C-atom or triple-labelled including additionally the two C-atoms interlinked in the SAP backbone. The dual labelling allowed estimating the degradation of the polyacrylate main chain. The (13)CO₂ efflux from samples was measured using an automated system including wavelength-scanned cavity ring-down spectroscopy. Based on single-labelled SAP, the mean degradation after 24 weeks varied between 0.45% in loamy sand and 0.82% in loam. However, the differences between degradation rates in different soils were not significant due to a large intra-replicate variability. Similarly, mean degradation did not differ significantly between effective temperature regimes of 20° and 30 °C after 12 weeks. Results from the triple-labelled SAP were lower as compared to their single-labelled variant. Detailed results suggest that the polyacrylate main chain degraded in the soils, if at all, at rates of 0.12-0.24 % per 6 months.

  12. From agricultural intensification to conservation: Sediment transport in the Raccoon River, Iowa, 1916-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, C.S.; Schilling, K.E.

    2011-01-01

    Fluvial sediment is a ubiquitous pollutant that negatively aff ects surface water quality and municipal water supply treatment. As part of its routine water supply monitoring, the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) has been measuring turbidity daily in the Raccoon River since 1916. For this study, we calibrated daily turbidity readings to modern total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations to develop an estimation of daily sediment concentrations in the river from 1916 to 2009. Our objectives were to evaluate longterm TSS patterns and trends, and relate these to changes in climate, land use, and agricultural practices that occurred during the 93-yr monitoring period. Results showed that while TSS concentrations and estimated sediment loads varied greatly from year to year, TSS concentrations were much greater in the early 20th century despite drier conditions and less discharge, and declined throughout the century. Against a backdrop of increasing discharge in the Raccoon River and widespread agricultural adaptations by farmers, sediment loads increased and peaked in the early 1970s, and then have slowly declined or remained steady throughout the 1980s to present. With annual sediment load concentrated during extreme events in the spring and early summer, continued sediment reductions in the Raccoon River watershed should be focused on conservation practices to reduce rainfall impacts and sediment mobilization. Overall, results from this study suggest that eff orts to reduce sediment load from the watershed appear to be working. ?? 2011 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

  13. [Numerical evaluation of soil quality under different conservation tillage patterns].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu-Hong; Tian, Xiao-Hong; Chi, Wen-Bo; Nan, Xiong-Xiong; Yan, Xiao-Li; Zhu, Rui-Xiang; Tong, Yan-An

    2010-06-01

    A 9-year field experiment was conducted on the Guanzhong Plain of Shaanxi Province to study the effects of subsoiling, rotary tillage, straw return, no-till seeding, and traditional tillage on the soil physical and chemical properties and the grain yield in a winter wheat-summer maize rotation system, and a comprehensive evaluation was made on the soil quality under these tillage patterns by the method of principal components analysis (PCA). Comparing with traditional tillage, all the conservation tillage patterns improved soil fertility quality and soil physical properties. Under conservative tillage, the activities of soil urease and alkaline phosphatase increased significantly, soil quality index increased by 19.8%-44.0%, and the grain yield of winter wheat and summer maize (expect that under no till seeding with straw covering) increased by 13%-28% and 3%-12%, respectively. Subsoiling every other year, straw-chopping combined with rotary tillage, and straw-mulching combined with subsoiling not only increased crop yield, but also improved soil quality. Based on the economic and ecological benefits, the practices of subsoiling and straw return should be promoted.

  14. Epigeic soil arthropod abundance under different agricultural land uses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-Bote, J. L.; Romero, A. J.

    2012-11-01

    The study of soil arthropods can provide valuable information how ecosystems respond to different management practices. The objective was to assess the total abundance, richness, and composition of epiedaphic arthropods in different agrosystems from southwestern Spain. Six sites with different agricultural uses were selected: olive grove, vineyards, olive grove with vineyards, wheat fields, fallows (150-300 m long), and abandoned vineyards. Crops were managed in extensive. Field margins were used as reference habitats. At the seven sites a total of 30 pitfall traps were arranged in a 10 × 3 grid. Traps were arranged to short (SD, 1 m), medium (MD, 6 m) and large (LD, 11 m) distance to the field margins in the middle of selected plots. Pitfall traps captured a total of 11,992 edaphic arthropods belonging to 11 different taxa. Soil fauna was numerically dominated by Formicidae (26.60%), Coleoptera (19.77%), and Aranae (16.76%). The higher number of soil arthropods were captured in the field margins followed by the abandoned vineyard. Significant differences were found between sites for total abundance, and zones. However, no significant differences for total abundance were found between months (April-July). Richness and diversity was highest in field margins and abandoned vineyards. Significant differences were found for these variables between sites. Our results suggest that agricultural intensification affects soil arthropods in Tierra de Barros area, a taxonomic group with an important role in the functioning of agricultural ecosystems. (Author) 32 refs.

  15. Ice Nucleation Activity of Various Agricultural Soil Dust Aerosol Particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebel, Thea; Höhler, Kristina; Funk, Roger; Hill, Thomas C. J.; Levin, Ezra J. T.; Nadolny, Jens; Steinke, Isabelle; Suski, Kaitlyn J.; Ullrich, Romy; Wagner, Robert; Weber, Ines; DeMott, Paul J.; Möhler, Ottmar

    2016-04-01

    Recent investigations at the cloud simulation chamber AIDA (Aerosol Interactions and Dynamics in the Atmosphere) suggest that agricultural soil dust has an ice nucleation ability that is enhanced up to a factor of 10 compared to desert dust, especially at temperatures above -26 °C (Steinke et al., in preparation for submission). This enhancement might be caused by the contribution of very ice-active biological particles. In addition, soil dust aerosol particles often contain a considerably higher amount of organic matter compared to desert dust particles. To test agricultural soil dust as a source of ice nucleating particles, especially for ice formation in warm clouds, we conducted a series of laboratory measurements with different soil dust samples to extend the existing AIDA dataset. The AIDA has a volume of 84 m3 and operates under atmospherically relevant conditions over wide ranges of temperature, pressure and humidity. By controlled adiabatic expansions, the ascent of an air parcel in the troposphere can be simulated. As a supplement to the AIDA facility, we use the INKA (Ice Nucleation Instrument of the KArlsruhe Institute of Technology) continuous flow diffusion chamber based on the design by Rogers (1988) to expose the sampled aerosol particles to a continuously increasing saturation ratio by keeping the aerosol temperature constant. For our experiments, soil dust was dry dispersed into the AIDA vessel. First, fast saturation ratio scans at different temperatures were performed with INKA, sampling soil dust aerosol particles directly from the AIDA vessel. Then, we conducted the AIDA expansion experiment starting at a preset temperature. The combination of these two different methods provides a robust data set on the temperature-dependent ice activity of various agriculture soil dust aerosol particles with a special focus on relatively high temperatures. In addition, to extend the data set, we investigated the role of biological and organic matter in more

  16. [Dioxins in agricultural soil of Poland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyrzykowska, Barbara; Falandysz, Jerzy; Hanari, Nobuyashi; Yamashita, Nobuyoshi

    2006-01-01

    Total PCDDs concentration ranged from 6.8 to 41 pg g d.w. and for PCDFs from 3.9 to 19 pg/g d.w. with total toxic equivalency within a range 0.023-5.9 pg TEQ/g d.w. A somewhat elevated concentrations of PCDDs and PCDFs were found in the samples collected from the south of Poland in the vicinity of highly industrialized regions known for former extensive mining industry of hard coal and metallurgy, as well as for regions with high rates of urbanization in central Poland and in the vicinity of the western border of the country. Nevertheless, if consider homologue specific pattern of PCDDs and PCDFs no major differences were noted between spatially scattered sampling sites. In all samples highly chlorinated PCDDs/DFs dominated (12345678-OcCDD, 1234678-HpCDD, 12346789-OcCDF, 1234789-HpCDF, 1234678-HpCDF were found in all investigated soils). Their similar pattern can suggest that formation of these chemicals occur in similar conditions. Energy production and fossil fuel co-fired power boilers, chemical industry, metallurgical industry are probably the main sources in industrial regions, however heating of houses by small stoves and hard coal with added household wastes, and former use of agrochemical formulations consisting byimpurities of PCDD/F may also play important role at rural sites. The particularly elevated concentrations of OcCDF in some samples might be connected to the former production and use of highly chlorinated polychlorinated biphenyl formulation--Chlorofen.

  17. Utilization of night-soil, sewage, and sewage sludge in agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    PETRIK, M

    1954-01-01

    The author reviews the agricultural use of night-soil, sewage, and sewage sludge from two points of view: the purely agricultural and the sanitary.Knowledge of the chemistry and bacteriology of human faecal matter is still rather scant, and much further work has to be done to find practical ways of digesting night-soil in a short time into an end-product of high fertilizing value and free of pathogens, parasites, and weeds.More is known about sewage and sewage sludge, but expert opinion is not unanimous as to the manner or the value of their use in agriculture. The author reviews a number of studies and experiments made in many countries of the world on the content, digestion, composting, agricultural value, and epidemiological importance of sewage and sewage sludge, but draws from these the conclusion that the chemistry, biology, and bacteriology of the various methods of treatment and use of waste matter need further investigation. He also considers that standards of quality might be set up for sludge and effluents used in agriculture and for water conservation.

  18. Genotoxicity of agricultural soils in the vicinity of industrial area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansari, Mohd Ikram; Malik, Abdul

    2009-03-17

    Soil samples from agricultural fields (cultivated) in the vicinity of industrial area of Ghaziabad City (India) were collected. In this city, wastewater coming from both industrial and domestic sources and without any treatment is used to irrigate the food crops. This practice has been polluting the soil and pollutants might reach the food chain. Gas chromatographic analysis show the presence of certain organochlorine (DDE, DDT, dieldrin, aldrin and endosulfan) and organophosphorus (dimethoate, malathion, methylparathion and chlorpyrifos) pesticides in soil samples. Samples were extracted using different solvents, i.e. methanol, chloroform, acetonitrile, hexane and acetone (all were HPLC-grade, SRL, India), and the extracts were assayed for genotoxic potential using Ames Salmonella/microsome test, DNA repair defective mutants and bacteriophage lambda systems. TA98 and TA100 were found to be the most sensitive strains to all the soil extracts tested. Methanol extracts exhibited a maximum mutagenicity with TA98 strain {540 (-S9) and 638 (+S9) revertants/g of soil} and 938 (-S9) and 1008 (+S9) revertants/g of soil with TA100 strain. The damage in the DNA repair defective mutants was found maximum with methanolic extract followed by acetonitrile, chloroform, hexane and acetone at the dose level of 40 microl/ml culture after 6h of treatment. The survival was 25, 30, 32, 33 and 35% in polA strain after 6h of treatment when tested with wastewater irrigated soil extracts of methanol, acetonitrile, chloroform, hexane and acetone, respectively. A significant decrease in the plaque forming units of bacteriophage lambda was also observed when treated with 40 microl of test samples. Present results showed that methanolic extracts of soil were more toxic than other soil extracts. The soil is accumulating a large number of pollutants due to wastewater irrigation and this practice of accumulation has an impact on soil health.

  19. Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition. Relatively higher microbial community richness and enzyme activities were found in the organic fertilizers applied soils as compared to the inorganic fertilizers applied soils. Principal component analysis explained the positive influence of organic fertilizers on the microbial community. The application of organic fertilizers can be a better alternative compared to inorganic fertilizers for the long-term health and security of urban agriculture.

  20. Outdoor Classrooms--Let Your Soil Conservation District Help.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyday, Russell W.; And Others

    1980-01-01

    Highlights efforts to educate the public in soil and water conservation and includes history of these efforts in the nation and in North Carolina. Available from: Center for Environmental, Camping and Outdoor Education; University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Pine Lake Field Campus; 4016 Blumenthal Road; Greensboro, NC, 27406. (AN)

  1. Statement on the Tianshui Experimental Site of Soil and Water Conservation in 1940s

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hongwei; YANG

    2013-01-01

    The Tianshui Experimental Site of Soil and Water Conservation was set up in 1942.Then the first construction publicized the thinking of soil and water conservation,and popularized the technologies of soil and water conservation and related plants.Their efforts established the foundation of the science of soil and water conservation with the first high-tech and high quality R&D team,and pushed the research of soil and water conservation building on the stage of systematization.All of this provided rare good scientific data and theoretical support for the soil and water conservation and the development of the regional economy in Northwest China.

  2. ORGANIZATIONAL AND ECONOMIC BASES OF ENERGY CONSERVATION IN AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Lisjutchenko

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Russian agricultural production at current stage is very energy intensive. At the cost of agricultural production overall cost of energy resources is growing: in 2000 was 36.5 billion rubles, 2008 - 92 billion rubles, 2009 - 110.6 billion rubles, and in 2010 rose to 119.8 billion rubles, or increased by 3.3 times. The analysis of consumption of the main energy sources for the period from 1990 to 2010 showed a decrease in general and the specific consumption of diesel fuel, gasoline and electricity by 5-7 times. Reducing energy consumption is explained as a forced saving resources because of lack of funds for the acquisition and implementation of agricultural enterprises of energy and resource saving measures (resource-saving technologies in the production process, motor fuel, biofuels and alternative energy sources. To solve this problem State and business in a matter of priority should be to build an effective system of innovation development for agriculture, promote the participation of agricultural science and education system in this process, modernize the domestic agricultural machinery, engineering and technology infrastructure.

  3. Strong soil source of carbonyl sulfide in an agricultural field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Seibt, U.; Berry, J. A.; Billesbach, D. P.; Campbell, J.; Torn, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    A promising new approach to constrain biosphere-atmosphere carbon and water exchange is the use of carbonyl sulfide (COS). COS is taken up by leaves via the same pathway as CO2, leading to a close coupling of vegetation COS and CO2 fluxes during photosynthesis. Therefore it has been proposed that the gross fluxes of photosynthesis and respiration can be quantified through the concurrent measurements of COS and CO2. A necessary requirement for this approach at ecosystem and continental scales are estimates of soil COS fluxes. Soil is largely considered a sink for COS, but our knowledge of in situ soil COS fluxes remains very limited. We measured soil COS fluxes in a wheat field in Oklahoma from April to June 2012, using a novel combination of an automated soil chamber coupled to a COS laser analyzer. We provide the first continuous record of soil COS fluxes under natural conditions, and report on a phenomenon that has not been observed before. In contrast to the majority of published results, we found that the agricultural soil was a strong source of COS under most conditions during the campaign. The COS flux over the study period was highly correlated with soil temperature. Up to a soil temperature of around 15°C, the soil acted as a COS sink. Above 15°C, it acted a source of COS, with fluxes of up to 25 pmol m-2 s-1. To locate the source of the COS production, we investigated different soil components. Wheat roots were found to be emitting COS under all conditions. Root-free soil was a COS sink up to a soil temperature of around 25°C, but turned into a COS source at higher soil temperatures. We also observed COS production from the roots of several other species, indicating that this may be a widespread phenomenon. Using eddy covariance data of COS and CO2 that was collected concurrently with the soil measurements, we also demonstrate how the soil COS source can be taken into account when partitioning net ecosystem exchange into photosynthesis and respiration.

  4. The Transformation of Agriculture in Brazil Through Development and Adoption of Zero Tillage Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.L. de Freitas

    2014-03-01

    These were the turning points in the sustainable development of annual crop farming in Brazil. Today, society recognizes the role of these pioneers as key to achieving social, economic and environmental sustainability. ZT/CA reversed the historically accelerating degradation of soil organic matter and soil structure by abandoning conventional tillage, thus improving soil physical and chemical characteristics. This was achieved by promoting cover cropping and permanent soil cover with crop residues, crop rotations, and complementary, environmentally suitable soil management technologies.

  5. Application of soil quality indices to assess the status of agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewaters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Morugán-Coronado

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The supply of water is limited in some parts of the Mediterranean region, such as southeastern Spain. The use of treated wastewater for the irrigation of agricultural soils is an alternative to using better-quality water, especially in semi-arid regions. On the other hand, this practice can modify some soil properties, change their relationships, the equilibrium reached and influence soil quality. In this work two soil quality indices were used to evaluate the effects of irrigation with treated wastewater in soils. The indices were developed studying different soil properties in undisturbed soils in SE Spain, and the relationships between soil parameters were established using multiple linear regressions. This study was carried out in three areas of Alicante Province (SE Spain irrigated with wastewater, including four study sites. The results showed slight changes in some soil properties as a consequence of irrigation with wastewater, the obtained levels not being dangerous for agricultural soils, and in some cases they could be considered as positive from an agronomical point of view. In one of the study sites, and as a consequence of the low quality wastewater used, a relevant increase in soil organic matter content was observed, as well as modifications in most of the soil properties. The application of soil quality indices indicated that all the soils of study sites are in a state of disequilibrium regarding the relationships between properties independent of the type of water used. However, there were no relevant differences in the soil quality indices between soils irrigated with wastewater with respect to their control sites for all except one of the sites, which corresponds to the site where low quality wastewater was used.

  6. Transmission of vertical soil stress under agricultural tyres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Keller, Thomas; Berli, M.; Ruiz, S.;

    2014-01-01

    The transmission of stress induced by agricultural machinery within an agricultural soil is typically modelled on the basis of the theory of stress transmission in elastic media, usually in the semi-empirical form that includes the “concentration factor” (v). The aim of this paper was to measure...... the elasticity theory-based classical solution of Boussinesq (1885) is satisfied. We noted that the estimated v was strongly dependent on (i) the reliability of stress measurements, and (ii) the upper stress boundary condition used for simulations. Finite element simulations indicated that the transmission...... stress transmission could be well predicted according to the theory of elasticity for the conditions investigated....

  7. Greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural soils of Kenya and Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenstock, Todd S.; Mpanda, Mathew; Pelster, David E.; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Rufino, Mariana C.; Thiong'o, Margaret; Mutuo, Paul; Abwanda, Sheila; Rioux, Janie; Kimaro, Anthony A.; Neufeldt, Henry

    2016-06-01

    Knowledge of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in soils is a prerequisite to constrain national, continental, and global GHG budgets. However, data characterizing fluxes from agricultural soils of Africa are markedly limited. We measured carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) fluxes at 10 farmer-managed sites of six crop types for 1 year in Kenya and Tanzania using static chambers and gas chromatography. Cumulative emissions ranged between 3.5-15.9 Mg CO2-C ha-1 yr-1, 0.4-3.9 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1, and -1.2-10.1 kg CH4-C ha-1 yr-1, depending on crop type, environmental conditions, and management. Manure inputs increased CO2 (p = 0.03), but not N2O or CH4, emissions. Soil cultivation had no discernable effect on emissions of any of the three gases. Fluxes of CO2 and N2O were 54-208% greater (p < 0.05) during the wet versus the dry seasons for some, but not all, crop types. The heterogeneity and seasonality of fluxes suggest that the available data describing soil fluxes in Africa, based on measurements of limited duration of only a few crop types and agroecological zones, are inadequate to use as a basis for estimating the impact of agricultural soils on GHG budgets. A targeted effort to understand the magnitude and mechanisms underlying African agricultural soil fluxes is necessary to accurately estimate the influence of this source on the global climate system and for determining mitigation strategies.

  8. GEMAS: Unmixing magnetic properties of European agricultural soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabian, Karl; Reimann, Clemens; Kuzina, Dilyara; Kosareva, Lina; Fattakhova, Leysan; Nurgaliev, Danis

    2016-04-01

    High resolution magnetic measurements provide new methods for world-wide characterization and monitoring of agricultural soil which is essential for quantifying geologic and human impact on the critical zone environment and consequences of climatic change, for planning economic and ecological land use, and for forensic applications. Hysteresis measurements of all Ap samples from the GEMAS survey yield a comprehensive overview of mineral magnetic properties in European agricultural soil on a continental scale. Low (460 Hz), and high frequency (4600 Hz) magnetic susceptibility k were measured using a Bartington MS2B sensor. Hysteresis properties were determined by a J-coercivity spectrometer, built at the paleomagnetic laboratory of Kazan University, providing for each sample a modified hysteresis loop, backfield curve, acquisition curve of isothermal remanent magnetization, and a viscous IRM decay spectrum. Each measurement set is obtained in a single run from zero field up to 1.5 T and back to -1.5 T. The resulting data are used to create the first continental-scale maps of magnetic soil parameters. Because the GEMAS geochemical atlas contains a comprehensive set of geochemical data for the same soil samples, the new data can be used to map magnetic parameters in relation to chemical and geological parameters. The data set also provides a unique opportunity to analyze the magnetic mineral fraction of the soil samples by unmixing their IRM acquisition curves. The endmember coefficients are interpreted by linear inversion for other magnetic, physical and chemical properties which results in an unprecedented and detailed view of the mineral magnetic composition of European agricultural soils.

  9. Differentiating causes for erosion at the catchment scale: do soil conservation measures mitigate weather dynamics?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barneveld, Robert; Greipsland, Inga

    2016-04-01

    The efficacy of most measures to control soil loss is well established at the field or plot scale. Less well documented are the changes in hydrological behaviour and sediment production at the scale of the (small) catchment. In Norway, incentives to reduce tillage have been in place for over decades. However, even long time (20 years) discharge monitoring of a series of small catchments does not show a clear effect of the application of conservation measures. This research hypothesizes that the effect of weather conditions for a 4.2 km2 catchment in southeastern Norway outweighs the effect of conservation measures in the time series on runoff and sediment load. To test this, it was assumed that trends and changes in soil loss E over time are the product of an agromic index C, precipitation P and rainfall erosivity R. The values of C were calculated based on extensive farm records, covering every tillage operation for every field in the catchment for the period of investigation. Runoff and sediment load records were used to parameterise and test different correlative models. In order to quantify the effect of topography on the degree to which conservations measures reduce soil loss at catchment level, a spatially distributed connectivity index was calculated and multiplied with C. Calculations were carried out for a 10 year period, in monthly time steps. The following statistical models proved the most promising to correlate sediment load to precipitation and agronomic practice. Et=a \\cdot Ptb \\cdot Pt-1c \\cdot Ctd Et=a \\cdot Rtb \\cdot Pt-1c \\cdot Ctd where Pt-1c, the precipition in the prior month, is a proxy indicator for antecedent moisture conditions. The results show that precipitation dynamics outweigh the effect of soil conservation measures for this typical agricultural catchment. It also shows that the inclusion of a hydrological connectivity index improves the quantification of the effect of soil conservation measures on the catchment scale.

  10. Developing sustainable subsistence smallholder conservation agricultural systems in Lesotho

    OpenAIRE

    Eash, Neal S.; Walker, Forbes; Lambert, D; Wilcox, M; Marake, Makoala V.; Wall, P; Basson, A.; Bruns, W.A.; M. Bruns

    2011-01-01

    The average subsistence maize yield in Lesotho is very low (less than 0.3 Mg/ha) due to excessive soil erosion rates, low soil fertility, high fertilizer and herbicide cost, moisture/nutrient loss from weed competition, and high labor requirements for hand weeding. The break-even yields for subsistence farmers are approximately 2 Mg/ha or approximately seven times the average yield. This study was conducted to determine the economically viable nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer rates, plantin...

  11. Soil Conservation Techniques for Hillside Farms. A Guide for Peace Corps Volunteers. Appropriate Technologies for Development. Peace Corps Information Collection & Exchange Reprint Series No. R-62.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, Carl

    This guide provides agricultural extensionists with basic information that will help them design plans for the conservation of soils and the management of water runoff in specific agricultural plots. It is based on experiences with small hillside farms in Honduras and takes into account the resources and constraints commonly encountered there.…

  12. Department of Energy programs and objectives: energy conservation in agricultural production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-12-01

    This document describes the current Department of Energy agriculture research program as it relates to the research recommendations submitted by a 1976 workshop on energy conservation in agricultural production. In-depth discussions on fertilizers, irrigation, crop drying, fuel substitution, crop and animal production systems, greenhouses, materials handling, and transport systems are included. (MCW)

  13. Cost-benefit analysis of conservation agriculture implementation in Syrdarya province of Uzbekistan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daujanov, Azizbek; Groeneveld, R.A.; Pulatov, Alim; Heijman, W.J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Most irrigated lands of Central Asia suffer from land degradation, and unsustainable Agricultural practices are one of the factors contributing to land degradation. Conservation agriculture (CA) is seen as a way to mitigate land degradation and rationalize resource use. The aim of this article is to

  14. Soil and water conservation on Central American hillsides: if more technologies is the answer, what is the question?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Hellin

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Climate change is likely to lead to increased water scarcity in the coming decades and to changes in patterns of precipitation. The result will be more short-term crop failures and long-term production declines. Improved soil management is key to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. There is growing interest in the promotion of climate smart agricultural practices. Many of these are the same practices that were promoted in the 1980s and 1990s under the guise of soil and water conservation. Farmer non-adoption of soil conservation technologies was rife and suggests that different approaches are needed today. Much can be learnt from these past endeavors to ensure that current efforts are better designed and implemented. We use the example of Central America to highlight some of these lessons and suggest alternative ways forward. Technology per se is not the limiting factor; many suitable technologies and practices are extant. What is required is a more nuanced approach to soil conservation efforts. There is a need to focus less on capturing soil once it has been eroded, via the use of cross-slope soil conservation practices, and more on improving soil quality of the soil that remains through improved soil cover. It is also critical to understand farming systems as a whole i.e. the full range of interlinked activities and the multiplicity of goals that farm households pursue. Furthermore, it is important to engage farmers as active players in conservation efforts rather than passive adopters of technologies, and to adopt a board value chain approach and engage a plethora of value chain actors (researchers, extension agents, equipment manufacturers, input suppliers, farmers, traders, and processors in an agricultural innovation system.

  15. Sewage sludge applied to agricultural soil: Ecotoxicological effects on representative soil organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell, G; Pro, J; Gómez, N; Babín, M M; Fernández, C; Alonso, E; Tarazona, J V

    2009-05-01

    Application of sewage sludge to agricultural lands is a current practice in EU. European legislation permits its use when concentrations of metals in soil do not increase above the maximum permissible limits. In order to assess the fate and the effects on representative soil organisms of sewage sludge amendments on agricultural lands, a soil microcosm (multi-species soil system-MS3) experiment was performed. The MS3 columns were filled with spiked soil at three different doses: 30, 60 and 120tha(-1) fresh wt. Seed plants (Triticum aestivum, Vicia sativa and Brassica rapa) and earthworms (Eisenia fetida) were introduced into the systems. After a 21-d exposure period, a statistically significant increase for Cd, Cu, Zn and Hg concentrations was found for the soils treated with the highest application rate. Dose-related increase was observed for nickel concentrations in leachates. Plants and earthworm metal body burden offer much more information than metal concentrations and help to understand the potential for metal accumulation. Bioaccumulation factor (BAF(plant-soil)) presented a different behavior among species and large differences for BAF(earthworm-soil), from control or sewage-amended soil, for Cd and Hg were found. B. rapa seed germination was reduced. Statistically significant decrease in fresh biomass was observed for T. aestivum and V. sativa at the highest application rate, whereas B. rapa biomass decreased at any application rate. Enzymatic activities (dehydrogenase and phosphatase) as well as respiration rate on soil microorganisms were enlarged.

  16. Agricultural management explains historic changes in regional soil carbon stocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wesemael, Bas; Paustian, Keith; Meersmans, Jeroen; Goidts, Esther; Barancikova, Gabriela; Easter, Mark

    2010-08-17

    Agriculture is considered to be among the economic sectors having the greatest greenhouse gas mitigation potential, largely via soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, it remains a challenge to accurately quantify SOC stock changes at regional to national scales. SOC stock changes resulting from SOC inventory systems are only available for a few countries and the trends vary widely between studies. Process-based models can provide insight in the drivers of SOC changes, but accurate input data are currently not available at these spatial scales. Here we use measurements from a soil inventory dating from the 1960s and resampled in 2006 covering the major soil types and agricultural regions in Belgium together with region-specific land use and management data and a process-based model. The largest decreases in SOC stocks occurred in poorly drained grassland soils (clays and floodplain soils), consistent with drainage improvements since 1960. Large increases in SOC in well drained grassland soils appear to be a legacy effect of widespread conversion of cropland to grassland before 1960. SOC in cropland increased only in sandy lowland soils, driven by increasing manure additions. Modeled land use and management impacts accounted for more than 70% of the variation in observed SOC changes, and no bias could be demonstrated. There was no significant effect of climate trends since 1960 on observed SOC changes. SOC monitoring networks are being established in many countries. Our results demonstrate that detailed and long-term land management data are crucial to explain the observed SOC changes for such networks.

  17. NEW TRENDS IN AGRICULTURE - CROP SYSTEMS WITHOUT SOIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan GRAD

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper studied new system of agriculture - crop systems without soil. The culture systems without soil can be called also the hydroponic systems and now in Romania are not used only sporadically. In other countries (USA, Japan, the Netherlands, France, UK, Denmark, Israel, Australia, etc.. they represent the modern crop technology, widely applied to vegetables, fruits, fodder, medicinal plants and flowers by the experts in this area. In the world, today there are millions of hectares hydroponics, most of the vegetables, herbs, fruits of hypermarkets are coming from the culture systems without soil. The process consists of growing plants in nutrient solutions (not in the ground, resorting to an complex equipment, depending on the specifics of each crop, so that the system can be applied only in the large farms, in the greenhouses, and not in the individual households. These types of culture systems have a number of advantages and disadvantages also. Even if today's culture systems without soil seem to be the most modern and surprising technology applied in plant growth, the principle is very old. Based on him were built The Suspended Gardens of the Semiramis from Babylon, in the seventh century BC, thanks to him, the population from the Peru”s highlands cultivates vegetables on surfaces covered with water or mud. The peasant households in China, even today use the millenary techniques of the crops on gravel. .This hydroponic agriculture system is a way of followed for Romanian agriculture too, despite its high cost, because it is very productive, ecological, can cover, by products, all market demands and it answer, increasingly, constraints of urban life. The concept of hydroponics agriculture is known and appreciated in Romania also, but more at the theory level.

  18. Environmental fate of double-stranded RNA in agricultural soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Dubelman

    Full Text Available A laboratory soil degradation study was conducted to determine the biodegradation potential of a DvSnf7 dsRNA transcript derived from a Monsanto genetically modified (GM maize product that confers resistance to corn rootworm (CRW; Diabrotica spp.. This study provides new information to improve the environmental assessment of dsRNAs that become pesticidal through an RNAi process. Three agricultural soils differing in their physicochemical characteristics were obtained from the U.S., Illinois (IL; silt loam, Missouri (MO; loamy sand and North Dakota (ND; clay loam, and exposed to the target dsRNA by incorporating insect-protected maize biomass and purified (in vitro-transcribed DvSnf7 RNA into soil. The GM and control (non-GM maize materials were added to each soil and incubated at ca. 22 °C for 48 hours (h. Samples were collected at 12 time intervals during the incubation period, extracted, and analyzed using QuantiGene molecular analysis and insect bioassay methods. The DT50 (half-life values for DvSnf7 RNA in IL, MO, and ND soils were 19, 28, and 15 h based on QuantiGene, and 18, 29, and 14 h based on insect bioassay, respectively. Furthermore, the DT90 (time to 90% degradation values for DvSnf7 RNA in all three soils were <35 h. These results indicate that DvSnf7 RNA was degraded and biological activity was undetectable within approximately 2 days after application to soil, regardless of texture, pH, clay content and other soil differences. Furthermore, soil-incorporated DvSnf7 RNA was non-detectable in soil after 48 h, as measured by QuantiGene, at levels ranging more than two orders of magnitude (0.3, 1.5, 7.5 and 37.5 µg RNA/g soil. Results from this study indicate that the DvSnf7 dsRNA is unlikely to persist or accumulate in the environment. Furthermore, the rapid degradation of DvSnf7 dsRNA provides a basis to define relevant exposure scenarios for future RNA-based agricultural products.

  19. Do Agricultural Soils of California have the Potential to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate Greenhouse Gases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suddick, E. C.; Scow, K. M.; Six, J. W.

    2008-12-01

    Agricultural ecosystems play a major role in the global carbon cycle and can be both sources of carbon emissions to the atmosphere and also carbon sinks which may be used to offset any future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In California, climate change predictions indicate major impacts and substantial alterations of agricultural systems over the next decades. In 2006, California passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) that requires reduction of the three major GHG's (CO2, N2O and CH4) to 1990 levels by 2020. We surveyed and synthesized available data from recent studies describing the potential to sequester carbon and reduce other GHG emissions in California agricultural soils. The studies evaluated various management practices in both annual row and perennial cropping systems, with other studies focusing upon biogeochemical model predictions for carbon sequestration and GHG mitigation calibrated towards California agriculture. Management practices considered included minimum or no tillage, cover cropping, organic residue (low and high inputs) and nitrogen fertilizer management. Though practices involving inputs of carbon, such as cover cropping and organic amendments, were often associated with increases in soil organic carbon (SOC) in the top soil layer (0-20 cm), results were not consistent across farming systems. Several studies indicated that conservation tillage, alone, increased above-ground biomass, especially when used with a cover crop. However, the reduced soil disturbance from conservation tillage merely resulted in a redistribution of the soil carbon rather than an overall accumulation, when compared with standard tillage and cover cropping practices together. Predictions from biogeochemical models indicated that increased inputs of manure and increased organic residues led to substantial carbon sequestration but did not consistently reduce non-CO2 related GHG emissions. The most effective way to reduce non-CO2 GHG

  20. Single application of Sewage Sludge to an Alluvial Agricultural Soil - impacts on Soil Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhadolc, M.; Graham, D. B.; Hagn, A.; Doerfler, U.; Schloter, M.; Schroll, R.; Munch, J. C.; Lobnik, F.

    2009-04-01

    Limited information exists on the effects of sewage sludge on soil quality with regard to their ability to maintain soil functions. We studied effects of sewage sludge amendment on soil chemical properties, microbial community structure and microbial degradation of the herbicide glyphosate. Three months soil column leaching experiment has been conducted using alluvial soils (Eutric Fluvisol) with no prior history of sludge application. The soil was loamy with pH 7,4 and organic matter content of 3,5%. Soil material in the upper 2 cm of columns was mixed with dehydrated sewage sludge which was applied in amounts corresponding to the standards governing the use of sewage sludge for agricultural land. Sludge did increase some nutrients (total N, NH4+, available P and K, organic carbon) and some heavy metals contents (Zn, Cu, Pb) in soil. However, upper limits for heavy metals in agricultural soils were not exceeded. Results of heavy metal availability in soil determined by sequential extraction will be also presented. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analyses of 16s/18s rDNA, using universal fungal and bacterial primers, revealed clear shifts in bacterial and fungal community structure in the upper 2 cm of soils after amendment. Fungal fingerprints showed greater short term effects of sewage sludge, whereas sewage sludge seems to have prolonged effects on soil bacteria. Furthermore, sewage sludge amendment significantly increased glyphosate degradation from 21.6±1% to 33.6±1% over a 2 months period. The most probable reasons for shifts in microbial community structure and increased degradation of glyphosate are beneficial alterations to the physical-chemical characteristics of the soil. Negative effects of potentially toxic substances present in the sewage sludge on soil microbial community functioning were not observed with the methods used in our study.

  1. Achieving production and conservation simultaneously in tropical agricultural landscapes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Renwick, Anna R.; Vickery, Juliet A.; Potts, Simon G.

    2014-01-01

    Increasing population size and demand for food in the developing world is driving the intensification of agriculture, often threatening the biodiversity within the farmland itself and in the surrounding landscape. This paper quantifies bird and tree species richness, tree carbon and farmer's gros...

  2. A rainfall simulation experiment on soil and water conservation measures - Undesirable results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hösl, R.; Strauss, P.

    2012-04-01

    Sediment and nutrient inputs from agriculturally used land into surface waters are one of the main problems concerning surface water quality. On-site soil and water conservation measures are getting more and more popular throughout the last decades and a lot of research has been done within this issue. Numerous studies can be found about rainfall simulation experiments with different conservation measures tested like no till, mulching employing different types of soil cover, as well as sub soiling practices. Many studies document a more or less great success in preventing soil erosion and enhancing water quality by implementing no till and mulching techniques on farmland but few studies also indicate higher erosion rates with implementation of conservation tillage practices (Strauss et al., 2003). In May 2011 we conducted a field rainfall simulation experiment in Upper Austria to test 5 different maize cultivation techniques: no till with rough seedbed, no till with fine seedbed, mulching with disc harrow and rotary harrow, mulching with rotary harrow and conventional tillage using plough and rotary harrow. Rough seedbed refers to the seedbed preparation at planting of the cover crops. On every plot except on the conventionally managed one cover crops (a mix of Trifolium alexandrinum, Phacelia, Raphanus sativus and Herpestes) were sown in August 2010. All plots were rained three times with deionised water (<50 μS.cm-1) for one hour with 50mm.h-1 rainfall intensity. Surface runoff and soil erosion were measured. Additionally, soil cover by mulch was measured as well as soil texture, bulk density, penetration resistance, surface roughness and soil water content before and after the simulation. The simulation experiments took place about 2 weeks after seeding of maize in spring 2011. The most effective cultivation techniques for soil prevention expectedly proved to be the no till variants, mean erosion rate was about 0.1 kg.h-1, mean surface runoff was 29 l.h-1

  3. Measurements of the effectiveness of conservation agriculture at the field scale using radioisotopic techniques and runoff plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabit, L.; Klik, A.; Toloza, A.; Benmansour, M.; Geisler, A.; Gerstmann, U. C.

    2009-04-01

    Growing evidence of the cost of soil erosion on agricultural land and off site impact of associated processes has emphasized the needs for quantitative assessment of erosion rates to develop and assess erosion control technology and to allocate conservation resources and development of conservation regulation, policies and programmes. Our main study goal was to assess the magnitude of deposition rates using Fallout Radionuclides ‘FRNs' (137-Cs and 210-Pb) and the mid-term (13 years) erosion rates using conventional runoff plot measurements in a small agricultural watershed under conventional and conservation tillage practices. The tillage treatments were conventional tillage system (CT), mechanical plough to 30 cm depth (the most common tillage system within the watershed); conservation tillage (CS) with cover crops during winter; and direct seeding (DS) no tillage with cover crops during winter. The experimental design - located in Mistelbach watershed 60 km north of Vienna/Austria - consists of one 3-metre-wide and 15-metre-long runoff plot (silt loam - slope of 14%) for each tillage system (CT, CS and DS) with the plots placed in the upper part of an agricultural field. 76 soil samples were collected to evaluate the initial fallout of 137-Cs and 210-Pb in a small forested area close to the experimental field, along a systematic multi-grid design,. In the sedimentation area of the watershed and down slope the agricultural field, 2 additional soil profiles were collected to 1 m depth. All soil samples were air dried, sieved to 2mm and analysed for their 137-Cs and 210-Pb contents using gamma detector. The main results and conclusion can be summarised as following: i) The initial 137-Cs fallout as measured in the 76 forested soil samples ranged from 1123 to 3354 Bq/m2 for an average of 1954 Bq/m2 with a coefficient of variation of 20.4 %. ii) Long-term erosion measurements (1994-2006) from runoff plots located in the upper part of the agricultural field just up

  4. Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge : Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan : 1972 Calendar Year

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan. The Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan outlines the relationship between refuge...

  5. Landscape evolution by soil redistribution in a Mediterranean agricultural context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciampalini, Rossano; Follain, Stéphane; Le Bissonnais, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Soils and landscapes are frequently subjected to rapid evolutions induced by climate changes and humans disturbances. Early, soil scientists had already sought to identify the dynamic interactions between soils and landscapes. Soil redistribution modelling is an appropriate analyse methodology widely utilized (Kirkby, 1985; Van Oost et al., 2000; Van Rompaey et al., 2001; Minasny and McBratney, 1999; Van Oost et al., 2005; Govers et al., 2006) to understand space time evolution in soil and landscape processes at short and medium term. The aims of this research is to develop a model able to simulate soil evolution as affected by soil redistribution processes (e.g. water-erosion processes and mechanical erosion) and to use pedological knowledge acquired from a field study coupled with the present research. The LandSoil model, here proposed, is an event based model, dimensioned for fine spatial [1 m] and medium [10 -100 years] temporal scales, taking into account a detailed representation of the agricultural landscape structure. It is composed of three modules for soil erosion/redistribution: rill erosion (Souchère et al., 2003); interrill erosion (Cerdan et al., 2002); and tillage erosion based on the mechanistic rules developed by Govers et al., 1994. After each rain and tillage event a new topography is evaluated as well as all the geometric landscape parameters. Specificities of the model are: i) long-term landscape analysis and topography balance after each rainfall; ii) evaluation of water erosion and soil mechanistic redistribution (tillage erosion); iii) taking in consideration of the landscape geometry, especially connectivity, as a significant information in describing the landscape and useful in modelling (Landscape structure management and landscape design); and iv) utilisation of various and different climate scenarios thanks to the event based model. Subsequently we apply this model to study the effect of different scenarios of land management and

  6. A planning approach for agricultural watersheds using precision conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    This brief article, written for a non-technical audience, discusses a recently-developed approach for watershed planning and nutrient reduction. The approach can help local stakeholders identify conservation practices that are locally preferred and determine how those practices can be distributed ac...

  7. The alignment of agricultural and nature conservation policies in the European Union.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodge, Ian; Hauck, Jennifer; Bonn, Aletta

    2015-08-01

    Europe is a region of relatively high population density and productive agriculture subject to substantial government intervention under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Many habitats and species of high conservation interest have been created by the maintenance of agricultural practices over long periods. These practices are often no longer profitable, and nature conservation initiatives require government support to cover the cost for them to be continued. The CAP has been reformed both to reduce production of agricultural commodities at costs in excess of world prices and to establish incentives for landholders to adopt voluntary conservation measures. A separate nature conservation policy has established an extensive series of protected sites (Natura 2000) that has, as yet, failed to halt the loss of biodiversity. Additional broader scale approaches have been advocated for conservation in the wider landscape matrix, including the alignment of agricultural and nature conservation policies, which remains a challenge. Possibilities for alignment include further shifting of funds from general support for farmers toward targeted payments for biodiversity goals at larger scales and adoption of an ecosystem approach. The European response to the competing demands for land resources may offer lessons globally as demands on rural land increase.

  8. 26 CFR 1.175-2 - Definition of soil and water conservation expenditures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Definition of soil and water conservation... (continued) § 1.175-2 Definition of soil and water conservation expenditures. (a) Expenditures treated as a... of soil or water conservation in respect of land used in farming, or for the prevention of erosion...

  9. Soil and Water Conservation for a Better America. A Framework Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    Through this framework plan, the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) takes a look ahead to its soil and water conservation mission, a look at its direction and thrust in helping create a desirable America in the decades ahead. The plan attempts to define the nature of soil and water conservation efforts, to put them in perspective, and to present a…

  10. 26 CFR 1.175-1 - Soil and water conservation expenditures; in general.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 26 Internal Revenue 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Soil and water conservation expenditures; in... (continued) § 1.175-1 Soil and water conservation expenditures; in general. Under section 175, a farmer may deduct his soil or water conservation expenditures which do not give rise to a deduction for...

  11. From participation to adoption: Comparing the effectiveness of soil conservation programs in the Peruvian Andes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Posthumus, H.; Gardebroek, C.; Ruben, R.

    2010-01-01

    Many efforts are made to promote soil conservation in developing countries. This paper compares the effect of two programs promoting soil conservation in Peru on the adoption decision of households. One program applies a top-down approach with soil conservation as its core activity. The other progra

  12. New findings and setting the research agenda for soil and water conservation for sustainable land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keesstra, Saskia; Argaman, Eli; Gomez, Jose Alfonso; Quinton, John

    2014-05-01

    The session on soil and water conservation for sustainable land management provides insights into the current research producing viable measures for sustainable land management and enhancing the lands role as provider of ecosystem services. The insights into degradation processes are essential for designing and implementing feasible measures to mitigate against degradation of the land resource and adapt to the changing environment. Land degradation occurs due to multiple pressures on the land, such as population growth, land-use and land-cover changes, climate change and over exploitation of resources, often resulting in soil erosion due to water and wind, which occurs in many parts of the world. Understanding the processes of soil erosion by wind and water and the social and economic constraints faced by farmers forms an essential component of integrated land development projects. Soil and water conservation measures are only viable and sustainable if local environmental and socio-economic conditions are taken into account and proper enabling conditions and policies can be achieved. Land degradation increasingly occurs because land use, and farming systems are subject to rapid environmental and socio-economic changes without implementation of appropriate soil and water conservation technologies. Land use and its management are thus inextricably bound up with development; farmers must adapt in order to sustain the quality of their, and their families, lives. In broader perspective, soil and water conservation is needed as regulating ecosystem service and as a tool to enhance food security and biodiversity. Since land degradation occurs in many parts of the world and threatens food production and environmental stability it affects those countries with poorer soils and resilience in the agriculture sector first. Often these are the least developed countries. Therefore the work from researchers from developing countries together with knowledge from other disciplines

  13. Sewage sludge, compost and other representative organic wastes as agricultural soil amendments: Benefits versus limiting factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarenga, Paula; Mourinha, Clarisse; Farto, Márcia; Santos, Teresa; Palma, Patrícia; Sengo, Joana; Morais, Marie-Christine; Cunha-Queda, Cristina

    2015-06-01

    Nine different samples of sewage sludges, composts and other representative organic wastes, with potential interest to be used as agricultural soil amendments, were characterized: municipal sewage sludge (SS1 and SS2), agro industrial sludge (AIS), municipal slaughterhouse sludge (MSS), mixed municipal solid waste compost (MMSWC), agricultural wastes compost (AWC), compost produced from agricultural wastes and sewage sludge (AWSSC), pig slurry digestate (PSD) and paper mill wastes (PMW). The characterization was made considering their: (i) physicochemical parameters, (ii) total and bioavailable heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Hg), (iii) organic contaminants, (iv) pathogenic microorganisms and (v) stability and phytotoxicity indicators. All the sludges, municipal or other, comply with the requirements of the legislation regarding the possibility of their application to agricultural soil (with the exception of SS2, due to its pathogenic microorganisms content), with a content of organic matter and nutrients that make them interesting to be applied to soil. The composts presented, in general, some constraints regarding their application to soil, and their impairment was due to the existence of heavy metal concentrations exceeding the proposed limit of the draft European legislation. As a consequence, with the exception of AWSSC, most compost samples were not able to meet these quality criteria, which are more conservative for compost than for sewage sludge. From the results, the composting of sewage sludge is recommended as a way to turn a less stabilized waste into a material that is no longer classified as a waste and, judging by the results of this work, with lower heavy metal content than the other composted materials, and without sanitation problems.

  14. Participatory GIS for Soil Conservation in Phewa Watershed of Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, K. P.

    2012-07-01

    Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) can integrate participatory methodologies with geo-spatial technologies for the representation of characteristic of particular place. Over the last decade, researchers use this method to integrate the local knowledge of community within a GIS and Society conceptual framework. Participatory GIS are tailored to answer specific geographic questions at the local level and their modes of implementation vary considerably across space, ranging from field-based, qualitative approaches to more complex web-based applications. These broad ranges of techniques, PGIS are becoming an effective methodology for incorporating community local knowledge into complex spatial decision-making processes. The objective of this study is to reduce the soil erosion by formulating the general rule for the soil conservation by participation of the stakeholders. The poster was prepared by satellite image, topographic map and Arc GIS software including the local knowledge. The data were collected from the focus group discussion and the individual questionnaire for incorporate the local knowledge and use it to find the risk map on the basis of economic, social and manageable physical factors for the sensitivity analysis. The soil erosion risk map is prepared by the physical factors Rainfall-runoff erosivity, Soil erodibility, Slope length, Slope steepness, Cover-management, Conservation practice using RUSLE model. After the comparison and discussion among stakeholders, researcher and export group, and the soil erosion risk map showed that socioeconomic, social and manageable physical factors management can reduce the soil erosion. The study showed that the preparation of the poster GIS map and implement this in the watershed area could reduce the soil erosion in the study area compared to the existing national policy.

  15. Modeling soil conservation, water conservation and their tradeoffs: a case study in Beijing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yang; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zheng, Hua; Li, Xiaoma; Zhuang, Changwei; Jiang, Bo

    2012-01-01

    Natural ecosystems provide society with important goods and services. With the rapid increase in human populations and excessive utilization of natural resources, humans frequently enhance the production of some services at the expense of the others. Although the need for tradeoffs between conservation and development is urgent, the lack of efficient methods to assess such tradeoffs has impeded progress. Three land use strategy scenarios (development scenario, plan trend scenario and conservation scenario) were created to forecast potential changes in ecosystem services from 2007 to 2050 in Beijing, China. GIS-based techniques were used to map spatial and temporal distribution and changes in ecosystem services for each scenario. The provision of ecosystem services differed spatially, with significant changes being associated with different scenarios. Scenario analysis of water yield (as average annual yield) and soil retention (as retention rate per unit area) for the period 2007 to 2050 indicated that the highest values for these parameters were predicted for the forest habitat under all three scenarios. Annual yield/retention of forest, shrub, and grassland ranked the highest in the conservation scenario. Total water yield and soil retention increased in the conservation scenario and declined dramatically in the other two scenarios, especially the development scenario. The conservation scenario was the optimal land use strategy, resulting in the highest soil retention and water yield. Our study suggests that the evaluation and visualization of ecosystem services can effectively assist in understanding the tradeoffs between conservation and development. Results of this study have implications for planning and monitoring future management of natural capital and ecosystem services, which can be integrated into land use decision-making.

  16. Modeling soil conservation, water conservation and their tradeoffs: A case study in Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Bai; Zhiyun Ouyang; Hua Zheng; Xiaoma Li; Changwei Zhuang; Bo Jiang

    2012-01-01

    Natural ecosystems provide society with important goods and services.With the rapid increase in human populations and excessive utilization of natural resources,humans frequently enhance the production of some services at the expense of the others.Although the need for tradeoffs between conservation and development is urgent,the lack of efficient methods to assess such tradeoffs has impeded progress.Three land use strategy scenarios(development scenario,plan trend scenario and conservation scenario)were created to forecast potential changes in ecosystem services from 2007 to 2050 in Beijing,China.GIS-based techniques were used to map spatial and temporal distribution and changes in ecosystem services for each scenario.The provision of ecosystem services differed spatially,with significant changes being associated with different scenarios.Scenario analysis of water yield(as average annual yield)and soil retention(as retention rate per unit area)for the period 2007 to 2050 indicated that the highest values for these parameters were predicted for the forest habitat under all three scenarios.Annual yield/retention of forest,shrub,and grassland ranked the highest in the conservation scenario.Total water yield and soil retention increased in the conservation scenario and declined dramatically in the other two scenarios,especially the development scenario.The conservation scenario was the optimal land use strategy,resulting in the highest soil retention and water yield.Our study suggests that the evaluation and visualization of ecosystem services can effectively assist in understanding the tradeoffs between conservation and development.Results of this study have implications for planning and monitoring future management of natural capital and ecosystem services,which can be integrated into land use decision-making.

  17. Conservation challenge at the agricultural frontier: deforestation, fire, and land use dynamics in Mato Grosso

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth S. DeFries

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Achieving conservation objectives within the rapidly changing agricultural frontier in Mato Grosso State requires tradeoffs between production and preservation. We provide a description of deforestation, fire, and land use dynamics during 2000-2005 to consider a range of strategies for conservation planning. Long-term conservation of Cerrado, transition forest, and Amazon biomes in the state can benefit from direct consideration of landscape structure, duration of post-clearing land use, and the mosaic of land uses surrounding potential conservation corridors or reserve areas. Although the creation of new protected areas may not be feasible, since few large, uninterrupted forest areas exist within the state, some conservation objectives can be met through greater coordination of the legal reserve system among property owners. We present three examples of landscape-level prioritization based on existing Forest Code regulations stipulating 80% forest reserves on private property. Through a state mediated system, property owners could augment existing reserve areas on their property through purchase of lands in: 1 buffers surrounding existing conservation units and indigenous reserves; 2 small watersheds with little or no deforestation; 3 forest patches with high connectivity within specified mosaics of different land uses. Any final approach for property-level coordination will depend on the specific conservation goals (e.g., river corridors, bird habitat, or plant biodiversity, but we provide a framework for developing and implementing a conservation plan at the agricultural frontier. Tradeoffs in both conservation value and productive use are required to achieve coordinated conservation at scale.

  18. Utilization of Agricultural Wastes in Stabilization of Landfill Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidzam Rahmat Mohamad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Palm Oil Fuel Ash (POFA and Rice Husk Ash (RHA are local agricultural waste material from Palm Oil Industry and from Paddy Industry in Malaysia. Currently, the disposal of these ashes from a burning process is a problem to both industries, and hence leads to environmental pollution. The main aim of this research was to investigate the potential of utilizing POFA and RHA as sustainable stabilizer material as partial replacement of traditional one which is lime and Portland Cement (PC. Laboratory investigations were carried out to establish the potential utilization of Malaysian Agricultural wastes POFA and RHA in stabilizing Teluk Kapas Landfill soil. Landfill soil on its own and combination with laterite clay soil were stabilized using POFA or RHA either on its own or in combination with Lime or Portland Cement (PC. The traditional stabilizers of lime or Portland Cement (PC were used as controls. Compacted cylinder test specimens were made at typical stabilizer contents and moist cured for up to 60 days prior to testing for compressive and water absorption tests. The results obtained showed that landfill soil combined with laterite clay (50:50 stabilized with 20% RHA:PC (50:50and POFA: PC (50:50 recorded the highest values of compressive strength compared to the other compositions of stabilizers and soils. However, when the amount of POFA and RHA increased in the system the compressive strength values of the samples tends to increase. These results suggest technological, economic as well as environmental advantages of using POFA and RHA and similar industrial by-products to achieve sustainable infrastructure development with near zero industrial waste.

  19. An inventory of trace elements inputs to French agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belon, E; Boisson, M; Deportes, I Z; Eglin, T K; Feix, I; Bispo, A O; Galsomies, L; Leblond, S; Guellier, C R

    2012-11-15

    The inputs of ten trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Zn) to French agricultural soils have been assessed. The six main sources considered were: pesticides, mineral fertilizers, animal manure, liming materials, sludge and composts and atmospheric deposition. Data were collected to compute inputs at both national and regional (departmental) scales. The inventory methodology is based on two principles: data are traceable and easy to update. At a national scale, the inventory showed that trace elements inputs can be ranked: Zn≫Cu≫Cr>Pb>Ni>As=Mo>Se>Cd>Hg. Animal manure, mineral fertilizers and pesticides are the predominant sources of TEs. These results are globally in agreement with literature data though atmospheric deposition is shown to be lower than in more industrial countries such as China and United Kingdom where similar surveys were conducted. The inputs of trace elements vary strongly between regions in relation with agricultural activities. This inventory (and the related database) provides basis for developing and monitoring policies to control and reduce trace elements contamination of agricultural soils at both national and regional (departmental) scales.

  20. Effects of extreme drought on agriculture soil and sustainability of different drought soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. Geng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Content of microbial biomass carbon was selected as indicator for identifying effects of extreme drought on agriculture soil ecosystem. Through a series of prototype observation experiments, changing tendencies of microbial biomass carbon content and the proportion of microbial biomass carbon in soil organic carbon were identified. The optimum mass water content of soil for microbial biomass carbon was 19.5% and the demarcation point of microbial biomass carbon to drought was 14.3%, which could be used to demonstrate alters and degradation of soil ecosystem as well as the irrigation requirement of crops. We evaluated sustainability of different drought soil ecosystems after experiencing rainstorm with rehabilitation. The results suggested that soil ecosystem which was interfered by moderate drought could recover and its tolerance to drought was improved, as well as its function and activity. Soil ecosystem could barely recover from severe drought and could not adapt to severe drought stress. Soil ecosystem could not restore from extreme drought within a few days, the function and structure were damaged. We came to the conclusion that mass water content of soil should kept above 10% to avoid destroying function and structure while soil ecosystem would better be watered when mass water content was lower than 14.3% in order to maintain high productivity.

  1. Soil respiration in different agricultural and natural ecosystems in an arid region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liming Lai

    Full Text Available The variation of different ecosystems on the terrestrial carbon balance is predicted to be large. We investigated a typical arid region with widespread saline/alkaline soils, and evaluated soil respiration of different agricultural and natural ecosystems. Soil respiration for five ecosystems together with soil temperature, soil moisture, soil pH, soil electric conductivity and soil organic carbon content were investigated in the field. Comparing with the natural ecosystems, the mean seasonal soil respiration rates of the agricultural ecosystems were 96%-386% higher and agricultural ecosystems exhibited lower CO(2 absorption by the saline/alkaline soil. Soil temperature and moisture together explained 48%, 86%, 84%, 54% and 54% of the seasonal variations of soil respiration in the five ecosystems, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship between soil respiration and soil electrical conductivity, but a weak correlation between soil respiration and soil pH or soil organic carbon content. Our results showed that soil CO(2 emissions were significantly different among different agricultural and natural ecosystems, although we caution that this was an observational, not manipulative, study. Temperature at the soil surface and electric conductivity were the main driving factors of soil respiration across the five ecosystems. Care should be taken when converting native vegetation into cropland from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions.

  2. Biochar has no effect on soil respiration across Chinese agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoyu; Zheng, Jufeng; Zhang, Dengxiao; Cheng, Kun; Zhou, Huimin; Zhang, Afeng; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Smith, Pete; Crowley, David; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Pan, Genxing

    2016-06-01

    Biochar addition to soil has been widely accepted as an option to enhance soil carbon sequestration by introducing recalcitrant organic matter. However, it remains unclear whether biochar will negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux from soil (soil respiration). The objectives of this study were to address: 1) whether biochar addition increases soil respiration; and whether biochar application rate and biochar type (feedstock and pyrolyzing system) affect soil respiration. Two series of field experiments were carried out at 8 sites representing the main crop production areas in China. In experiment 1, a single type of wheat straw biochar was amended at rates of 0, 20 and 40 tha(-1) in four rice paddies and three dry croplands. In experiment 2, four types of biochar (varying in feedstock and pyrolyzing system) were amended at rates of 0 and 20 tha(-1) in a rice paddy under rice-wheat rotation. Results showed that biochar addition had no effect on CO2 efflux from soils consistently across sites, although it increased topsoil organic carbon stock by 38% on average. Meanwhile, CO2 efflux from soils amended with 40 t of biochar did not significantly higher than soils amended with 20 t of biochar. While the biochars used in Experiment 2 had different carbon pools and physico-chemical properties, they had no effect on soil CO2 efflux. The soil CO2 efflux following biochar addition could be hardly explained by the changes in soil physic-chemical properties and in soil microbial biomass. Thus, we argue that biochar will not negate the net carbon accumulation by increasing carbon loss through CO2 efflux in agricultural soils.

  3. Identification of novel phytase genes from an agricultural soil-derived metagenome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Hao; Mooij, Marlies J; Barret, Matthieu; Hegarty, Pardraig M; Harington, Catriona; Dobson, Alan D W; O'Gara, Fergal

    2014-01-01

    Environmental microorganisms are emerging as an important source of new enzymes for wide-scale industrial application. In this study, novel phytase genes were identified from a soil microbial community. For this, a function-based screening approach was utilized for the identification of phytase activity in a metagenomic library derived from an agricultural soil. Two novel phytases were identified. Interestingly, one of these phytases is an unusual histidine acid phosphatase family phytase, as the conserved motif of the active site of PhyX possesses an additional amino acid residue. The second phytase belongs to a new type, which is encoded by multiple open reading frames (ORFs) and is different to all phytases known to date, which are encoded by a single ORF.

  4. Current political commitments’ challenges for ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria-Mihaela ANTOFIE

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This article is an overview regarding capacity building needs for supporting political commitments’ implementation and furthermore, the development of new political, technical and scientific measures for ensuring the proper conservation of biodiversity and considering in a cost-effective way ex situ conservation tools and methods. Domesticated and wild species, threatened and not threatened native species belonging to the natural capital, due to anthropic pressure and climate change may be drastically affected for their status of conservation in their ecosystems of origin. Thus, ex situ conservation is important to be taken into consideration for ensuring the proper conservation of native species. Still, ex situ conservation is a tool which is in use for many activities for many years such as: research, trade, industry, medicine, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. Romania needs to further develop its specific legislation framework in specific domains such as trade of exotic and native threatened species as well as for other domains such as zoos and aquaria, seeds exchange between botanical gardens, bioprospecting, wild threatened species rescue, capture and reintroduction, collection, access for benefit sharing. Also for agriculture should be developed ex situ conservationmeasures closely connected with breeding programmes dedicated to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (i.e. gene banks conservation, breeding programmes, on farm conservation. Only by harmonizing at the legal level, based on science, all these specific domains, extremely sensitive, dealing with ex situ conservation it will be possible in the future to secure food and ecosanogenesis ensuring the appropriate status of in situ conservation of biodiversity as a whole. As it is not possible to apply conservation measures, either in situ either ex situ either both, to all species it is appropriate to further develop strategic tools for prioritizing our efforts in a cost

  5. Modelling agricultural suitability along soil transects under current conditions and improved scenario of soil factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd-Elmabod, Sameh K.; Jordán, Antonio; Fleskens, Luuk; van der Ploeg, Martine; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Anaya-Romero, María; van der Salm, Renée J.; De la Rosa, Diego

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural land suitability analysis and improvement of soils by addressing major limitations may be a strategy for climate change adaptation. This study aims to investigate the influence of topography and variability of soil factors on the suitability of 12 annual, semiannual and perennial Mediterranean crops in the province of Seville (southern Spain). In order to represent the variability in elevation, lithology and soil, two latitudinal and longitudinal (S-N and W-E) soil transects (TA and TB) were considered including 63 representative points at regular 4 km intervals. These points were represented by 41 soil profiles from the SDBm soil database -Seville. Almagra model, a component of the agro-ecological decision support system MicroLEIS, was used to assess soil suitability. Results were grouped into five soil suitability classes: S1-optimum, S2-high, S3-moderate, S4-marginal and S5-not suitable. Each class was divided in subclasses according to the main soil limiting factors: depth (p), texture (t), drainage (d), carbonate content (c), salinity (s), sodium saturation (a), and the degree of development of the soil profile (g). This research also aimed to maximize soil potential by improving limiting factors d, c, s and a after soil restoration. Therefore, management techniques were also considered as possible scenarios in this study. The results of the evaluation showed that soil suitability ranged between S1 and S5p - S5s along of the transects. In the northern extreme of transect TA, high content of gravels and coarse texture are limiting factors (soils are classified as S4t) In contrast, the limiting factor in the eastern extreme of transect TB is the shallow useful depth (S5p subclass). The absence of calcium carbonate becomes a limiting factor in some parts of TA. In contrast, the excessive content of calcium carbonate appeared to be a limiting factor for crops in some intermediate points of TB transect. For both transects, soil salinity is the main

  6. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  7. Soil and water conservation strategies and impact on sustainable livelihood in Cape Verde - Case study of Ribeira Seca watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, I.; Ferreira, A. D.; Tavares, J.; Querido, A. L. E.; Reis, A. E. A.; Geissen, V.; Ritsema, C.; Varela, A.

    2012-04-01

    Cape Verde, located off the coast of Senegal in western Africa, is a volcanic archipelago where a combination of human, climatic, geomorphologic and pedologic factors has led to extensive degradation of the soils. Like other Sahelian countries, Cape Verde has suffered the effects of desertification through the years, threatening the livelihood of the islands population and its fragile environment. In fact, the steep slopes in the ore agricultural islands, together with semi-arid and arid environments, characterized by an irregular and poorly distributed rainy season, with high intensity rainfall events, make dryland production a challenge. To survive in these fragile conditions, the stabilization of the farming systems and the maintenance of sustainable yields have become absolute priorities, making the islands an erosion control laboratory. Soil and water conservation strategies have been a centerpiece of the government's agricultural policies for the last half century. Aiming to maintain the soil in place and the water inside the soil, the successive governments of Cape Verde have implemented a number of soil and water conservation techniques, the most common ones being terraces, half moons, live barriers, contour rock walls, contour furrows and microcatchments, check dams and reforestation with drought resistant species. The soil and water conservation techniques implemented have contributed to the improvement of the economical and environmental conditions of the treated landscape, making crop production possible, consequently, improving the livelihood of the people living on the islands. In this paper, we survey the existing soil and water conservation techniques, analyze their impact on the livelihood condition of the population through a thorough literature review and field monitoring using a semi-quantitative methodology and evaluate their effectiveness and impact on crop yield in the Ribeira Seca watershed. A brief discussion is given on the cost and

  8. Soil phosphorus mobilization in the rhizosphere of cover crops has little effect on phosphorus cycling in California agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    External phosphorus (P) inputs to agricultural soils are needed to replace soil P removed by harvest and maintain soil fertility. Alternative fertilization approaches that maintain soil fertility while reducing P inputs could improve current practices that often result in excessive P application and...

  9. An Underground Revolution: Biodiversity and Soil Ecological Engineering for Agricultural Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, S Franz; Wagg, Cameron; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2016-06-01

    Soil organisms are an integral component of ecosystems, but their activities receive little recognition in agricultural management strategies. Here we synthesize the potential of soil organisms to enhance ecosystem service delivery and demonstrate that soil biodiversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously (i.e., ecosystem multifunctionality). We apply the concept of ecological intensification to soils and we develop strategies for targeted exploitation of soil biological traits. We compile promising approaches to enhance agricultural sustainability through the promotion of soil biodiversity and targeted management of soil community composition. We present soil ecological engineering as a concept to generate human land-use systems, which can serve immediate human needs while minimizing environmental impacts.

  10. Soil biota community structure and abundance under agricultural intensification and extensification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Postma-Blaauw, M.B.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Bloem, J.; Faber, J.H.; Brussaard, L.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the impacts of agricultural intensification and extensification on soil biota communities is useful in order to preserve and restore biological diversity in agricultural soils and enhance the role of soil biota in agroecosystem functioning. Over four consecutive years, we investigated

  11. Greenhouse gas emissions under conservation agriculture compared to traditional cultivation of maize in the central highlands of Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dendooven, Luc, E-mail: dendooven@me.com [Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politecnico Nacional 2508, C.P. 07360 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Gutierrez-Oliva, Vicente F. [Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Instituto Tecnologico de Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Chiapas (Mexico); Patino-Zuniga, Leonardo [Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politecnico Nacional 2508, C.P. 07360 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Ramirez-Villanueva, Daniel A. [Departamento de Microbiologia, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas-IPN, Av. Prolongacion de Carpio y Plan de Ayala, C.P. 11340 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Verhulst, Nele [International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600, Mexico D.F. (Mexico); Luna-Guido, Marco; Marsch, Rodolfo [Laboratory of Soil Ecology, ABACUS, Cinvestav, Avenida Instituto Politecnico Nacional 2508, C.P. 07360 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Montes-Molina, Joaquin; Gutierrez-Miceli, Federico A. [Laboratory of Plant Biotechnology, Instituto Tecnologico de Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Tuxtla-Gutierrez, Chiapas (Mexico); Vasquez-Murrieta, Soledad [Departamento de Microbiologia, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas-IPN, Av. Prolongacion de Carpio y Plan de Ayala, C.P. 11340 Mexico, D.F. (Mexico); Govaerts, Bram [International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)

    2012-08-01

    In 1991, the 'International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center' (CIMMYT) started a field experiment in the rain fed Mexican highlands to investigate conservation agriculture (CA) as a sustainable alternative for conventional maize production practices (CT). CT techniques, characterized by deep tillage, monoculture and crop residue removal, have deteriorated soil fertility and reduced yields. CA, which combines minimum tillage, crop rotations and residue retention, restores soil fertility and increases yields. Soil organic matter increases in CA compared to CT, but increases in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in CA might offset the gains obtained to mitigate global warming. Therefore, CO{sub 2}, CH{sub 4} and N{sub 2}O emissions, soil temperature, C and water content were monitored in CA and CT treatments in 2010-2011. The cumulative GHG emitted were similar for CA and CT in both years, but the C content in the 0-60 cm layer was higher in CA (117.7 Mg C ha{sup -1}) than in CT (69.7 Mg C ha{sup -1}). The net global warming potential (GWP) of CA (considering soil C sequestration, GHG emissions, fuel use, and fertilizer and seeds production) was - 7729 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} in 2008-2009 and - 7892 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} in 2010-2011, whereas that of CT was 1327 and 1156 kg CO{sub 2} ha{sup -1} y{sup -1}. It was found that the contribution of CA to GWP was small compared to that of CT. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Conservation agriculture (CA) and conventional agriculture (CT) systems Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Greenhouse gasses emitted were similar from CA and CT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C content in the 0-60 cm layer was much higher in CA than in CT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The net global warming potential of CA was negative, but positive in CT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer C sequestered in soil is far more important than GHG emitted.

  12. Conditions for the adoption of conservation agriculture in Central Morocco: an approach based on Bayesian network modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Bonzanigo

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Research in Central Morocco, proves that conservation agriculture increases yields, reduces labour requirements, and erosion, and improves soil fertility. However, after nearly two decades of demonstration and advocacy, adoption is still limited. This paper investigates the critical constraints and potential opportunities for the adoption of conservation agriculture for different typologies of farms. We measured the possible pathways of adoption via a Bayesian decision network (BDN. BDNs allow the inclusion of stakeholders’ knowledge where data is scant, whilst at the same time they are supported by a robust mathematical background. We first developed a conceptual map of the elements affecting the decision about tillage, which we refined in a workshop with farmers and researchers from the Settat area. We then involved experts in the elicitation of conditional probabilities tables, to quantify the cascade of causal links that determine (or not the adoption. Via BDNs, we could categorise under which specific technical and socio-economic conditions no tillage agriculture is best suited to which farmers. We, by identifying the main constraints and running sensitivity analyses, were able to convey clear messages on how policy- makers may facilitate the conversion. As new evidence is collected, the BDN can be updated to obtain evidence more targeted and fine tuned to the adoption contexts.

  13. Future trends in soil cadmium concentration under current cadmium fluxes to European agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Six, L; Smolders, E

    2014-07-01

    The gradual increase of soil cadmium concentrations in European soils during the 20th century has prompted environmental legislation to limit soil cadmium (Cd) accumulation. Mass balances (input-output) reflecting the period 1980-1995 predicted larger Cd inputs via phosphate (P) fertilizers and atmospheric deposition than outputs via crop uptake and leaching. This study updates the Cd mass balance for the agricultural top soils of EU-27+Norway (EU-27+1). Over the past 15 years, the use of P fertilizers in the EU-27+1 has decreased by 40%. The current mean atmospheric deposition of Cd in EU is 0.35 g Cd ha(-1) yr(-1), this is strikingly smaller than values used in the previous EU mass balances (~3 g Cd ha(-1) yr(-1)). Leaching of Cd was estimated with most recent data of soil solution Cd concentrations in 151 soils, which cover the range of European soil properties. No significant time trends were found in the data of net applications of Cd via manure, compost, sludge and lime, all being small sources of Cd at a large scale. Modelling of the future long-term changes in soil Cd concentrations in agricultural top soils under cereal or potato culture predicts soil Cd concentrations to decrease by 15% over the next 100 years in an average scenario, with decreasing trends in some scenarios being more prevalent than increasing trends in other scenarios. These Cd balances have reverted from the general positive balances estimated 10 or more years ago. Uncertainty analysis suggests that leaching is the most uncertain relative to other fluxes.

  14. What are the effects of agricultural management on soil organic carbon in boreo-temperate systems?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haddaway, Neal R.; Hedlund, Katarina; Jackson, Louise E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Soils contain the largest stock of organic carbon (C) in terrestrial ecosystems and changes in soil C stocks may significantly affect atmospheric CO2. A significant part of soil C is present in cultivated soils that occupy about 35 % of the global land surface. Agricultural...... intensification has led to practices that may decrease soil organic carbon (SOC), and agricultural management has the potential to be a powerful tool for climate change mitigation and increased soil fertility through SOC sequestration. Here, we systematically map evidence relating to the impacts of agricultural...

  15. Streptococcus suis sorption on agricultural soils: role of soil physico-chemical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenqiang; Liu, Xing; Huang, Qiaoyun; Cai, Peng

    2015-01-01

    Understanding pathogen sorption on natural soil particles is crucial to protect public health from soilborne and waterborne diseases. Sorption of pathogen Streptococcus suis on 10 agricultural soils was examined, and its correlations with soil physico-chemical properties were also elucidated. S. suis sorption isotherms conformed to the linear equation, with partition coefficients (Ks) ranging from 12.7 mL g(-1) to 100.1 mL g(-1). Bacteria were observed to sorb on the external surfaces of soil aggregates by scanning electron microscopy. Using Pearson correlation and linear regression analysis, solution pH was found to have significant negative correlations with Ks. Stepwise multiple regression and path analysis revealed that pH and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were the main factors influencing sorption behaviors. The obtained overall model (Ks=389.6-45.9×pH-1.3×CEC, R(2)=0.943, PKs values. However, the variability in Ks was less dependent on soil organic matter, specific surface area, soil texture and zeta potential, probably due to the internal-surface shielding phenomenon of soil aggregates. Additionally, the sorption trends cannot be interpreted by interaction energy barriers calculated using the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory, suggesting the limits of DLVO theory in describing pathogen sorption on natural soils. Our results also indicated soil pH and CEC should be preferentially considered when modeling S. suis sorption process.

  16. Weeds in conservation agriculture. Biology, emergence dynamics and modelling to improve their control

    OpenAIRE

    Gasparini, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    The increasing attention of public opinion towards the environmental impact of production activities has made it imperative to reduce the aggressiveness of productive systems on the environment. Also the agricultural sector, considered one of the principal strengths of transformation of the territory, is asked to predispose eco-compatible programmes of production. The institutions and national and international organisms encourage the adoption of techniques of conservative agriculture as a to...

  17. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladoni, Moslem; Kravchenko, Alexandra N; Robertson, G Phillip

    2015-01-01

    Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover) and non-leguminous (winter rye) cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN) and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management in row

  18. Topography Mediates the Influence of Cover Crops on Soil Nitrate Levels in Row Crop Agricultural Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moslem Ladoni

    Full Text Available Supplying adequate amounts of soil N for plant growth during the growing season and across large agricultural fields is a challenge for conservational agricultural systems with cover crops. Knowledge about cover crop effects on N comes mostly from small, flat research plots and performance of cover crops across topographically diverse agricultural land is poorly understood. Our objective was to assess effects of both leguminous (red clover and non-leguminous (winter rye cover crops on potentially mineralizable N (PMN and [Formula: see text] levels across a topographically diverse landscape. We studied conventional, low-input, and organic managements in corn-soybean-wheat rotation. The rotations of low-input and organic managements included rye and red clover cover crops. The managements were implemented in twenty large undulating fields in Southwest Michigan starting from 2006. The data collection and analysis were conducted during three growing seasons of 2011, 2012 and 2013. Observational micro-plots with and without cover crops were laid within each field on three contrasting topographical positions of depression, slope and summit. Soil samples were collected 4-5 times during each growing season and analyzed for [Formula: see text] and PMN. The results showed that all three managements were similar in their temporal and spatial distributions of NO3-N. Red clover cover crop increased [Formula: see text] by 35% on depression, 20% on slope and 32% on summit positions. Rye cover crop had a significant 15% negative effect on [Formula: see text] in topographical depressions but not in slope and summit positions. The magnitude of the cover crop effects on soil mineral nitrogen across topographically diverse fields was associated with the amount of cover crop growth and residue production. The results emphasize the potential environmental and economic benefits that can be generated by implementing site-specific topography-driven cover crop management

  19. Soil respiration characteristics in different land uses and response of soil organic carbon to biochar addition in high-latitude agricultural area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Wei; Geng, Xiaojun; Huang, Wejia; Hao, Fanghua; Zhao, Jinbo

    2016-02-01

    The farmland tillage practices changed the soil chemical properties, which also impacted the soil respiration (R s ) process and the soil carbon conservation. Originally, the farmland in northeast China had high soil carbon content, which was decreased in the recent decades due to the tillage practices. To better understand the R s dynamics in different land use types and its relationship with soil carbon loss, soil samples at two layers (0-15 and 15-30 cm) were analyzed for organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), total carbon (TC), available nitrogen (AN), available phosphorus (AP), soil particle size distribution, as well as the R s rate. The R s rate of the paddy land was 0.22 (at 0-15 cm) and 3.01 (at 15-30 cm) times of the upland. The average concentrations of OC and clay content in cultivated areas were much lower than in non-cultivated areas. The partial least squares analysis suggested that the TC and TN were significantly related to the R s process in cultivated soils. The upland soil was further used to test soil CO2 emission response at different biochar addition levels during 70-days incubation. The measurement in the limited incubation period demonstrated that the addition of biochar improved the soil C content because it had high concentration of pyrogenic C, which was resistant to mineralization. The analysis showed that biochar addition can promote soil OC by mitigating carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. The biochar addition achieved the best performance for the soil carbon conservation in high-latitude agricultural area due to the originally high carbon content.

  20. Grasslands, wetlands, and agriculture: the fate of land expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program in the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morefield, Philip E.; LeDuc, Stephen D.; Clark, Christopher M.; Iovanna, Richard

    2016-09-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest agricultural land-retirement program in the United States, providing many environmental benefits, including wildlife habitat and improved air, water, and soil quality. Since 2007, however, CRP area has declined by over 25% nationally with much of this land returning to agriculture. Despite this trend, it is unclear what types of CRP land are being converted, to what crops, and where. All of these specific factors greatly affect environmental impacts. To answer these questions, we quantified shifts in expiring CRP parcels to five major crop-types (corn, soy, winter and spring wheat, and sorghum) in a 12-state, Midwestern region of the United States using a US Department of Agriculture (USDA), field-level CRP database and USDA’s Cropland Data Layer. For the years 2010 through 2013, we estimate almost 30%, or more than 530 000 ha, of expiring CRP land returned to the production of these five crops in our study area, with soy and corn accounting for the vast majority of these shifts. Grasslands were the largest type of CRP land converted (360 000 ha), followed by specifically designated wildlife habitat (76 000 ha), and wetland areas (53 000 ha). These wetland areas were not just wetlands themselves, but also a mix of land covers enhancing or protecting wetland ecosystem services (e.g., wetland buffers). Areas in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and southern Iowa were hotspots of change, with the highest areas of CRP land moving back to agriculture. By contrast, we estimate only a small amount (∼3%) of the expiring land shifted into similar, non-CRP land-retirement or easement programs. Reconciling needs for food, feed, fuel, and healthy ecosystems is an immense challenge for farmers, conservationists, and state and federal agencies. Reduced enrollment and the turnover of CRP land from conservation to agriculture raises questions about sustaining ecosystem services in this region.

  1. Estimating annual soil carbon loss in agricultural peatland soils using a nitrogen budget approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie R Kirk

    Full Text Available Around the world, peatland degradation and soil subsidence is occurring where these soils have been converted to agriculture. Since initial drainage in the mid-1800s, continuous farming of such soils in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (the Delta has led to subsidence of up to 8 meters in places, primarily due to soil organic matter (SOM oxidation and physical compaction. Rice (Oryza sativa production has been proposed as an alternative cropping system to limit SOM oxidation. Preliminary research on these soils revealed high N uptake by rice in N fertilizer omission plots, which we hypothesized was the result of SOM oxidation releasing N. Testing this hypothesis, we developed a novel N budgeting approach to assess annual soil C and N loss based on plant N uptake and fallow season N mineralization. Through field experiments examining N dynamics during growing season and winter fallow periods, a complete annual N budget was developed. Soil C loss was calculated from SOM-N mineralization using the soil C:N ratio. Surface water and crop residue were negligible in the total N uptake budget (3 - 4 % combined. Shallow groundwater contributed 24 - 33 %, likely representing subsurface SOM-N mineralization. Assuming 6 and 25 kg N ha-1 from atmospheric deposition and biological N2 fixation, respectively, our results suggest 77 - 81 % of plant N uptake (129 - 149 kg N ha-1 was supplied by SOM mineralization. Considering a range of N uptake efficiency from 50 - 70 %, estimated net C loss ranged from 1149 - 2473 kg C ha-1. These findings suggest that rice systems, as currently managed, reduce the rate of C loss from organic delta soils relative to other agricultural practices.

  2. The effects of forward speed and depth of conservation tillage on soil bulk density

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Mahmoudi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: In recent years, production techniques and equipment have been developed for conservation of tillage systems that have been adopted by many farmers. With proper management, overall yield averages for conventional and reduced tillage systems are nearly identical. Sometimes, field operations can be combined by connecting two or more implements. Combined operations reduce both fuel consumption, and time and labor requirements by eliminating at least one individual trip over the field. Light tillage, spraying, or fertilizing operations can be combined with either primary or secondary tillage or planting operations. Tillage helps seed growth and germination through providing appropriate conditions for soil to absorb sufficient temperature and humidity. Moreover, it helps easier development of root through reducing soil penetration resistance. Tillage is a time-consuming and expensive procedure. With the application of agricultural operations, we can save substantial amounts of fuel, time and energy consumption. Conservation tillage loosens the soil without turning, but by remaining the plant left overs, stems and roots. Bulk density reflects the soil’s ability to function for structural support, water and solute movement, and soil aeration. Bulk densities above thresholds indicate impaired function. Bulk density is also used to convert between weight and volume of soil. It is used to express soil physical, chemical and biological measurements on a volumetric basis for soil quality assessment and comparisons between management systems. This increases the validity of comparisons by removing the error associated with differences in soil density at the time of sampling. The aim of conservation tillage is to fix the soil structure. This investigation was carried out considering the advantages of conservation tillage and less scientific research works on imported conservation tillage devices and those which are made inside the country

  3. The Subtropical Grasslands LTAR: balancing agricultural production and conservation goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Boughton, E.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.; Sparks, J. P.; Silveira, M.; Boughton, R. K.; Swain, H.

    2015-12-01

    Subtropical grazing lands of peninsular Florida have been shaped by a long evolutionary history of lightning ignited fire followed by flooding resulting in a vast treeless prairie region in south-central Florida. In these grassland ecosystems fire return intervals are between 1-3 years. Beginning in the 1500's, Andalusian cattle began grazing in this region and the cattle industry began in earnest in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Today, Florida's prairie region is largely occupied by cow/calf ranch operations and also occupies the Northern Everglades watershed where water quality/quantity issues are at the forefront of environmental concerns. Florida ranches are characterized by a gradient of management intensities, ranging from sown pastures (most intensively managed) to semi-native pastures with a mix of introduced and native grasses, and rangeland (least managed ecosystem). Located at Archbold Biological Station, MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, and University of Florida Range Cattle Research Center (www.maerc.org; www.rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu), a primary goal of the Subtropical Grasslands US Department of Agriculture Long-term Agro-Ecosystem Research LTAR is to balance intensification of sown pastures while enhancing management of native systems in a way that maximizes other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting, cultural, biodiversity). Here, we describe our proposed experimental design to compare ecosystem delivery from conventional and aspirational management regimes in sown pastures and native systems. Aspirational management goals are to (i) maximize productivity in sown pastures with a neutral effect on other ecosystem services, and (ii) manage native systems in a way that maximizes regulating, supporting, and biodiversity ecosystem services by utilizing patch burn grazing. Ultimately, we will determine if enhanced production in sown pasture under the aspirational management system can offset any reduction in productivity in semi

  4. Economic Potential of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions: Comparative Role for Soil Sequestration in Agriculture and Forestry

    OpenAIRE

    McCarl, Bruce A.; U. Schneider; Murray, B.; Williams, J; Sands, R.

    2001-01-01

    The authors use the Agricultural Sector Model to analyze the economic potential of soil carbon sequestration as one of several agricultural greenhouse gas emission mitigation strategies, including afforestation. For low incentives on carbon emission savings, agricultural soil carbon sequestration is the most cost-efficient strategy. As incentive levels increase above $50 per ton of carbon equivalent, afforestation and biofuel production become the key strategies, while the role of soil carbon...

  5. A web based spatial decision supporting system for land management and soil conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Terribile

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Today it is evident that there are many contrasting demands on our landscape (e.g. food security, more sustainable agriculture, higher income in rural areas, etc. but also many land degradation problems. It has been proved that providing operational answers to these demands and problems is extremely difficult. Here we aim to demonstrate that a Spatial Decision Support System based on geospatial cyber-infrastructure (GCI can embody all of the above, so producing a smart system for supporting decision making for agriculture, forestry and urban planning with respect to the landscape. In this paper, we discuss methods and results of a special kind of GCI architecture, one that is highly focused on soil and land conservation (SOILCONSWEB-LIFE+ project. The system allows us to obtain dynamic, multidisciplinary, multiscale, and multifunctional answers to agriculture, forestry and urban planning issues through the web. The system has been applied to and tested in an area of about 20 000 ha in the South of Italy, within the framework of a European LIFE+ project. The paper reports – as a case study – results from two different applications dealing with agriculture (olive growth tool and environmental protection (soil capability to protect groundwater. Developed with the help of end users, the system is starting to be adopted by local communities. The system indirectly explores a change of paradigm for soil and landscape scientists. Indeed, the potential benefit is shown of overcoming current disciplinary fragmentation over landscape issues by offering – through a smart web based system – truly integrated geospatial knowledge that may be directly and freely used by any end user (http://www.landconsultingweb.eu. This may help bridge the last much important divide between scientists working on the landscape and end users.

  6. A Web-based spatial decision supporting system for land management and soil conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terribile, F.; Agrillo, A.; Bonfante, A.; Buscemi, G.; Colandrea, M.; D'Antonio, A.; De Mascellis, R.; De Michele, C.; Langella, G.; Manna, P.; Marotta, L.; Mileti, F. A.; Minieri, L.; Orefice, N.; Valentini, S.; Vingiani, S.; Basile, A.

    2015-07-01

    Today it is evident that there are many contrasting demands on our landscape (e.g. food security, more sustainable agriculture, higher income in rural areas, etc.) as well as many land degradation problems. It has been proved that providing operational answers to these demands and problems is extremely difficult. Here we aim to demonstrate that a spatial decision support system based on geospatial cyberinfrastructure (GCI) can address all of the above, so producing a smart system for supporting decision making for agriculture, forestry, and urban planning with respect to the landscape. In this paper, we discuss methods and results of a special kind of GCI architecture, one that is highly focused on land management and soil conservation. The system allows us to obtain dynamic, multidisciplinary, multiscale, and multifunctional answers to agriculture, forestry, and urban planning issues through the Web. The system has been applied to and tested in an area of about 20 000 ha in the south of Italy, within the framework of a European LIFE+ project (SOILCONSWEB). The paper reports - as a case study - results from two different applications dealing with agriculture (olive growth tool) and environmental protection (soil capability to protect groundwater). Developed with the help of end users, the system is starting to be adopted by local communities. The system indirectly explores a change of paradigm for soil and landscape scientists. Indeed, the potential benefit is shown of overcoming current disciplinary fragmentation over landscape issues by offering - through a smart Web-based system - truly integrated geospatial knowledge that may be directly and freely used by any end user (www.landconsultingweb.eu). This may help bridge the last very important divide between scientists working on the landscape and end users.

  7. A web based spatial decision supporting system for land management and soil conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terribile, F.; Agrillo, A.; Bonfante, A.; Buscemi, G.; Colandrea, M.; D'Antonio, A.; De Mascellis, R.; De Michele, C.; Langella, G.; Manna, P.; Marotta, L.; Mileti, F. A.; Minieri, L.; Orefice, N.; Valentini, S.; Vingiani, S.; Basile, A.

    2015-02-01

    Today it is evident that there are many contrasting demands on our landscape (e.g. food security, more sustainable agriculture, higher income in rural areas, etc.) but also many land degradation problems. It has been proved that providing operational answers to these demands and problems is extremely difficult. Here we aim to demonstrate that a Spatial Decision Support System based on geospatial cyber-infrastructure (GCI) can embody all of the above, so producing a smart system for supporting decision making for agriculture, forestry and urban planning with respect to the landscape. In this paper, we discuss methods and results of a special kind of GCI architecture, one that is highly focused on soil and land conservation (SOILCONSWEB-LIFE+ project). The system allows us to obtain dynamic, multidisciplinary, multiscale, and multifunctional answers to agriculture, forestry and urban planning issues through the web. The system has been applied to and tested in an area of about 20 000 ha in the South of Italy, within the framework of a European LIFE+ project. The paper reports - as a case study - results from two different applications dealing with agriculture (olive growth tool) and environmental protection (soil capability to protect groundwater). Developed with the help of end users, the system is starting to be adopted by local communities. The system indirectly explores a change of paradigm for soil and landscape scientists. Indeed, the potential benefit is shown of overcoming current disciplinary fragmentation over landscape issues by offering - through a smart web based system - truly integrated geospatial knowledge that may be directly and freely used by any end user (http://www.landconsultingweb.eu). This may help bridge the last much important divide between scientists working on the landscape and end users.

  8. Effects of Conventional and Conservation Tillage on Soil Hydraulic Properties of a Silty-loamy Soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahl, Niels Arne; Bens, O.; Buczko, U.

    2004-01-01

    a minimum macropore radius of 0.5 mm, range between 0.02% and 0.1%, about one order of magnitude lower than the figure obtained from visual inventarization. The results indicate a greater continuity and connectivity of the macropore system for silty soils with conservation tillage systems. Therefore...

  9. Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Vegetables from Agricultural Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ELJAN KASA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzed the heavy metals in vegetables cultivated in private gardens in Bregu i Matit, an important agricultural area in the NW Albania.The plant and soil samples taken from irrigated and non-irrigated fields in this area were analyzed for the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Ni using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS, after extraction by HNO3 and H2O2.The transfer factors (TF were used to evaluate the risk of metal transfer from soil to plant and the FAO/WHO safe limits to assess the potential hazards of heavy metals to human health. The ranges of heavy metal concentrations ± standard deviation in vegetable samples were (mg kg- 1: Cu 2.98-12.90 (±3.08, Ni 4.82-35.79 (±7.68, Zn Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb. The TF values indicate that only Cd was accumulated in plants.The contents of Cd in three vegetable samples, Pb in four samples, and Cu in one sample were above the safe limits set by the FAO/WHO for heavy metals in foods and vegetables indicating that consumption of vegetables grown in the studied soils could be dangerous to human health.

  10. Use of Trichoderma spp.on soil microbiology improvement for organic agriculture in Costa Rica

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Miguel Obregón-Gómez

    2004-01-01

    @@ The soil is a complex system where processes have direct influence on crop nutrition and plant health.Unfortunately, most of the agricultural soil management practices, compact them producing poor oxygenation, low benefic microorganism populations and metabolic disorders in plants.

  11. Derivation of ecological criteria for copper in land-applied biosolids and biosolid-amended agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Tao; Li, Jumei; Wang, Xiaoqing; Ma, Yibing; Smolders, Erik; Zhu, Nanwen

    2016-12-01

    The difference in availability between soil metals added via biosolids and soluble salts was not taken into account in deriving the current land-applied biosolids standards. In the present study, a biosolids availability factor (BAF) approach was adopted to investigate the ecological thresholds for copper (Cu) in land-applied biosolids and biosolid-amended agricultural soils. First, the soil property-specific values of HC5add (the added hazardous concentration for 5% of species) for Cu(2+) salt amended were collected with due attention to data for organisms and soils relevant to China. Second, a BAF representing the difference in availability between soil Cu added via biosolids and soluble salts was estimated based on long-term biosolid-amended soils, including soils from China. Third, biosolids Cu HC5input values (the input hazardous concentration for 5% of species of Cu from biosolids to soil) as a function of soil properties were derived using the BAF approach. The average potential availability of Cu in agricultural soils amended with biosolids accounted for 53% of that for the same soils spiked with same amount of soluble Cu salts and with a similar aging time. The cation exchange capacity was the main factor affecting the biosolids Cu HC5input values, while soil pH and organic carbon only explained 24.2 and 1.5% of the variation, respectively. The biosolids Cu HC5input values can be accurately predicted by regression models developed based on 2-3 soil properties with coefficients of determination (R(2)) of 0.889 and 0.945. Compared with model predicted biosolids Cu HC5input values, current standards (GB4284-84) are most likely to be less protective in acidic and neutral soil, but conservative in alkaline non-calcareous soil. Recommendations on ecological criteria for Cu in land-applied biosolids and biosolid-amended agriculture soils may be helpful to fill the gaps existing between science and regulations, and can be useful for Cu risk assessments in soils

  12. Validating a high-resolution digital soil map for precision agriculture across multiple fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Digital soil mapping (DSM) for precision agriculture (PA) management is aimed at developing models that predict soil properties or classes using legacy soil data, sensors, and environmental covariates. The utility of DSM for PA is based on its ability to provide useful spatial soil information for o...

  13. Assessing microbial activities in metal contaminated agricultural volcanic soils--An integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parelho, C; Rodrigues, A S; Barreto, M C; Ferreira, N G C; Garcia, P

    2016-07-01

    Volcanic soils are unique naturally fertile resources, extensively used for agricultural purposes and with particular physicochemical properties that may result in accumulation of toxic substances, such as trace metals. Trace metal contaminated soils have significant effects on soil microbial activities and hence on soil quality. The aim of this study is to determine the soil microbial responses to metal contamination in volcanic soils under different agricultural land use practices (conventional, traditional and organic), based on a three-tier approach: Tier 1 - assess soil microbial activities, Tier 2 - link the microbial activity to soil trace metal contamination and, Tier 3 - integrate the microbial activity in an effect-based soil index (Integrative Biological Response) to score soil health status in metal contaminated agricultural soils. Our results showed that microbial biomass C levels and soil enzymes activities were decreased in all agricultural soils. Dehydrogenase and β-glucosidase activities, soil basal respiration and microbial biomass C were the most sensitive responses to trace metal soil contamination. The Integrative Biological Response value indicated that soil health was ranked as: organic>traditional>conventional, highlighting the importance of integrative biomarker-based strategies for the development of the trace metal "footprint" in Andosols.

  14. Assessment of soil redistribution rates by (137)Cs and (210)Pbex in a typical Malagasy agricultural field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabesiranana, N; Rasolonirina, M; Solonjara, A F; Ravoson, H N; Raoelina Andriambololona; Mabit, L

    2016-02-01

    Soil degradation processes affect more than one-third of the Malagasy territory and are considered as the major environmental threat impacting the natural resources of the island. This innovative study reports about a pioneer test and use of radio-isotopic techniques (i.e. Cs-137 and Pb-210ex) under Madagascar agroclimatic condition to evaluate soil erosion magnitude. This preliminary investigation has been conducted in a small agricultural field situated in the eastern central highland of Madagascar, 40 km East from Antananarivo. Both anthropogenic Cs-137 and geogenic Pb-210 soil tracers provided similar results highlighting soil erosion rates reaching locally 18 t ha(-1) yr(-1,) a level almost two times higher than the sustainable soil loss rate under Madagascar agroclimatic condition. The sediment delivery ratio established with both radiotracers was above 80% indicating that most of the mobilized sediment exits the field. Assessing soil erosion rate through fallout radionuclides in Madagascar is a first step towards an efficient land and water resource management policy to optimise the effectiveness of future agricultural soil conservation practices.

  15. Heavy metal contamination and source in arid agricultural soil in central Gansu Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yu; GOU Xin; WANG Gang; ZHANG Qiang; SU Qiong; XIAO Guoju

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg), and arsenic (As) were measured in arid agricultural and irrigated agricultural soils collected in Daba Village, Shajiawuan Village, Gangou Village and Sifangwu Village, located in central Gansu Province, China. Concentrations except Hg and Pb were lower than the background values in grey calcareous soil in the selected arid agricultural soils. Pb concentration exceeded the threshold of arid agricultural soils in China by 72. 46%. These results showed that there was indeed serious pollution with Pb, a slight pollution problem for other selected metals in the irrigated agricultural soils in Daba Village. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to assess the soil data, applying varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalization. The result showed that the irrigated factor, agricultural factor and anthropogenic factor all contributed to the relations between selected chemical properties. The main factor of accumulation of Cu, Pb, Cr, Hg and As was lithological factor in arid agricultural areas. There is a striking dissimilarity of origin of Cu, Pb, Cr, Hg and As in agricultural soil between the irrigate agriculture and arid agriculture.

  16. Can conservation trump impacts of climate change on soil erosion? An assessment from winter wheat cropland in the Southern Great Plains of the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurgen D. Garbrecht

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available With the need to increase crop production to meet the needs of a growing population, protecting the productivity of our soil resource is essential. However, conservationists are concerned that conservation practices that were effective in the past may no longer be effective in the future under projected climate change. In winter wheat cropland in the Southern Great Plains of the U.S., increased precipitation intensity and increased aridity associated with warmer temperatures may pose increased risks of soil erosion from vulnerable soils and landscapes. This investigation was undertaken to determine which conservation practices would be necessary and sufficient to hold annual soil erosion by water under a high greenhouse gas emission scenario at or below the present soil erosion levels. Advances in and benefits of agricultural soil and water conservation over the last century in the United States are briefly reviewed, and challenges and climate uncertainties confronting resource conservation in this century are addressed. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP computer model was used to estimate future soil erosion by water from winter wheat cropland in Central Oklahoma and for 10 projected climates and 7 alternative conservation practices. A comparison with soil erosion values under current climate conditions and conventional tillage operations showed that, on average, a switch from conventional to conservation tillage would be sufficient to offset the average increase in soil erosion by water under most projected climates. More effective conservation practices, such as conservation tillage with a summer cover crop would be required to control soil erosion associated with the most severe climate projections. It was concluded that a broad range of conservation tools are available to agriculture to offset projected future increases in soil erosion by water even under assumed worst case climate change scenarios in Central Oklahoma. The problem

  17. Construction and Application of Soil Erosion Control and Circular Agriculture Mode in Hilly Red Soil of Southern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Boqi WENG; Zhenmei ZHONG; Xuhui LUO; Zhaoyang YING; Yixiang WANG; Jing YE

    2012-01-01

    Abstract [Objective] The paper was to construct agriculture mode in hilly red [Method] The cause of soil soil of southern China, erosion in hilly red so soil erosion control and circular and analyze its application effort. of southern China and the rea- son for long-term treatment without remarkable effort were analyzed. On this basis, the key technology, economic benefit, ecological service function and carbon se- questration sink enhancement effect of various modes were further analyzed. [Result] The basic idea for comprehensive control of hilly soil erosion in southern China was as follows: the control of soil erosion was combined with modern agricultural produc- tion, in order to build "fruit (tea)-grass-livestock-methane" circular agriculture mode with comprehensive control of soil erosion; application effect analysis showed that the establishment of circular agriculture mode in southern hilly area to control soil erosion ~lad remarkable effect, which could simultaneously meet the coordinated de- velopment of ecological, economic and social benefits. [Conclusion] This study estab- lished an effective mode suitable for soil erosion control and agricultural protection development in southern red soil mountain, which could drive the sustainable devel- opment of ecological restoration of mountainous area and rural agricultural economy.

  18. PHYSICO-CHEMICAL ASSESSMENT OF AGRICULTURAL POLLUTION ON GROUNDWATER AND SOIL QUALITY IN AN AGRICULTURAL FARM (NORTH EASTERN MOROCCO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Fetouani

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available To ensure sustainable food security, Morocco gives priority to agricultural and rural development by promoting investment in agricultural sector and use of intensification factors to improve incomes in rural areas. The Triffa irrigated perimeter is one of the oldest and the most productive in the country thanks to the Mohammed the V dam activity and the beginning of agricultural development intensification. Although this intensification has a positive effect on agricultural yields, it has negative impacts on soil and generatesgroundwater quality degradation. Indeed, recent studies performed in this area by us and Bendra (Fetouani et al., 2008; Bendra et al, 2012 have mentioned the existence of salinity problems, nitric groundwater pollution and soils salinization. This degradation is caused essentially by intensive use of agrochemicals, including nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, and non-control of irrigation and cultivated plots drainage. However, a degradation of groundwater and soil quality is not without risk to Human health. Having a global vision about situation of groundwater and soil quality in the Triffa plain we have decided to deepen this theme to a local scale and to study in details the impact of intensive agriculture on groundwater and soil quality in a farm, located in the centre of the Triffa plain.To sum up the results of this study the state of soil quality in the farm is not alarming. However, the groundwater quality is mainly dramatic, because it is a receptacle of all the nutrients applied on the surface, especially nitrates.

  19. Effect of different mulching materials on maize growth and yield in conservation agriculture systems of sub-humid Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Mupangwa

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of conservation agriculture (CA for smallholders increased the competition for crop residues between crop and livestock enterprises of the mixed smallholder farming system. Smallholders practicing CA have resorted to using grass and leaf litter in addition to available crop residues. The effect of these different mulching materials on maize (Zea mays L. growth and yield is not well documented in smallholder CA systems of southern Africa. A two-year experiment was run in 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons to evaluate the effect of maize residues, grass (Hyparrhenia filipendula (L. Stapf. and leaf litter that farmers are currently using and residues from leguminous species, sunhemp (Crotolaria juncea L. and Tephrosia (Tephrosia vogelii ((Hook f. on maize nitrogen (N uptake, growth and yield. Significant differences in soil water content across treatments were only observed during March in 2012/13 season. Maize residues retained more soil water and Tephrosia had the lowest soil water content when seasonal rainfall pattern was erratic. Grass and Tephrosia treatments had the lowest chlorophyll content. Conventional ploughing, maize residues and leaf litter had similar chlorophyll content which was significantly higher than grass and Tephrosia treatments. At a site with higher initial soil fertility conventional ploughing treatment out yielded the other treatments by 727–1265 kg ha−1. With more degraded sandy soil conventional practice had 119–430 kg ha−1 more maize grain than the CA treatments. With adequate fertilization, the mulching materials have a similar effect on maize growth in basins and direct seeding. Further studies on different application rates of mulching materials and mineral N fertilizer, and nutrient release patterns of these residues are critical in order to better understand soil fertility management under smallholder CA systems.

  20. Influence of Conservation Tillage on Soil Aggregates Features in North China Plain

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Tillage greatly influences the aggregation and stability of soil aggregates. This study investigated the effects of conservation tillage on soil aggregate characteristics. During a four-year study period (2001-2005), soils were sampled from no-tillage (NT), rotary tillage (RT), and conventional tillage (moldboard tillage, CT) plots at the Luancheng Agriculture and Ecology Experimental Station in Hebei Province, China, and the amount, size distribution, and fractal dimension of the aggregates were examined by dry and wet sieving methods. The results indicated that NT significantly increased the topsoil (0-5 cm) bulk density (BD), while RT maintained a lower BD as CT. Dry sieving results showed that NT had higher macro-aggregate content (R0.25), and a larger mean weight diameter (MWD) and geometric mean diameter (GMD) than other treatments in the 0-10 cm layer, while RT showed no difference from CT. In wet sieving, results showed that most of the aggregates were unstable, and the MWD and GMD of water-table aggregates showed the trend of NT > RT > CT. At 0-5 cm layer, the fractal dimension (D) of water-stable aggregates under NT was lower than it was under RT and CT. At 5-10 em, RT yielded the highest D, and showed stability. After four years, NT increased the aggregation and the stability of soil aggregates; while due to intense disturbance, the aggregation and stability of the upper layer (0-10 cm) under RT and CT decreased.

  1. Effects of agricultural intensification in the tropics on soil carbon losses and soil fertility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillaume, Thomas; Buttler, Alexandre; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-04-01

    Tropical forest conversion to agricultural land leads to strong decrease of soil organic carbon (SOC). Nonetheless, the impacts of SOC losses on soil fertility remain unclear. We quantified SOC losses in forest, oil palm plantations, extensive rubber plantations and rubber monocultures on Sumatra Island (Indonesia). Furthermore, we assessed the response of biological (basal respiration, microbial biomass, acid phosphatase) and chemical fertility indicators (light fraction of OM, DOC, total N, available P) to SOC losses. We used a new approach based on (non-)linear regressions between SOC losses and the indicators, normalized to natural ecosystem values, to assess the sensitivity or resistance of fertility indicators to SOC losses. Carbon contents in the Ah horizon under oil palm and intensive rubber plantations were strongly reduced: up to 70% and 62%, respectively. The decrease was lower under extensive rubber (41%). The negative impact of land-use changes on all measured indicators increased in the following sequence: extensive rubber oil palm. Basal respiration, microbial biomass and nutrients were comparatively resistant to SOC losses, whereas the light fraction of OM was lost faster than the SOC. The resistance of the microbial activity to SOC losses is an indication that microbial-mediated soil functions sustain SOC losses. However, responses of basal respiration and microbial biomass to SOC losses were non-linear. Below 2.7% C content, the relationship was reversed. The basal respiration decreased faster than the SOC, resulting in a stronger drop of microbial activity under oil palm compared to rubber, despite small difference in C content. We conclude that the new approach allows a quantitative assessment of the sensitivity and threshold of various soil functions to land-use changes and consequently, can be used to assess their resistance to agricultural intensification. Therefore, this method is appropriate to evaluate the environmental impacts associated

  2. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javaid, Muhammad Kashif; Ashiq, Mehrban; Tahir, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. PMID:27293964

  3. Potential of Biological Agents in Decontamination of Agricultural Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Kashif Javaid

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation.

  4. Water and solute transport in agricultural soils predicted by volumetric clay and silt contents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karup, Dan; Moldrup, Per; Paradelo, Marcos; Katuwal, Sheela; Norgaard, Trine; Greve, Mogens H.; de Jonge, Lis W.

    2016-09-01

    Solute transport through the soil matrix is non-uniform and greatly affected by soil texture, soil structure, and macropore networks. Attempts have been made in previous studies to use infiltration experiments to identify the degree of preferential flow, but these attempts have often been based on small datasets or data collected from literature with differing initial and boundary conditions. This study examined the relationship between tracer breakthrough characteristics, soil hydraulic properties, and basic soil properties. From six agricultural fields in Denmark, 193 intact surface soil columns 20 cm in height and 20 cm in diameter were collected. The soils exhibited a wide range in texture, with clay and organic carbon (OC) contents ranging from 0.03 to 0.41 and 0.01 to 0.08 kg kg- 1, respectively. All experiments were carried out under the same initial and boundary conditions using tritium as a conservative tracer. The breakthrough characteristics ranged from being near normally distributed to gradually skewed to the right along with an increase in the content of the mineral fines (particles ≤ 50 μm). The results showed that the mineral fines content was strongly correlated to functional soil structure and the derived tracer breakthrough curves (BTCs), whereas the OC content appeared less important for the shape of the BTC. Organic carbon was believed to support the stability of the soil structure rather than the actual formation of macropores causing preferential flow. The arrival times of 5% and up to 50% of the tracer mass were found to be strongly correlated with volumetric fines content. Predicted tracer concentration breakthrough points as a function of time up to 50% of applied tracer mass could be well fitted to an analytical solution to the classical advection-dispersion equation. Both cumulative tracer mass and concentration as a function of time were well predicted from the simple inputs of bulk density, clay and silt contents, and applied tracer

  5. Application of food industry waste to agricultural soils mitigates green house gas emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashid, M T; Voroney, R P; Khalid, M

    2010-01-01

    Application of organic waste materials such as food processing and serving industry cooking oil waste (OFW) can recycle soil nitrate nitrogen (NO(3)-N), which is otherwise prone to leaching after the harvest of crop. Nitrogen (N) recycling will not only reduce the amount of N fertilizer application for corn crop production but is also expected to mitigate green house gas (GHG) emissions by saving energy to be used for the production of the same amount of industrial fertilizer N required for the growth of corn crop. Application of OFW at 10Mg solid ha(-1)y(-1) conserved 68 kg N ha(-1)y(-1) which ultimately saved 134 L diesel ha(-1)y(-1), which would otherwise be used for the production of fertilizer N as urea. Average fossil energy substitution value (FESV) of N conserved/recycled was calculated to be 93 US$ ha(-1)y(-1), which is about 13 million US$y(-1). Potential amount of GHG mitigation through the application of OFW to agricultural soils in Canada is estimated to be 57 Gg CO(2)Eq y(-1).

  6. Analysis of Coupling between Soil and Water Conservation and Economic-social Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Sun Xihua; Zhang Daimin; Wan Han; Chen Tingting; Yan Fujiang

    2009-01-01

    The coupling relation exists in water and soil conservation and economic-social development.The article analyses the relation of soil and water conservation and economic-social development stages as well as the coupling analytical method.Then calculates the expecting income by dispersing Markov decision and calculates the correlation coefficient and the relationship degree.The article obtains the relationship of soil and water conservation investments and all kinds of incomes.Finally,it analyzes the important meaning in socio-economic development of water and soil conservation.

  7. [Ecosystem's soil conservation function and its spatial distribution in Lancang River Basin, Southwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long; Xie, Gao-Di; Pei, Sha; Zhang, Chang-Shun; Fan, Na; Zhang, Cai-Xia; Li, Shi-Mei

    2012-08-01

    Based on the RUSLE model, this paper analyzed the ecosystem's soil conservation function and its spatial distribution in Lancang River Basin. This Basin could be one of the regions having the highest ecosystem' s soil conservation capability in China, with an annual ecosystem's soil conservation amount being 2.36 x 10(10) t x a(-1) and the soil conservation amount per unit area being 1453.72 t x a(-1) per hectare. The total amounts of the N, P, and K conserved in soils were 5.74 x 10(7), 3.07 x 10(7), and 3.75 x 10(8) t x a(-1), respectively, and presented an increasing trend from upstream to downstream. Among the ecosystems in the Basin, forest ecosystem had the highest soil conservation capability, followed by grassland and farmland, while desert ecosystem had the lowest one. The soil conservation capability of the ecosystems was linearly increased with the increase of vegetation coverage. Averagely, a 10% increment in the vegetation coverage could result in a 35.3% increment in soil conservation capability. To rationally increase the vegetation coverage by reliable ecosystem management based on local conditions would make good effect in preventing soil erosion and maintaining soil nutrients in the Basin.

  8. Food insecurity, soil degradation and agricultural markets in West Africa: why current policy approaches fail

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koning, N.B.J.; Heerink, N.; Kauffman, S.

    2001-01-01

    The agricultural sector in West Africa is not at present capable of meeting the growing demand for food for its population and of reversing unfavourable trends in soil degradation. We argue that integrated soil management is an essential condition for sustainable agricultural development in the many

  9. Regional estimates of ecological services derived from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkner, Stephen P.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Waddle, Hardin; Keeland, Bobby D.; Walls, Susan C.; James, Dale; Moorman, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) is the Nation?s largest floodplain and this once predominantly forested ecosystem provided significant habitat for a diverse flora and fauna, sequestered carbon in trees and soil, and stored floodwater, sediments, and nutrients within the floodplain. This landscape has been substantially altered by the conversion of nearly 75% of the riparian forests, predominantly to agricultural cropland, with significant loss and degradation of important ecosystem services. Large-scale efforts have been employed to restore the forest and wetland resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent some of the most extensive restoration programs in the MAV. The objective of the WRP is to restore and protect the functions and values of wetlands in agricultural landscapes with an emphasis on habitat for migratory birds and wetland-dependent wildlife, protection and improvement of water quality, flood attenuation, ground water recharge, protection of native flora and fauna, and educational and scientific scholarship.

  10. Dynamics of soil organic carbon and microbial activity in treated wastewater irrigated agricultural soils along soil profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jüschke, Elisabeth; Marschner, Bernd; Chen, Yona; Tarchitzky, Jorge

    2010-05-01

    Treated wastewater (TWW) is an important source for irrigation water in arid and semiarid regions and already serves as an important water source in Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Israel. Reclaimed water still contains organic matter (OM) and various compounds that may effect microbial activity and soil quality (Feigin et al. 1991). Natural soil organic carbon (SOC) may be altered by interactions between these compounds and the soil microorganisms. This study evaluates the effects of TWW irrigation on the quality, dynamics and microbial transformations of natural SOC. Priming effects (PE) and SOC mineralization were determined to estimate the influence of TWW irrigation on SOC along soil profiles of agricultural soils in Israel and the Westbank. The used soil material derived from three different sampling sites allocated in Israel and The Palestinian Authority. Soil samples were taken always from TWW irrigated sites and control fields from 6 different depths (0-10, 10-20, 20-30, 30-50, 50-70, 70-100 cm). Soil carbon content and microbiological parameters (microbial biomass, microbial activities and enzyme activities) were investigated. In several sites, subsoils (50-160 cm) from TWW irrigated plots were depleted in soil organic matter with the largest differences occurring in sites with the longest TWW irrigation history. Laboratory incubation experiments with additions of 14C-labelled compounds to the soils showed that microbial activity in freshwater irrigated soils was much more stimulated by sugars or amino acids than in TWW irrigated soils. The lack of such "priming effects" (Hamer & Marschner 2005) in the TWW irrigated soils indicates that here the microorganisms are already operating at their optimal metabolic activity due to the continuous substrate inputs with soluble organic compounds from the TWW. The fact that PE are triggered continuously due to TWW irrigation may result in a decrease of SOC over long term irrigation. Already now this could be

  11. Soils - SOILS_STATSGO_IN: Soil Associations in Indiana (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1:250,000, Polygon Shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — Natural Resources Conservation Service, STATSGO metadata reports- "This data set is a digital general soil association map developed by the National Cooperative...

  12. An Underground Revolution : Biodiversity and Soil Ecological Engineering for Agricultural Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Bender, S. Franz; Wagg, Cameron; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2016-01-01

    Soil organisms are an integral component of ecosystems, but their activities receive little recognition in agricultural management strategies. Here we synthesize the potential of soil organisms to enhance ecosystem service delivery and demonstrate that soil biodiversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously (i.e., ecosystem multifunctionality). We apply the concept of ecological intensification to soils and we develop strategies for targeted exploitation of soil biological trai...

  13. Sorption and desorption of organophosphate pesticides, parathion and cadusafos, on tropical agricultural soils

    OpenAIRE

    Olvera-Velona, Angeluz; Benoit, Pierre; Barriuso, Enrique; Ortiz-Hernandez, Laura

    2008-01-01

    Ecotoxicological impacts of organic pesticides on soil and aquatic ecosystems depend primarily on their behavior in soils. Actual pesticide knowledge is mostly restricted to soils from temperate climates, whereas knowledge of pesticide behavior in tropical soils is scarce. Here, the sorption behavior of two organophosphorous insecticides, parathion and cadusafos, was studied in three agricultural soil samples from central Mexico, Vertisols and Andosols. Using 14C-labeled substances, we assess...

  14. Evaluation on Heavy Metal Pollution of Soil in Pollution-free Agricultural Product Bases in Guangxi

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Minjun; DENG; Yan; LUO

    2014-01-01

    Using data of 6 pollution-free agricultural product bases in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,this paper analyzed content of heavy metals,including arsenic(As),mercury(Hg),lead(Pb),cadmium(Cd),and chromium(Cr) in soil.After Pb,Cd,Cr,Hg and As content in soil is determined,it evaluated the pollution of soil using single factor pollution index method and Nemerow synthetic pollution index method in combination with evaluation standard of heavy metals in soil and grading standard for soil pollution.Analysis results indicate that As,Hg,Pb,Cd,Cr content is different in pollution-free agricultural product bases,but all conform to related standards and there is no standard exceeding problem.It is concluded that the quality of soil in pollution-free agricultural product bases is excellent,not polluted and completely meet requirements of evaluation standards,and suitable for developing pollution-free agricultural products.

  15. An Empirical Determination of Tasks Essential to Successful Performance as a Soil Conservation District Aide. Determination of a Common Core of Basic Skills in Agribusiness and Natural Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddy, Paul H.; And Others

    To improve vocational educational programs in agriculture, occupational information on a common core of basic skills within the occupational area of the soil conservation district aide is presented in the revised task inventory survey. The purpose of the occupational survey was to identify a common core of basic skills which are performed and are…

  16. Quantitative Assessment of Agricultural Runoff and Soil Erosion Using Mathematical Modeling: Applications in the Mediterranean Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arhonditsis, G.; Giourga, C.; Loumou, A.; Koulouri, M.

    2002-09-01

    Three mathematical models, the runoff curve number equation, the universal soil loss equation, and the mass response functions, were evaluated for predicting nonpoint source nutrient loading from agricultural watersheds of the Mediterranean region. These methodologies were applied to a catchment, the gulf of Gera Basin, that is a typical terrestrial ecosystem of the islands of the Aegean archipelago. The calibration of the model parameters was based on data from experimental plots from which edge-of-field losses of sediment, water runoff, and nutrients were measured. Special emphasis was given to the transport of dissolved and solid-phase nutrients from their sources in the farmers' fields to the outlet of the watershed in order to estimate respective attenuation rates. It was found that nonpoint nutrient loading due to surface losses was high during winter, the contribution being between 50% and 80% of the total annual nutrient losses from the terrestrial ecosystem. The good fit between simulated and experimental data supports the view that these modeling procedures should be considered as reliable and effective methodological tools in Mediterranean areas for evaluating potential control measures, such as management practices for soil and water conservation and changes in land uses, aimed at diminishing soil loss and nutrient delivery to surface waters. Furthermore, the modifications of the general mathematical formulations and the experimental values of the model parameters provided by the study can be used in further application of these methodologies in watersheds with similar characteristics.

  17. Non-growing season nitrous oxide fluxes from agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kariyapperuma Athukoralage, Kumudinie

    A two-year field experiment was conducted at the Arkell Research Station, Ontario, Canada to evaluate composting as a mitigation strategy for greenhouse gases (GHGs). The objectives were to quantify and compare non-growing season nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from agricultural soils after fall manure application of composted and untreated liquid swine manure. Nitrous oxide fluxes were measured using a micrometeorological method. Compared to untreated liquid swine manure (LSM), composted swine manure (CSM) resulted in 57% reduction of soil N2O emissions during February to April in 2005, but emissions during the same period in 2006 were not affected by treatments. This effect was related to fall and winter weather conditions with the significant reduction occurring in the year when soil freezing was more pronounced. The DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) model was tested against data measured during the non-growing seasons from 2000 to 2004, for farming with conventional management at the Elora Research Station, Ontario, Canada. The objective was to assess the ability of the DNDC model to simulate non-growing season N2O fluxes from soils in southwestern Ontario. Comparison between model-simulated and measured data indicated that background fluxes were relatively well predicted. The spring thaw N2O flux event was correctly timed by the DNDC model, but was smaller than the measured spring thaw event. Though there was no N2O emission event measured in early May, the DNDC model predicted a large event, simultaneous with the physical release of predicted ice-trapped N2O. Removing the large and late predicted emission peak and increasing the contribution of newly produced N2O due to denitrification to the early spring thaw event were proposed. Three data sets from studies conducted in Ontario, Canada were used to estimate and compare the overall GHG (N2O and methane) emissions from LSM and CSM. Compared to LSM storage, the composting process reduced GHG emissions by 35% (CO

  18. Comparison among monitoring strategies to assess water flow dynamic and soil hydraulic properties in agricultural soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Valdes-Abellan

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Irrigated agriculture is usually performed in semi-arid regions despite scarcity of water resources. Therefore, optimal irrigation management by monitoring the soil is essential, and assessing soil hydraulic properties and water flow dynamics is presented as a first measure. For this purpose, the control of volumetric water content, θ, and pressure head, h, is required. This study adopted two types of monitoring strategies in the same experimental plot to control θ and h in the vadose zone: i non-automatic and more time-consuming; ii automatic connected to a datalogger. Water flux was modelled with Hydrus-1D using the data collected from both acquisition strategies independently (3820 daily values for the automatic; less than 1000 for the non-automatic. Goodness-of-fit results reported a better adjustment in case of automatic sensors. Both model outputs adequately predicted the general trend of θ and h, but with slight differences in computed annual drainage (711 mm and 774 mm. Soil hydraulic properties were inversely estimated from both data acquisition systems. Major differences were obtained in the saturated volumetric water content, θs, and the n and α van Genuchten model shape parameters. Saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks, shown lower variability with a coefficient of variation range from 0.13 to 0.24 for the soil layers defined. Soil hydraulic properties were better assessed through automatic data acquisition as data variability was lower and accuracy was higher.

  19. Spatial probability of soil water repellency in an abandoned agricultural field in Lithuania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Misiūnė, Ieva

    2015-04-01

    identified the high SWR probabilities in the northeast and central part of the plot, while OK observed mainly in the south-western part of the plot. In conclusion, before predict the spatial probability of SWR it is important to test several methods in order to identify the most accurate. Acknowledgments COST action ES1306 (Connecting European connectivity research). References Blanco-Canqui, H., Lal, R. (2009) Extend of water repellency under long-term no-till soils. Geoderma, 149, 171-180. Doerr, S.H., Shakesby, R.A., Walsh, R.P.D. (2000) Soil water repellency: Its causes, characteristics and hydro-geomorphological significance. Earth-Science Reviews, 51, 33-65. Gonzalez-Penaloza, F.A., Cerda, A., Zavala, L.M., Jordan, A., Gimenez-Morera, A., Arcenegui, V. (2012) Do conservative agriculture practices increase soil water repellency? A case study in citrus-croped soils. Soil and Tillage Research, 124, 233-239. Pereira, P., Oliva, M. (2013) Modelling soil water repellency in an abandoned agricultural field, Visnyk Geology, Visnyk Geology 4, 77-80. Wessel, A.T. (1988) On using the effective contact angle and the water drop penetration time for classification of water repellency in dune soils. Earth Surface Process and Landforms, 13, 555-265.

  20. Effects of 24 Years of Conservation Tillage Systems on Soil Organic Carbon and Soil Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth R. Olson

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The 24-year study was conducted in southern Illinois (USA on land similar to that being removed from Conservation Reserve Program (CRP to evaluate the effects of conservation tillage systems on: (1 amount and rates of soil organic carbon (SOC storage and retention, (2 the long-term corn and soybean yields, and (3 maintenance and restoration of soil productivity of previously eroded soils. The no-till (NT plots did store and retain 7.8 Mg C ha−1 more and chisel plow (CP −1.6 Mg C ha−1 less SOC in the soil than moldboard plow (MP during the 24 years. However, no SOC sequestration occurred in the sloping and eroding NT, CP, and MP plots since the SOC level of the plot area was greater at the start of the experiment than at the end. The NT plots actually lost a total of −1.2 Mg C ha−1, the CP lost −9.9 Mg C ha−1, and the MP lost −8.2 Mg C ha−1 during the 24-year study. The long-term productivity of NT compared favorably with that of MP and CP systems.

  1. Terra Pretas: Charcoal Amendments Influence on Relict Soils and Modern Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricigliano, Kristin

    2011-01-01

    Most soils found in the Amazon region are characterized by highly weathered profiles that are incapable of longterm agricultural production. However, small patches of highly fertile relict soil referred to as Terra Pretas, are also found in the Amazon region, and have maintained their integrity for thousands of years. These soils were…

  2. Degradation of zearalenone and ochratoxin A in three Danish agricultural soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, G.K.; Strobel, B.W.; Hansen, H.C.B.

    2006-01-01

    Degradation of two mycotoxins: zearalenone (ZON) produced by species of Fusarium and ochratoxin A (OTA) produced by species of Penicillium were followed in pot experiments using agricultural topsoils from Danish experimental farms: a sandy soil, a sandy clay soil and a gyttja soil with a high...

  3. Optimum soil frost depth to alleviate climate change effects in cold region agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanai, Yosuke; Iwata, Yukiyoshi; Hirota, Tomoyoshi

    2017-03-01

    On-farm soil frost control has been used for the management of volunteer potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.), a serious weed problem caused by climate change, in northern Japan. Deep soil frost penetration is necessary for the effective eradication of unharvested small potato tubers; however, this process can delay soil thaw and increase soil wetting in spring, thereby delaying agricultural activity initiation and increasing nitrous oxide emissions from soil. Conversely, shallow soil frost development helps over-wintering of unharvested potato tubers and nitrate leaching from surface soil owing to the periodic infiltration of snowmelt water. In this study, we synthesised on-farm snow cover manipulation experiments to determine the optimum soil frost depth that can eradicate unharvested potato tubers without affecting agricultural activity initiation while minimising N pollution from agricultural soil. The optimum soil frost depth was estimated to be 0.28–0.33 m on the basis of the annual maximum soil frost depth. Soil frost control is a promising practice to alleviate climate change effects on agriculture in cold regions, which was initiated by local farmers and further promoted by national and local research institutes.

  4. Climatic and agricultural drivers of soil erosion in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Brian; Kirkby, Mike; Fleskens, Luuk

    2015-04-01

    Soil erosion was the most frequently identified driver of land degradation across a selection of global research sites within the DESIRE-EU project. The PESERA model was adopted in the project to upscale field results and consider the potential biophysical impact both with and without stakeholder selected sustainable land management (SLM) technologies in place. The PESERA model was combined with the DESMICE economic model and focussed on forecasting the regional effects of combating desertification both in environmental and socio-economical terms. The PESERA-DESMICE approach is further developed in the WAHARA project to consider the potential of a range of water harvesting technologies to improve biophysical conditions. Modelling in the WAHARA project considers detail of water harvesting technologies at the study site scale through to a coarser application at the continental scale with the latter being informed by the detail provided by study site observations an approach adopted in DESIRE-EU. The PESERA-DESMICE approach considers the difference between a baseline scenario and a (water harvesting) technology scenario at both scales in terms of productivity, financial viability and scope for reducing erosion risk. This paper considers the continental scale and focuses on estimating the impact of in-situ water harvesting technologies across Africa under current and future agricultural and climate pressure. PESERA is adopted in this continental application as it implicitly considers the impact of land-use and climate and can be readily amended to simulate in-situ WHT. Input data for PESERA; land use, management (crop type and planting dates), soil data and topography are derived from global data resources. Climate data for present and future scenarios are available through the QUEST-GSI initiative, where future scenarios are based on the outputs of seven GCM's.

  5. Phosphorus cycling in agricultural soils. Pt.1: Introduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ritsema, C.J.

    1987-01-01

    The excess of phosphorus brought into the soil system is subject to transformation processes and displacement. In general, the mobility of phosphorus in soil solution will remain low due to the very effective retention possibilities of soil

  6. Capacitive Sensors and Breakthrough Curves in Automated Irrigation for Water and Soil Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahmy Hussein, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Shortness of water resources is the dominant criterion that dampens agricultural expansion in Egypt. Ten times population increase was recorded versus twice increase in the cultivated area during the last 100 years. Significant increase in freshwater supply is not expected in the near future. Consequently, a great deal of water-conservation is required to ameliorate water-use efficiency and to protect soils against sodicity under the prevailing arid-zone conditions. Modern irrigation (pivot, drip and sprinkling) was introduced during the last three decades in newly cultivated lands. However, this was done without automated watering. Moreover, dynamic chemical profile data is lacking in the cultivated lands. These current water conditions are behind this work. Two experimental procedures were used for a conjunctive goal of water and soil conservation. The first procedure used the resonance of analog-oscillators (relative permittivity sensors) based on capacitive Frequency Domain Reflectometry, FDR. Commercially available FDR sensors were calibrated for three soil textures, and solenoids were used to automatically turn on and off irrigation pipes in three experimental plots (via low power AC latching-valves on relay solid-state boards connected to sensors; the valve got closed when soil became sufficiently moist near saturation and opened before reaching wilting point as the relay contacts were defined by variable-resistor on board after sensor calibration). This article reports the results of sensor mV readings versus soil-moisture in the linear parts of calibration diagrams, for known moisture contents from wilting point to saturation, fitted as "power-law of dielectric mixing". The results showed close to optimum watering at soil-surface in the nursery beds when the sensors were sampled every 10 minutes to update the relays. This work is planned to extend to different sensors and drippers for soils with field crops / fruit trees to account for aspects of concern

  7. Effects of agricultural practices of three crops on the soil communities under Mediterranean conditions: field evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitão, Sara; José Cerejeira, Maria; Abreu, Manuela; Sousa, José Paulo

    2014-05-01

    Sustainable agricultural production relies on soil communities as the main actors in key soil processes necessary to maintain sustainable soil functioning. Soil biodiversity influences soil physical and chemical characteristics and thus the sustainability of crop and agro-ecosystems functioning. Agricultural practices (e.g.: soil tillage, pesticides and fertilizer applications, irrigation) may affects negatively or positively soil biodiversity and abundances by modifying the relationships between organisms in the soil ecosystem. The present study aimed to study the influence of agricultural practices of three crops (potato, onion and maize) under Mediterranean climate conditions on soil macro- and mesofauna during their entire crop cycles. Effects on soil communities were assessed at a higher tier of environmental risk assessment comprising field testing of indigenous edaphic communities in a selected study-site located in a major agriculture region of Central Portugal, Ribatejo e Oeste, neighbouring protected wetlands. A reference site near the agricultural field site was selected as a Control site to compare the terrestrial communities' composition and variation along the crop cycle. The field soil and Control site soil are sandy loam soils. Crops irrigation was performed by center-pivot (automated sprinkler that rotates in a half a circle area) and by sprinklers. Soil macro- and mesofauna were collected at both sites (field and Control) using two methodologies through pitfall trapping and soil sampling. The community of soil macro- and mesofauna of the three crops field varied versus control site along the crops cycles. Main differences were due to arachnids, coleopterans, ants and adult Diptera presence and abundance. The feeding activity of soil fauna between control site and crop areas varied only for potato and onion crops vs. control site but not among crops. Concentration of pesticides residues in soil did not cause apparent negative effects on the soil

  8. Variations in the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in industrial and agricultural soils after bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Meixia; Gong, Zongqiang; Allinson, Graeme; Tai, Peidong; Miao, Renhui; Li, Xiaojun; Jia, Chunyun; Zhuang, Jie

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study was to demonstrate the variations in bioavailability remaining in industrial and agricultural soils contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) after bioremediation. After inoculation of Mycobacterium sp. and Mucor sp., PAH biodegradation was tested on a manufactured gas plant (MGP) soil and an agricultural soil. PAH bioavailability was assessed before and after biodegradation using solid-phase extraction (Tenax-TA extraction) and solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) to represent bioaccessibility and chemical activity of PAHs, respectively. Only 3- and 4-ring PAHs were noticeably biodegradable in the MGP soil. PAH biodegradation in the agricultural soil was different from that in the MGP soil. The rapidly desorbing fractions (F(rap)) extracted by Tenax-TA and the freely dissolved concentrations of 3- and 4-ring PAHs determined by SPME from the MGP soil decreased after 30 days biodegradation; those values of the 5- and 6-ring PAHs changed to a lesser degree. For the agricultural soil, the F(rap) values of the 3- and 4-ring PAHs also decreased after the biodegradation experiment. The Tenax-TA extraction and the SPME have the potential to assess variations in the bioavailability of PAHs and the degree of biodegradation in contaminated MGP soils. In addition, Tenax-TA extraction is more sensitive than SPME when used in the agricultural soil.

  9. Conservation program works as an alternative irrigation districts in sustainable water management of agricultural use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Manuel Peinado Guevara

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Water scarcity is an issue of worldwide concern since it is already having an impact on social development. Mexico is not an exception to this problem because in several regions of the country are great difficulties in supplying water, primarily for agricultural use. In Sinaloa, it had been mentioned repeatedly by the media that in the Irrigation District 063, located in the northern of the state, there are problems of water scarcity, and yet there still exist difficulties in conserving the resource. More than 49% of the water used for agriculture is wasted. To resolve this problem, producers and government agencies spend significant resources for investment in water conservation. However, the results have not been entirely satisfactory because the waste is high, a situation that motivates them to study more deeply the main weaknesses that affect sustainable resource use. Farmer’s participation in the administration of water infrastructure is important, as well as providing financial resources for the conservation of water system; and participation in activities of construction and repaired of water infrastructure. Farmer’s should also plan and design strategies for water conservation. This situation requires an appropriate level of technology and intellectual, rather than local producers and thus no complicated sustainable resource management. That is what local producers don’t have and therefore it complicates the sustainable management of the resource.

  10. Social perception of soil conservation benefits in Kondoa eroded area of Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajendra P. Shrestha

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A soil conservation project was implemented in Tanzania for over 30 years. This study applied a socio-economic approach to examine and analyse the benefits of soil conservation in the Kondoa eroded area of Tanzania by conducting a household survey of 240 households. The study findings show that 89% and 70% of respondents consider soil conservation activities have increased vegetation and soil fertility, respectively. Decreased soil erosion was perceived by 68% of respondents, increased firewood by 98%, increased fodder by 50%, high crop yields by 56%, and food sufficiency by 68%. These are the outcomes of conservation tillage, integrated farming and use of organic fertilizers, controlled stall feeding, agroforestry, construction of cut off drains, contour bunds and contour ridges cultivation, which are the main land use practices in the area. Access to extension services, household sizes, long term land ownership, crop incomes and awareness of soil conservation project were found to determine the level of participation in soil conservation. Major challenges are the lack of sustainability of those activities because of a recent policy decision to withdraw conservation investment. Despite the challenge, this study concluded that past government efforts on soil conservation activities initiated since the early 1970s through decentralization, institutional collaboration, socioeconomic support to farmers and continuous local community participation in restoring the degraded ecosystem of Kondoa have contributed to ensure environmental and socio-economic sustainability in the area.

  11. SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES, A GUIDE FOR 4-H CLUB LEADERS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    FOSTER, ALBERT B.; FOX, ADRIAN C.

    THIS PUBLICATION WAS PREPARED BY THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE FOR USE WITH YOUTH GROUPS. VARIOUS ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS ARE PRESENTED WHICH CAN BE USED TO DEVELOP CONCEPTS ABOUT SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION. IN ORDER TO SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS OF DEMONSTRATING THESE ACTIVITIES, MANY OF THE CONCEPTS ARE PICTORIALLY ILLUSTRATED. THE ACTIVITIES…

  12. The Economics of Soil Conservation in Developing Countries: The Case of Crop Residue Mulching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erenstein, O.C.A.

    1999-01-01

    The study contributes to the search for a methodology to assess soil conservation, particularly in developing countries. The study first assesses the economics of soil conservation in general - with special emphasis on the relationships between technology, economic analysis and policy implications.

  13. Tillage for soil and water conservation in the semi-arid tropics

    OpenAIRE

    Hoogmoed, W.B.

    1999-01-01

    Soil tillage is the manipulation of soil which is generally considered as necessary to obtain optimum growth conditions for a crop. In the same time the resulting modification of soil structure has serious implications for the behaviour of the soil to erosive forces by water and wind. In Chapter 1 an introduction is given to the most important aspects: the objectives of tillage, the conflicting requirements set to tillage, the characteristics of soil and water conservation in the semi-arid tr...

  14. Estimations of soil fertility in physically degraded agricultural soils through selective accounting of fine earth and gravel fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagaraja, Mavinakoppa S.; Bhardwaj, Ajay Kumar; Prabhakara Reddy, G. V.; Srinivasamurthy, Chilakunda A.; Kumar, Sandeep

    2016-06-01

    Soil fertility and organic carbon (C) stock estimations are crucial to soil management, especially that of degraded soils, for productive agricultural use and in soil C sequestration studies. Currently, estimations based on generalized soil mass (hectare furrow basis) or bulk density are used which may be suitable for normal agricultural soils, but not for degraded soils. In this study, soil organic C, available nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P2O5) and available potassium (K2O), and their stocks were estimated using three methods: (i) generalized soil mass (GSM, 2 million kg ha-1 furrow soil), (ii) bulk-density-based soil mass (BDSM) and (iii) the proportion of fine earth volume (FEV) method, for soils sampled from physically degraded lands in the eastern dry zone of Karnataka State in India. Comparative analyses using these methods revealed that the soil organic C, N, P2O and K2O stocks determined by using BDSM were higher than those determined by the GSM method. The soil organic C values were the lowest in the FEV method. The GSM method overestimated soil organic C, N, P2O and K2O by 9.3-72.1, 9.5-72.3, 7.1-66.6 and 9.2-72.3 %, respectively, compared to FEV-based estimations for physically degraded soils. The differences among the three methods of estimation were lower in soils with low gravel content and increased with an increase in gravel volume. There was overestimation of soil organic C and soil fertility with GSM and BDSM methods. A reassessment of methods of estimation was, therefore, attempted to provide fair estimates for land development projects in degraded lands.

  15. Maximizing the wildlife conservation value of road right-of-ways in an agriculturally dominated landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCleery, Robert A; Holdorf, Allison R; Hubbard, Laura L; Peer, Brian D

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing recognition that the narrow linear strips of uncultivated vegetation that lie between roads and agricultural crops, referred to as roadside right-of-ways or verges, can serve as areas for the conservation of wildlife. The features of right-of-ways that should influence the composition of wildlife communities vary considerably. Our goal was to determine what features of right-of-ways increased the conservation potential of right-of-ways for wildlife in a grassland system dominated by agricultural production. We sampled 100 right-of-ways for birds and 92 right-of-ways for small mammals in McDonough and Warren Counties in west-central Illinois. We found that the sizes of right-of-ways and the amount of traffic on the adjacent roads synergistically worked to influence wildlife communities. On roads with low traffic, avian species richness increased rapidly with increased right-of-way width, while on roads with high traffic, avian richness increased only slightly with increasing right-of-way widths. We found that wider roadside right-of-ways (preferably across the road from equally wide right-of-ways) with thicker and taller vegetation had the greatest conservation value for birds and small mammals. The features that enhanced the conservation value of right-of-ways in our study area were uncommon. Efforts to create or enhance these features for the benefit of wildlife would likely face numerous obstacles. Nonetheless, from a grassland conservation perspective, working with stakeholders to implement specific strategies to enhance these often neglected areas may be an effective complement to purchasing and restoring conservation lands away from roads.

  16. Stocks of C in soils and emissions of CO2 from agricultural soils in the Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuikman, P.J.; De Groot, W.J.M.; Hendriks, R.F.A.; Verhagen, J.; De Vries, F.

    2003-07-01

    Considerations are presented for the choice of options to calculate and monitor stocks of C in all soils and emissions of CO2 from agricultural soils in the Netherlands for the Kyoto 1990 baseline and following years. The objective of the study was to prepare data for a national submission according to the Common Reporting Format for C stocks on specific land uses, land use changes en C fluxes according to article 5.2 in the Kyoto Protocol. In this study we report on the whereabouts of the C stocks in order to be geographically explicit, discuss the uncertainties in the inventory and analyse future inventory options. Modeling approaches (e.g. CESAR) where other parameters, process-oriented (fluxes), uncertainty measure can be added are discussed.

  17. Mapping soil fractal dimension in agricultural fields with GPR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Oleschko

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available We documented that the mapping of the fractal dimension of the backscattered Ground Penetrating Radar traces (Fractal Dimension Mapping, FDM accomplished over heterogeneous agricultural fields gives statistically sound combined information about the spatial distribution of Andosol' dielectric permittivity, volumetric and gravimetric water content, bulk density, and mechanical resistance under seven different management systems. The roughness of the recorded traces was measured in terms of a single number H, the Hurst exponent, which integrates the competitive effects of volumetric water content, pore topology and mechanical resistance in space and time. We showed the suitability to combine the GPR traces fractal analysis with routine geostatistics (kriging in order to map the spatial variation of soil properties by nondestructive techniques and to quantify precisely the differences under contrasting tillage systems. Three experimental plots with zero tillage and 33, 66 and 100% of crop residues imprinted the highest roughness to GPR wiggle traces (mean HR/S=0.15, significantly different to Andosol under conventional tillage (HR/S=0.47.

  18. Carbon amendment and soil depth affect the distribution and abundance of denitrifiers in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, M; Khalil, M I; Jahangir, M M R; Lee, C; Cardenas, L M; Collins, G; Richards, K G; O'Flaherty, V

    2016-04-01

    The nitrite reductase (nirS and nirK) and nitrous oxide reductase-encoding (nosZ) genes of denitrifying populations present in an agricultural grassland soil were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Samples from three separate pedological depths at the chosen site were investigated: horizon A (0-10 cm), horizon B (45-55 cm), and horizon C (120-130 cm). The effect of carbon addition (treatment 1, control; treatment 2, glucose-C; treatment 3, dissolved organic carbon (DOC)) on denitrifier gene abundance and N2O and N2 fluxes was determined. In general, denitrifier abundance correlated well with flux measurements; nirS was positively correlated with N2O, and nosZ was positively correlated with N2 (P soil (GCC) varied in response to carbon type amendment (P soil depth directly affected bacterial, archaeal, and denitrifier abundance, possibly due to changes in soil carbon availability with depth.

  19. Measuring Soil Water Potential for Water Management in Agriculture: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Bittelli

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Soil water potential is a soil property affecting a large variety of bio-physical processes, such as seed germination, plant growth and plant nutrition. Gradients in soil water potential are the driving forces of water movement, affecting water infiltration, redistribution, percolation, evaporation and plants’ transpiration. The total soil water potential is given by the sum of gravity, matric, osmotic and hydrostatic potential. The quantification of the soil water potential is necessary for a variety of applications both in agricultural and horticultural systems such as optimization of irrigation volumes and fertilization. In recent decades, a large number of experimental methods have been developed to measure the soil water potential, and a large body of knowledge is now available on theory and applications. In this review, the main techniques used to measure the soil water potential are discussed. Subsequently, some examples are provided where the measurement of soil water potential is utilized for a sustainable use of water resources in agriculture.

  20. Fate of phthalates and BPA in agricultural and non-agricultural soils of the Paris area (France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Bich Chau; Teil, Marie-Jeanne; Blanchard, Martine; Alliot, Fabrice; Chevreuil, Marc

    2015-07-01

    This study (i) investigated the concentration levels of nine phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) in sludge samples originating from a French wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), (ii) studied the distribution of target compounds according to soil depth and calculated their half-lives, and (iii) compared the contamination level of the agricultural soil with those of soils with other land uses. The sludge contamination levels varied from a few hundred nanograms per gram dry weight (dw) for diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-iso-butyl phthalate (DiBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), and butyl-benzyl phthalate (BBP) to a few micrograms per gram dw for diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), di-iso-nonyl phthalate (DiNP), and di-iso-decyl phthalate (DiDP). After sludge application, an 8-fold increase for DEHP level and a 3-fold increase for BPA level occurred in the surface horizon of the soil. The mean distribution of phthalates according to the depth showed a positive gradient for the low molecular weight compounds and inversely, a negative gradient for the highest ones. The half-lives in the 0-20-cm soil horizon were 64 days for DEHP and 36 days for BPA. A predictive environmental concentration (PEC) of 0.3 μg g(-1) dw was estimated for DEHP, while the experimental value was 0.16 μg g(-1) dw, suggesting degradation processes in soil and/or formation of non-extractable residues. Comparisons of contamination levels for soils from different origins (urban, rural, agricultural, and forest) showed that the urban soil remained the most contaminated one, prior to the agricultural soil after treatment.

  1. Assessing and monitoring soil quality at agricultural waste disposal areas-Soil Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doula, Maria; Kavvadias, Victor; Sarris, Apostolos; Lolos, Polykarpos; Liakopoulou, Nektaria; Hliaoutakis, Aggelos; Kydonakis, Aris

    2014-05-01

    The necessity of elaborating indicators is one of the priorities identified by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The establishment of an indicator monitoring system for environmental purposes is dependent on the geographical scale. Some indicators such as rain seasonality or drainage density are useful over large areas, but others such as soil depth, vegetation cover type, and land ownership are only applicable locally. In order to practically enhance the sustainability of land management, research on using indicators for assessing land degradation risk must initially focus at local level because management decisions by individual land users are taken at this level. Soils that accept wastes disposal, apart from progressive degradation, may cause serious problems to the surrounding environment (humans, animals, plants, water systems, etc.), and thus, soil quality should be necessarily monitored. Therefore, quality indicators, representative of the specific waste type, should be established and monitored periodically. Since waste composition is dependent on their origin, specific indicators for each waste type should be established. Considering agricultural wastes, such a specification, however, could be difficult, since almost all agricultural wastes are characterized by increased concentrations of the same elements, namely, phosphorous, nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, etc.; contain large amounts of organic matter; and have very high values of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and electrical conductivity. Two LIFE projects, namely AgroStrat and PROSODOL are focused on the identification of soil indicators for the assessment of soil quality at areas where pistachio wastes and olive mill wastes are disposed, respectively. Many soil samples were collected periodically for 2 years during PROSODOL and one year during AgroStrat (this project is in progress) from waste disposal areas and analyzed for 23 parameters

  2. Lead in Urban Soils: A Real or Perceived Concern for Urban Agriculture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Sally L; Chaney, Rufus L; Hettiarachchi, Ganga M

    2016-01-01

    Urban agriculture is growing in cities across the United States. It has the potential to provide multiple benefits, including increased food security. Concerns about soil contamination in urban areas can be an impediment to urban agriculture. Lead is the most common contaminant in urban areas. In this paper, direct (soil ingestion via outdoor and indoor exposure) and indirect (consumption of food grown in Pb-contaminated soils) exposure pathways are reviewed. It is highly unlikely that urban agriculture will increase incidences of elevated blood Pb for children in urban areas. This is due to the high likelihood that agriculture will improve soils in urban areas, resulting in reduced bioavailability of soil Pb and reduced fugitive dust. Plant uptake of Pb is also typically very low. The exceptions are low-growing leafy crops where soil-splash particle contamination is more likely and expanded hypocotyl root vegetables (e.g., carrot). However, even with higher bioaccumulation factors, it is not clear that the Pb in root vegetables or any other crops will be absorbed after eating. Studies have shown limited absorption of Pb when ingested with food. Best management practices to assure minimal potential for exposure are also common practices in urban gardens. These include the use of residuals-based composts and soil amendments and attention to keeping soil out of homes. This review suggests that benefits associated with urban agriculture far outweigh any risks posed by elevated soil Pb.

  3. Relationship between light and heavy fractions of organic matter for several agricultural soils in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YIN Yun-feng; CAI Zu-cong; LU Jia-long

    2005-01-01

    Although numerous studies about the nature and turnover of soil organic matter(SOM) in light and heavy fractions( LFOM and HFOM, respectively) have been made, little information is available in relation to the relationship between LFOM and HFOM, and no attempts have been made to quantify a general relationship between LFOM and HFOM for agricultural soils under field condition. Our hypothesis is there may be an inherent relationship between LFOM and HFOM for agricultural soils under certain unaltered management practices for a long period, to this end, we therefore studied typically soils taken from different parts in China by using a simple density fractionation procedure. The results indicated that LFOM was positively correlated with LFOM/HFOM ratio for three typical soils. This information will be of particular use not only in deepening our understanding of the dynamics of SOM fractions but also in evaluating the potential of agricultural soils to sequestrate C under different management practices in a long term.

  4. Biochar effect on maize yield and soil characteristics in five conservation farming sites in Zambia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Gerard; Martinsen, Vegard; Shitumbanuma, Victor; Alling, Vanja; Breedveld, Gijs D.; Rutherford, David W.; Sparrevik, Magnus; Hale, Sarah E.; Obia, Alfred; Mulder, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Biochar addition to agricultural soils can improve soil fertility, with the added bonus of climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Conservation farming (CF) is precision farming, often combining minimum tillage, crop rotation and residue retention. In the present farmer-led field trials carried out in Zambia, the use of a low dosage biochar combined with CF minimum tillage was tested as a way to increase crop yields. Using CF minimum tillage allows the biochar to be applied to the area where most of the plant roots are present and mirrors the fertilizer application in CF practices. The CF practice used comprised manually hoe-dug planting 10-L sized basins, where 10%–12% of the land was tilled. Pilot trials were performed with maize cob biochar and wood biochar on five soils with variable physical/chemical characteristics. At a dosage as low as 4 tons/ha, both biochars had a strong positive effect on maize yields in the coarse white aeolian sand of Kaoma, West-Zambia, with yields of 444% ± 114% (p = 0.06) and 352% ± 139% (p = 0.1) of the fertilized reference plots for maize and wood biochar, respectively. Thus for sandy acidic soils, CF and biochar amendment can be a promising combination for increasing harvest yield. Moderate but non-significant effects on yields were observed for maize and wood biochar in a red sandy clay loam ultisol east of Lusaka, central Zambia (University of Zambia, UNZA, site) with growth of 142% ± 42% (p > 0.2) and 131% ± 62% (p > 0.2) of fertilized reference plots, respectively. For three other soils (acidic and neutral clay loams and silty clay with variable cation exchange capacity, CEC), no significant effects on maize yields were observed (p > 0.2). In laboratory trials, 5% of the two biochars were added to the soil samples in order to study the effect of the biochar on physical and chemical soil characteristics. The large increase in crop yield in Kaoma soil was tentatively explained by a combination of an

  5. Biochar Effect on Maize Yield and Soil Characteristics in Five Conservation Farming Sites in Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Obia

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Biochar addition to agricultural soils can improve soil fertility, with the added bonus of climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration. Conservation farming (CF is precision farming, often combining minimum tillage, crop rotation and residue retention. In the present farmer-led field trials carried out in Zambia, the use of a low dosage biochar combined with CF minimum tillage was tested as a way to increase crop yields. Using CF minimum tillage allows the biochar to be applied to the area where most of the plant roots are present and mirrors the fertilizer application in CF practices. The CF practice used comprised manually hoe-dug planting 10-L sized basins, where 10%–12% of the land was tilled. Pilot trials were performed with maize cob biochar and wood biochar on five soils with variable physical/chemical characteristics. At a dosage as low as 4 tons/ha, both biochars had a strong positive effect on maize yields in the coarse white aeolian sand of Kaoma, West-Zambia, with yields of 444% ± 114% (p = 0.06 and 352% ± 139% (p = 0.1 of the fertilized reference plots for maize and wood biochar, respectively. Thus for sandy acidic soils, CF and biochar amendment can be a promising combination for increasing harvest yield. Moderate but non-significant effects on yields were observed for maize and wood biochar in a red sandy clay loam ultisol east of Lusaka, central Zambia (University of Zambia, UNZA, site with growth of 142% ± 42% (p > 0.2 and 131% ± 62% (p > 0.2 of fertilized reference plots, respectively. For three other soils (acidic and neutral clay loams and silty clay with variable cation exchange capacity, CEC, no significant effects on maize yields were observed (p > 0.2. In laboratory trials, 5% of the two biochars were added to the soil samples in order to study the effect of the biochar on physical and chemical soil characteristics. The large increase in crop yield in Kaoma soil was tentatively explained by a combination

  6. Soil and geography are more important determinants of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal communities than management practices in Swiss agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansa, Jan; Erb, Angela; Oberholzer, Hans-Rudolf; Smilauer, Petr; Egli, Simon

    2014-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ubiquitous soil fungi, forming mutualistic symbiosis with a majority of terrestrial plant species. They are abundant in nearly all soils, less diverse than soil prokaryotes and other intensively studied soil organisms and thus are promising candidates for universal indicators of land management legacies and soil quality degradation. However, insufficient data on how the composition of indigenous AMF varies along soil and landscape gradients have hampered the definition of baselines and effect thresholds to date. Here, indigenous AMF communities in 154 agricultural soils collected across Switzerland were profiled by quantitative real-time PCR with taxon-specific markers for six widespread AMF species. To identify the key determinants of AMF community composition, the profiles were related to soil properties, land management and site geography. Our results indicate a number of well-supported dependencies between abundances of certain AMF taxa and soil properties such as pH, soil fertility and texture, and a surprising lack of effect of available soil phosphorus on the AMF community profiles. Site geography, especially the altitude and large geographical distance, strongly affected AMF communities. Unexpected was the apparent lack of a strong land management effect on the AMF communities as compared to the other predictors, which could be due to the rarity of highly intensive and unsustainable land management in Swiss agriculture. In spite of the extensive coverage of large geographical and soil gradients, we did not identify any taxon suitable as an indicator of land use among the six taxa we studied.

  7. Quantification of parameters controlling the carbon stocks in German agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vos, Cora; Don, Axel; Freibauer, Annette; Heidkamp, Arne; Prietz, Roland

    2016-04-01

    Within the framework of UNFCCC, Germany is obligated to report on its greenhouse gas emissions from soils. This also includes the emissions in the agricultural sector. Changes in soil carbon stocks are a major source of CO2 that need to be reported. Until now there are only regional inventories of the soil carbon stocks in the agricultural sector while for the forestry sector a repeated national inventory exists. In order to report on changes in soil carbon stocks in agricultural soils, a consistent, representative and quantitative dataset of agricultural soil properties, especially on carbon stocks and management data is necessary. In the course of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory 3109 agricultural sites are examined. Up to January 2016, 2450 sites were sampled. The sites are sampled in five depth increments and all samples are analyzed in the same laboratory. Of the sampled sites the laboratory analyses are completed for 1312 sites. The samples of all depth increments were analyzed for their texture, bulk density, pH, electric conductivity, stone and root content, organic and inorganic carbon content and nitrogen content. The data are coupled with management data covering the past ten years and with climate data. They are analyzed with multivariate statistical techniques (e.g. mixed effects models, additive models, random forest) to quantify the parameters that control the carbon stocks in German agricultural soils. First descriptive results show that the mean soil carbon stocks down to a depth of 100 cm are 126.1 t ha-1 (range 8.9-1158.9 t ha-1). The mean stocks only for croplands are 102.6 t ha-1 (range 8.9-1158.9 t ha-1), while for grasslands the mean stock is 184.1 t ha-1 (range 19.4-937.8 t ha-1). In total the soil scientists found a surprisingly high proportion of disturbed and unusual soil profiles, indicating intensive human modifications of agricultural soils through e.g. deep ploughing. The data set of the German Agricultural Soil Inventory is the

  8. Bacterial indicator of agricultural management for soil under no-till crop production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva L M Figuerola

    Full Text Available The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between

  9. Bacterial indicator of agricultural management for soil under no-till crop production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figuerola, Eva L M; Guerrero, Leandro D; Rosa, Silvina M; Simonetti, Leandro; Duval, Matías E; Galantini, Juan A; Bedano, José C; Wall, Luis G; Erijman, Leonardo

    2012-01-01

    The rise in the world demand for food poses a challenge to our ability to sustain soil fertility and sustainability. The increasing use of no-till agriculture, adopted in many areas of the world as an alternative to conventional farming, may contribute to reduce the erosion of soils and the increase in the soil carbon pool. However, the advantages of no-till agriculture are jeopardized when its use is linked to the expansion of crop monoculture. The aim of this study was to survey bacterial communities to find indicators of soil quality related to contrasting agriculture management in soils under no-till farming. Four sites in production agriculture, with different soil properties, situated across a west-east transect in the most productive region in the Argentinean pampas, were taken as the basis for replication. Working definitions of Good no-till Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Poor no-till Agricultural Practices (PAP) were adopted for two distinct scenarios in terms of crop rotation, fertilization, agrochemicals use and pest control. Non-cultivated soils nearby the agricultural sites were taken as additional control treatments. Tag-encoded pyrosequencing was used to deeply sample the 16S rRNA gene from bacteria residing in soils corresponding to the three treatments at the four locations. Although bacterial communities as a whole appeared to be structured chiefly by a marked biogeographic provincialism, the distribution of a few taxa was shaped as well by environmental conditions related to agricultural management practices. A statistically supported approach was used to define candidates for management-indicator organisms, subsequently validated using quantitative PCR. We suggest that the ratio between the normalized abundance of a selected group of bacteria within the GP1 group of the phylum Acidobacteria and the genus Rubellimicrobium of the Alphaproteobacteria may serve as a potential management-indicator to discriminate between sustainable vs. non

  10. Development of a New Zealand SedNet model for assessment of catchment-wide soil-conservation works

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dymond, John R.; Herzig, Alexander; Basher, Les; Betts, Harley D.; Marden, Mike; Phillips, Chris J.; Ausseil, Anne-Gaelle E.; Palmer, David J.; Clark, Maree; Roygard, Jon

    2016-03-01

    Much hill country in New Zealand has been converted from indigenous forest to pastoral agriculture, resulting in increased soil erosion. Following a severe storm that hit the Manawatu-Wanaganui region in 2004 and caused 62,000 landslides, the Horizons Regional Council have implemented the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI), a programme of widespread soil conservation. We have developed a New Zealand version (SedNetNZ) of the Australian SedNet model to evaluate the impact of the SLUI programme in the 5850 km2 Manawatu catchment. SedNetNZ spatially distributes budgets of fine sediment in the landscape. It incorporates landslide, gully, earthflow erosion, surficial erosion, bank erosion, and flood-plain deposition, the important forms of soil erosion in New Zealand. Modelled suspended sediment loads compared well with measured suspended sediment loads with an R2 value of 0.85 after log transformation. A sensitivity analysis gave the uncertainty of estimated suspended sediment loads to be approximately plus or minus 50% (at the 95% confidence level). It is expected that by 2040, suspended sediment loads in targeted water management zones will decrease by about 40%. The expected decrease for the whole catchment is 34%. The expected reduction is due to maturity of tree planting on land at risk to soil erosion. The 34% reduction represents an annual rate of return of 20% on 20 million NZ of investment on soil conservation works through avoided damage to property and infrastructure and avoided clean-up costs.

  11. Irrigation Water Management Recovery on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 449

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP449), Irrigation...

  12. Irrigation Canals or Laterals on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 320

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP320), Irrigation...

  13. Surface Drainage, Field Ditches on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 607

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP607), Surface...

  14. Terrace Farming on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 600

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP600), Terrace...

  15. Irrigation Water Conveyance by Pipelines on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 430

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP430), Irrigation...

  16. Subsurface Drains on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 606

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP606), Subsurface...

  17. Contour Farming on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 330

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP330), Contour...

  18. Irrigation System by Tailwater Recovery on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 447

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP447), Irrigation...

  19. Pressure Irrigation on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice IT02

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CPIT02), Pressure...

  20. Irrigation Land Leveling on Agricultural Land in the Conterminous United States, 1992: National Resource Inventory Conservation Practice 464

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This data set represents the estimated percentage of the 1-km grid cell that is covered by or subject to the agricultural conservation practice (CP464), Irrigation...

  1. Assessment and mapping of environmental quality in agricultural soils of Zhejiang Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENG Jie-liang; SHI Zhou; ZHU You-wei

    2007-01-01

    Heavy metal concentrations in agricultural soils of Zhejiang Province were monitored to indicate the status of heavy metal contamination and assess environmental quality of agricultural soils. A total of 908 soil samples were collected from 38 counties in Zhejiang Province and eight heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Cu, Zn, Ni and As) concentrations had been evaluated in agricultural soil. It was found 775 samples were unpolluted and 133 samples were slightly polluted and more respectively, that is about 14.65% agricultural soil samples had the heavy metal concentration above the threshold level in this province by means of Nemerow's synthetical pollution index method according to the second grade of Standards for Soil Environmental Quality of China (GB15618-1995). Contamination of Cd was the highest, followed by Pb, As and Hg were lower correspondingly. Moreover, Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation method was used to make an assessment map of soil environmental quality based on the Nemerow's pollution index and the soil environmental quality was categorized into five grades. Moreover, ten indices were calculated as input parameters for Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and the principal components (PCs) were created to compare environmental quality of different soils and regions. The results revealed that environmental quality of tea soils was better than that of paddy soils, vegetable soils and fruit soils. This study indicated that GIS combined with multivariate statistical approaches proved to be effective and powerful tool in the mapping of soil contaminations distribution and the assessment of soil environmental quality on provincial scale, which is benefited to environmental protection and management decision-making by local government.

  2. Changes in Soil Chemistry and Agricultural Return Flow in an Integrated Seawater Agriculture System (ISAS) Demonstration in Abu Dhabi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ning, Q.; Matiin, W. A.; Ahmad, F.

    2012-12-01

    Growing halophytes using Integrated Seawater Agriculture Systems (ISAS) offers a sustainable solution for the generation of biomass feedstock for carbon neutral biofuels - halophytes do not enter the foodchain and they do not compete with food-crops for natural resources. A field demonstration of ISAS in the coastal regions of Abu Dhabi, UAE, scheduled to start in 2013, will likely face a number of region-specific challenges not encountered in past demonstrations of ISAS at coastal locations in Mexico and Eritrea. The arid climate, unique soil chemistry (evaporite deposits, especially gypsum), and hypersaline coastal hydrogeology of Abu Dhabi will affect long-term halophyte agricultural productivity when Arabian Gulf seawater is applied to coastal soils as part of ISAS. Therefore, the changes in irrigation return flow quality and soil chemistry must be monitored closely over time to establish transient salt and water balances in order to assess the sustainability of ISAS in the region. As an initial phase of the ISAS demonstration project, numerical modeling of different seawater loadings onto coastal soils was conducted to estimate the chemical characteristics of soil and the irrigation return flow over time. These modeling results will be validated with field monitoring data upon completion of one year of ISAS operation. The results from this study could be used to (i) determine the optimal saline water loading that the soils at the ISAS site can tolerate, (ii) potential for sodicity of the soil with saline water application, (iii) impacts of land application of saline water on underlying coastal groundwater, and (iv) develop strategies to control soil water activities in favor of halophyte agricultural productivity.

  3. Evaluation for Water Conservation in Agriculture: Using a Multi-Method Econometric Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, A.; Eaton, D. J.

    2012-12-01

    Since the 1960's, farmers have implemented new irrigation technology to increase crop production and planting acreage. At that time, technology responded to the increasing demand for food due to world population growth. Currently, the problem of decreased water supply threatens to limit agricultural production. Uncertain precipitation patterns, from prolonged droughts to irregular rains, will continue to hamper planting operations, and farmers are further limited by an increased competition for water from rapidly growing urban areas. Irrigation technology promises to reduce water usage while maintaining or increasing farm yields. The challenge for water managers and policy makers is to quantify and redistribute these efficiency gains as a source of 'new water.' Using conservation in farming as a source of 'new water' requires accurately quantifying the efficiency gains of irrigation technology under farmers' actual operations and practices. From a water resource management and policy perspective, the efficiency gains from conservation in farming can be redistributed to municipal, industrial and recreational uses. This paper presents a methodology that water resource managers can use to statistically verify the water savings attributable to conservation technology. The specific conservation technology examined in this study is precision leveling, and the study includes a mixed-methods approach using four different econometric models: Ordinary Least Squares, Fixed Effects, Propensity Score Matching, and Hierarchical Linear Models. These methods are used for ex-post program evaluation where random assignment is not possible, and they could be employed to evaluate agricultural conservation programs, where participation is often self-selected. The principal method taken in this approach is Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM), a useful model for agriculture because it incorporates the hierarchical nature of the data (fields, tenants, and landowners) as well as crop rotation

  4. Phytoremediation of soil polluted by nickel using agricultural crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giordani, Cesare; Cecchi, Stefano; Zanchi, Camillo

    2005-11-01

    Soil pollution due to heavy metals is widespread; on the world scale, it involves about 235 million hectares. The objectives of this research were to establish the uptake efficiency of nickel by some agricultural crops. In addition, we wanted to establish also in which part of plants the metal is stored for an eventual use of biomass or for recycling the metal. The experiments included seven herbaceous crops such as: barley (Hordeum vulgaris), cabbage (Brassica juncea), spinach (Spinacea oleracea), sorghum (Sorgum vulgare), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and ricinus (Ricinus communis). We used three levels of treatment (150, 300, and 600 ppm) and one control. At the end of the biological cycle of the crops, the different parts of plants, i.e., roots, stems, leaves, fruits, or seeds, were separately collected, oven dried, weighed, milled, and separately analysed. The leaves and stems of spinach showed a very good nickel storage capacity. The ricinus too proved to be a very good nickel storer. The ability of spinach and ricinus to store nickel was observed also in the leaves of cabbage, even if with a lower storage capacity. The bean, barley, and tomato, in decreasing order of uptake and storage capacity, showed a high concentration of nickel in leaves and stems, whereas the sorghum evidenced a lesser capacity to uptake and store nickel in leaves and stems. The bean was the most efficient in storing nickel in fruits or grains. Tomato, sorghum, and barley have shown a storage capacity notably less than bean. The bean appeared to be the most efficient in accumulating nickel in the roots, followed in decreasing order by sorghum, ricinus, and tomato. With regard to the removal of nickel, spinach was the most efficient as it contains the highest level of this metal per gram of dry matter. The ricinus, cabbage, bean, sorghum, barley, and tomato evidenced a progressively decreasing efficiency in the removal of nickel.

  5. Soil biota community structure and abundance under agricultural intensification and extensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postma-Blaauw, Maria B; de Goede, Ron G M; Bloem, Jaap; Faber, Jack H; Brussaard, Lijbert

    2010-02-01

    Understanding the impacts of agricultural intensification and extensification on soil biota communities is useful in order to preserve and restore biological diversity in agricultural soils and enhance the role of soil biota in agroecosystem functioning. Over four consecutive years, we investigated the effects of agricultural intensification and extensification (including conversion of grassland to arable land and vice versa, increased and decreased levels of mineral fertilization, and monoculture compared to crop rotation) on major soil biota group abundances and functional diversity. We integrated and compared effects across taxonomic levels to identify sensitive species groups. Conversion of grassland to arable land negatively affected both abundances and functional diversity of soil biota. Further intensification of the cropping system by increased fertilization and reduced crop diversity exerted smaller and differential effects on different soil biota groups. Agricultural intensification affected abundances of taxonomic groups with larger body size (earthworms, enchytraeids, microarthropods, and nematodes) more negatively than smaller-sized taxonomic groups (protozoans, bacteria, and fungi). Also functional group diversity and composition were more negatively affected in larger-sized soil biota (earthworms, predatory mites) than in smaller-sized soil biota (nematodes). Furthermore, larger soil biota appeared to be primarily affected by short-term consequences of conversion (disturbance, loss of habitat), whereas smaller soil biota were predominantly affected by long-term consequences (probably loss of organic matter). Reestablishment of grassland resulted in increased abundances of soil biota groups, but since not all groups increased in the same measure, the community structure was not completely restored. We concluded that larger-sized soil biota are more sensitive to agricultural intensification than smaller-sized soil biota. Furthermore, since larger

  6. Improved Biodegradation of 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene by Adapted Microorganisms in Agricultural Soil and in Soil Suspension Cultures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Yang; WANG Fang; F. O. KENGARA; BIAN Yong-Rong; YANG Xing-Lun; LIU Cui-Ying; JIANG Xin

    2011-01-01

    Inoculating soil with an adapted microbial community is a more effective bioaugrnentation approach than inoculation with pure strains in bioremediation.However,information on the potential of different inocula from sites with varying contamination levels and pollution histories in soil remediation is lacking.The objective of the study was to investigate the potential of adapted microorganisms in soil inocula,with different contamination levels and pollution histories,to degrade 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4-TCB).Three different soils from chlorobenzene-contaminated sites were inoculated into agricultural soils and soil suspension cultures spiked with 1,2,4-TCB.The results showed that 36.52% of the initially applied 1,2,4-TCB was present in the non-inoculated soil,whereas about 19.00% of 1,2,4-TCB was present in the agricultural soils inoculated with contaminated soils after 28 days of incubation.The soils inoculated with adapted microbial biomass (in the soil inocula) showed higher respiration and lower 1,2,4-TCB volatilization than the non-inoculated soils,suggesting the existence of 1,2,4-TCB adapted degraders in the contaminated soils used for inoculation.It was further confirmed in the contaminated soil suspension cultures that the concentration of inorganic chloride ions increased continuously over the entire experimental period.Higher contamination of the inocula led not only to higher degradation potential but also to higher residue formation.However,even inocula of low-level contamination were effective in enhancing the degradation of 1,2,4-TCB.Therefore,applying adapted microorganisms in the form of soil inocula,especially with lower contamination levels,could be an effective and environment-friendly strategy for soil remediation.

  7. EnviroAtlas - Percent Agriculture on Hydric Soil for the Conterminous United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This EnviroAtlas dataset contains data on Agricultural Land Coverage on Hydric Soils for each Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD) 12-Digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC-12)...

  8. A study on scheme of soil and water conservation regionalization in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Yan; WANG Zhiguo; SUN Baoping; ZHANG Chao; JI Qiang; FENG Lei; SHI Mingchang

    2013-01-01

    Regionalization of soil and water conservation is a base for the planning of soil and water conservation in China.It can provide scientific basis for constructing healthy eco-environment and regional management and development.It makes a brief review of related regionalization of study and makes clear the concept of regionalization of soil and water conservation.In this paper,based on synthetical analysis of the characteristics of eco-environments of China,the principles,indices and nomenclature of the regionalization of soil and water conservation are proposed.Through the construction of the regionalization of soil and water conservation collaboration platform and data reporting system,combined with existing soil and water conservation research,this paper uses the top-down and bottom-up and the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to build soil and water conservation regionalization preliminary scheme,with 8 regions,41 sub-regions and 117 sections divided in China.

  9. Estimation of PCB content in agricultural soils associated with long-term fertilization with organic waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antolín-Rodríguez, Juan M; Sánchez-Báscones, Mercedes; Martín-Ramos, Pablo; Bravo-Sánchez, Carmen T; Martín-Gil, Jesús

    2016-06-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution related to the use of organic waste as fertilizers in agricultural soils is a cause of major concern. In the study presented herein, PCB concentration was studied through a field trial conducted in two agricultural soils in the province of Palencia (Spain) over a 4-year period, assessing the impact of irrigation and of different types of organic waste materials. The amounts of organic waste added to the soil were calculated according to the nitrogen needs of the crop, and the concentration of PCBs was determined before and after the application of the organic waste. The resulting persistence of the total PCB content in the agricultural soils, compared with the PCB concentration in the original soils, ranged from 27% to 90%, with the lowest value corresponding to irrigated soils treated with municipal solid waste compost (MSWC) and the highest value to non-irrigated soils treated with composted sewage sludge (CSS). An estimate of the PCB content in agricultural soils after the application of organic waste materials until year 2050 was obtained, resulting in a value below 5 ng·g(-1), considered a background value for soils in sites far away from potential pollution sources.

  10. Organic matter composition of soil macropore surfaces under different agricultural management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glæsner, Nadia; Leue, Marin; Magid, Jacob; Gerke, Horst H.

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the heterogeneous nature of soil, i.e. properties and processes occurring specifically at local scales is essential for best managing our soil resources for agricultural production. Examination of intact soil structures in order to obtain an increased understanding of how soil systems operate from small to large scale represents a large gap within soil science research. Dissolved chemicals, nutrients and particles are transported through the disturbed plow layer of agricultural soil, where after flow through the lower soil layers occur by preferential flow via macropores. Rapid movement of water through macropores limit the contact between the preferentially moving water and the surrounding soil matrix, therefore contact and exchange of solutes in the water is largely restricted to the surface area of the macropores. Organomineral complex coated surfaces control sorption and exchange properties of solutes, as well as availability of essential nutrients to plant roots and to the preferentially flowing water. DRIFT (Diffuse Reflectance infrared Fourier Transform) Mapping has been developed to examine composition of organic matter coated macropores. In this study macropore surfaces structures will be determined for organic matter composition using DRIFT from a long-term field experiment on waste application to agricultural soil (CRUCIAL, close to Copenhagen, Denmark). Parcels with 5 treatments; accelerated household waste, accelerated sewage sludge, accelerated cattle manure, NPK and unfertilized, will be examined in order to study whether agricultural management have an impact on the organic matter composition of intact structures.

  11. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is readily biodegradable in agricultural soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Rajab, Abdul Jabbar; Sabourin, Lyne [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON, Canada N5V 4T3 (Canada); Lapen, David R. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa ON, Canada K1A 0C6 (Canada); Topp, Edward, E-mail: ed.topp@agr.gc.ca [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON, Canada N5V 4T3 (Canada)

    2010-12-01

    Diclofenac, 2-[2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino]phenyl]acetic acid, is an important non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug widely used for human and animals to reduce inflammation and pain. Diclofenac could potentially reach agricultural lands through the application of municipal biosolids or wastewater, and in the absence of any environmental fate data, we evaluated its persistence in agricultural soils incubated in the laboratory. {sup 14}C-Diclofenac was rapidly mineralized without a lag when added to soils varying widely in texture (sandy loam, loam, clay loam). Over a range of temperature and moisture conditions extractable {sup 14}C-diclofenac residues decreased with half lives < 5 days. No extractable transformation products were detectable by HPLC. Diclofenac mineralization in the loam soil was abolished by heat sterilization. Addition of biosolids to sterile or non-sterile soil did not accelerate the dissipation of diclofenac. These findings indicate that diclofenac is readily biodegradable in agricultural soils.

  12. A conservation ontology and knowledge base to support delivery of technical assistance to agricultural producers in the united states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Information systems supporting the delivery of conservation technical assistance by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to agricultural producers on working lands have become increasingly complex over the past 25 years. They are constrained by inconsistent coordination of domain knowl...

  13. Response of soil properties and microbial communities to agriculture: Implications for primary productivity and soil health indicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pankaj Trivedi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil’s capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early-indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as ‘biomarker’ indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential is essential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. Herein we conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health ( total C and N; C:N ratio, primary productivity (NPP and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical. In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g. Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of

  14. Antimicrobial resistance among Pseudomonas spp. and the Bacillus cereus group isolated from Danish agricultural soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Bogø; Baloda, S.; Boye, Mette;

    2001-01-01

    From four Danish pig farms, bacteria of Pseudomonas spp. and the Bacillus cereus group were isolated from soil and susceptibility towards selected antimicrobials was tested. From each farm, soil samples representing soil just before and after spread of animal waste and undisturbed agricultural soil......, when possible, were collected. Soil from a well-characterized Danish farm soil (Hojbakkegaard) was collected for comparison. The Psudomonas spp. and B. cereus were chosen as representative for Gram-negative and Gram-positive indigenous soil bacteria to test the effect of spread of animal waste...... on selection of resistance among soil bacteria. No variations in resistance levels were observed between farms; but when the four differently treated soils were compared, resistance was seen for carbadox, chloramphenicol, nalidixan (nalidixic acid), nitrofurantoin, streptomycin and tetracycline for Pseudomonas...

  15. Study on the Value of Forest to Conserve Soil and Water in Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Forest has a strongfunction in storing water, conserving soil and protecting farmland. In the study, based on fleld management and survey, these effects of forest in Beijing were determined and quantified. According to the principles and methodology of environment economics, the values of forest to conserve soil and water were accounted. The result shows that the total value of forest to conserve soil and water in Beijing is as much as 1129.58×10~8 yuan, in which the value of water storage is 1107.92×10...

  16. Mineralization of soil organic matter in biochar amended agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chintala, R.; Clay, D. E.; Schumacher, T. E.; Kumar, S.; Malo, D. D.

    2015-12-01

    Pyrogenic biochar materials have been identified as a promising soil amendment to enhance climate resilience, increase soil carbon recalcitrance and achieve sustainable crop production. A three year field study was initiated in 2013 to study the impact of biochar on soil carbon and nitrogen storage on an eroded Maddock soil series - Sandy, Mixed, Frigid Entic Hapludolls) and deposition Brookings clay loam (Fine-Silty, Mixed, Superactive, Frigid Pachic Hapludolls) landscape positions. Three biochars produced from corn stover (Zea mays L.), Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson and C. Lawson) wood residue, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) were incorporated at 9.75 Mg ha-1 rate (≈7.5 cm soil depth and 1.3 g/cm3 soil bulk density) with a rototiller. The changes in chemical fractionation of soil carbon (soluble C, acid hydrolyzable C, total C, and δ13 C) and nitrogen (soluble N, acid hydrolyzable N, total N, and δ14 N) were monitored for two soil depths (0-7.5 and 7.5 - 15 cm). Soluble and acid hydrolyzable fractions of soil C and N were influenced by soil series and were not significantly affected by incorporation of biochars. Based on soil and plant samples to be collected in the fall of 2015, C and N budgets are being developed using isotopic and non-isotopic techniques. Laboratory studies showed that the mean residence time for biochars used in this study ranged from 400 to 666 years. Laboratory and field studies will be compared in the presentation.

  17. Using machine learning to predict the impact of agricultural factors on communities of soil microarthropods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dem?ar, D.; D?eroski, S.; Krogh, P. H.

    2005-01-01

    With the newly arisen ecological awareness in the agriculture the sustainable use and development of the land is getting more important. With the sustainable use of soil in mind, we are developing a decision support system that helps making decisions on managing agricultural systems and is able t...

  18. Lead in urban soils - A real or perceived concern for urban agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban agriculture is growing in cities across the U.S. and it has the potential to provide multiple benefits including increased food security. Concerns about soil contamination in urban areas can be an impediment to urban agriculture. Lead is the most common contaminant in urban areas. A review ...

  19. Bioavailability and soil-to-plant transfer factors as indicators of potentially toxic element contamination in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamo, Paola; Iavazzo, Pietro; Albanese, Stefano; Agrelli, Diana; De Vivo, Benedetto; Lima, Annamaria

    2014-12-01

    Soil pollution in agricultural lands poses a serious threat to food safety, and suggests the need for consolidated methods providing advisory indications for soil management and crop production. In this work, the three-step extraction procedure developed by the EU Measurement and Testing Programme and two soil-to-plant transfer factors (relative to total and bioavailable concentration of elements in soil) were applied on polluted agricultural soils from southern Italy to obtain information on the retention mechanisms of metals in soils and on their level of translocation to edible vegetables. The study was carried out in the Sarno river plain of Campania, an area affected by severe environmental degradation potentially impacting the health of those consuming locally produced vegetables. Soil samples were collected in 36 locations along the two main rivers flowing into the plain. In 11 sites, lettuce plants were collected at the normal stage of consumption. According to Italian environmental law governing residential soils, and on the basis of soil background reference values for the study area, we found diffuse pollution by Be, Sn and Tl, of geogenic origin, Cr and Cu from anthropogenic sources such as tanneries and intensive agriculture, and more limited pollution by Pb, Zn and V. It was found that metals polluting soils as a result of human activities were mainly associated to residual, oxidizable and reducible phases, relatively immobile and only potentially bioavailable to plants. By contrast, the essential elements Zn and Cu showed a tendency to become more readily mobile and bioavailable as their total content in soil increased and were more easily transported to the edible parts of lettuce than other pollutants. According to our results, current soil pollution in the studied area does not affect the proportion of metals taken up by lettuce plants and there is a limited health risk incurred.

  20. Soil micronutrients at the plot scale under agricultural and forest soil uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva Días, Rosane; Vidal Vázquez, Eva; dos Santos Batista Bonini, Carolina; Marasca, Indiamara; Paz-Ferreiro, Jorge

    2013-04-01

    Land use practices affect soil properties and nutrient supply. Very limited data are available on the heavy metal extractability in northwest Spain. The aim of this study is to analyze long-term effects of land use on the supply, variability and spatial distribution of soil nutrients, which was undertaken by comparison of a forest and a cultivated stand, rich in organic matter content. The study was carried out in an acid, rich in organic matter soil developed over sediments at the province of Lugo, northwestern of Spain. Adjacent plots with were marked on regular square grids with 2-m spacing. Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu were extracted both by Mehlich-3 and DTPA solutions and determined by ICP-MS. General soil chemical and physical properties were routinely analyzed. In arable land microelement concentration ranges were as follows: Fe (100 and 135 mg/Kg), Mn (7.6 and 21.5 mg/Kg), Zn (0.6 and 3.7 mg/Kg), Cu (0.2 and 0.7 mg/Kg). In forest land, these ranges were: Fe (62 and 309 mg/Kg), Mn (0.2 and 2.1 mg/Kg), Zn (0.2 and 2.9 mg/Kg), Cu (0.1 and 0.2 mg/Kg), Microelement concentrations extracted both with DTPA and Mehlich-3 were higher in the cultivated than in the forest stand, being Fe-DTPA the exception. Coefficients of variation were higher for the microelement content of the soil under forest. Principal component analysis was performed to evaluate associations between extractable microelements and general physico-chemical properties. At the study scale, nutrient management is the main factor affecting the agricultural site, whereas soil-plant interactions are probably driving the higher variation within the forest site. Patterns of spatial variability of the study nutrients at the small plot scale were assessed by geostatistical techniques. Results are discussed in the frame of organic matter decline with conventional tillage and sustainable land use.

  1. Valuing Supporting Soil Ecosystem Services in Agriculture: A Natural Capital Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brady, M.V.; Hedlund, K.; Cong, R.G.; Hemerik, L.; Hotes, S.; Machado, S.; Mattson, L.; Schulz, E.; Thomsen, I.K.

    2015-01-01

    Soil biodiversity through its delivery of ecosystem functions and attendant supporting ecosystem services—benefits soil organisms generate for farmers—underpins agricultural production. Yet lack of practical methods to value the long-term effects of current farming practices results, inevitably, in

  2. Urban and agricultural soils: conflicts and trade-offs in the optimization of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Setälä, H.; Bardgett, R.D.; Birkhofer, K.; Brady, M.; Byrne, L.; de Ruiter, P.C.; de Vries, F.T.; Gardi, C.; Hedlund, K.; Hemerik, L.; Hotes, S.; Liiri, M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Pavao-Zuckerman, M.; Pouyat, R.; Tsiafouli, M.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2014-01-01

    [KEYWORDS: Agriculture Ecosystem services Land use Management optimization Soil Urban Trade-off] On-going human population growth and changing patterns of resource consumption are increasing global demand for ecosystem services, many of which are provided by soils. Some of these ecosystem services a

  3. Soil organic matter distribution and microaggregate characteristics as affected by agricultural management and earthworm activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pulleman, M.M.; Six, J.; Breemen, van N.; Jongmans, A.G.

    2005-01-01

    Stable microaggregates can physically protect occluded soil organic matter (SOM) against decomposition. We studied the effects of agricultural management on the amount and characteristics of microaggregates and on SOM distribution in a marine loam soil in the Netherlands. Three long-term farming sys

  4. Stagnating crop yields: An overlooked risk for the carbon balance of agricultural soils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Hübner, Rico; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-12-01

    The carbon (C) balance of agricultural soils may be largely affected by climate change. Increasing temperatures are discussed to cause a loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) due to enhanced decomposition of soil organic matter, which has a high intrinsic temperature sensitivity. On the other hand, several modeling studies assumed that potential SOC losses would be compensated or even outperformed by an increased C input by crop residues into agricultural soils. This assumption was based on a predicted general increase of net primary productivity (NPP) as a result of the CO2 fertilization effect and prolonged growing seasons. However, it is questionable if the crop C input into agricultural soils can be derived from NPP predictions of vegetation models. The C input in European croplands is largely controlled by the agricultural management and was strongly related to the development of crop yields in the last decades. Thus, a glance at past yield development will probably be more instructive for future estimations of the C input than previous modeling approaches based on NPP predictions. An analysis of European yield statistics indicated that yields of wheat, barley and maize are stagnating in Central and Northern Europe since the 1990s. The stagnation of crop yields can probably be related to a fundamental change of the agricultural management and to climate change effects. It is assumed that the soil C input is concurrently stagnating which would necessarily lead to a decrease of agricultural SOC stocks in the long-term given a constant temperature increase. Remarkably, for almost all European countries that are faced with yield stagnation indications for agricultural SOC decreases were already found. Potentially adverse effects of yield stagnation on the C balance of croplands call for an interdisciplinary investigation of its causes and a comprehensive monitoring of SOC stocks in agricultural soils of Europe.

  5. Integrating Federal and State data records to report progress in establishing agricultural conservation practices on Chesapeake Bay farms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hively, W. Dean; Devereux, Olivia H.; Claggett, Peter

    2013-01-01

    In response to the Executive Order for Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration (E.O. #13508, May 12, 2009), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) took on the task of acquiring and assessing agricultural conservation practice data records for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, and transferred those datasets in aggregated format to State jurisdictional agencies for use in reporting conservation progress to the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership (CBP Partnership). Under the guidelines and regulations that have been developed to protect and restore water-quality in the Chesapeake Bay, the six State jurisdictions that fall within the Chesapeake Bay watershed are required to report their progress in promoting agricultural conservation practices to the CBP Partnership on an annual basis. The installation and adoption of agricultural best management practices is supported by technical and financial assistance from both Federal and State conservation programs. The farm enrollment data for USDA conservation programs are confidential, but agencies can obtain access to the privacy-protected data if they are established as USDA Conservation Cooperators. The datasets can also be released to the public if they are first aggregated to protect farmer privacy. In 2012, the USGS used its Conservation Cooperator status to obtain implementation data for conservation programs sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) for farms within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Three jurisdictions (Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) used the USGS-provided aggregated dataset to report conservation progress in 2012, whereas the remaining three jurisdictions (Maryland, New York, and Virginia) used jurisdictional Conservation Cooperator Agreements to obtain privacy-protected data directly from the USDA. This report reviews the status of conservation data sharing between the USDA and the various jurisdictions, discusses the

  6. [Characterization and soil environmental safety assessment of super absorbent polymers in agricultural application].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xi; Liu, Yu-Rong; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; He, Ji-Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Super absorbent polymers (SAPs) are compounds that can absorb a lot of water which can be several folds of their original size and weight. They can increase soil water content and aggregates, promote fertilizer utilization efficiency, and stimulate crop growth. Therefore, SAPs have been widely regarded as a potential agent for water-saving agriculture. In this paper, we reviewed the advances of SAPs in materials, properties and applications in agriculture and pointed out that the absence of influences of SAPs on soil microbial ecology was the main issue in current studies. In regard to the adverse effects on soil environment caused by misuse of SAPs, we should address the systematic safety assessment of SAPs application in the soil, especially the effects on the soil microorganisms, which should be an important part of chemicals risk assessment in the soil application.

  7. Influence of some agricultural practices on the soil acidification in acid precipitation areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Both acid precipitation and unreasonable agricultural practices are notorious artificial factors resulting in soil acidification. To sort out reasonable agricultural practices favorable to abating soil acidification, the task of this study was directed to a long-term field trial in Chongqing, during which chemical fertilizer, organic fertilizer were applied to different crop rotations and the soil pH value was measured. The results indicated that all treatments decreased pH value in the 0 to 20 cm soil layer after ten years. Problems were more serious when chlorine-containing fertilizer, excessive chemical fertilizer and mixed fertilizer were applied. It is demonstrated that balance rates of N, P and K fertilizers, application of muck in field are advantageous to abating soil acidification. Oil plants affect soil acidification more than cereal in different crop rotation.

  8. Water and soil conservation for food security in Niger and its constraints for adoption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildemeersch, Jasmien; Timmerman, Emma; Garba, Maman; Mazijn, Bernard; Sabiou, Mahamane; Ibro, Germaine; Cornelis, Wim

    2013-04-01

    Nigerien subsistence farmers increasingly rely on marginal degraded lands for food production as a result of ongoing soil degradation, limited fertile land availability and growing population pressure. These degraded lands, however, generally provide poor yields which are largely assigned to an increased vulnerability to drought as a major part of the rainfall is lost through inefficient rain water partitioning. More efficient use of rainwater can be achieved with the aid of water and soil conservation (WSC) techniques such as zaï (Z) and demi-lunes (DL) which positively alter the soil water-balance in favour of productive water and deliver a wide range of ecosystem services. The results of our in situ root-zone water balance experiment at Sadoré-village (2011-2012) confirm improved agronomical, hydrological and soil quality parameters under the Z and DL treatments. The highest grain yield is produced by the zaï, which is 3 times better than the grain yield of the demi-lunes. Zaï moreover reduce cumulative actual evaporation and both Z and DL increase soil water content in the catchment as measured by a neutron probe and biological soil quality indicated by an extended nematode population of free living species. The techniques therefore show promising potential to rehabilitate and to increase the agronomic efficiency of marginal land in Niger, but the adoption of the techniques has not been widespread and the dissemination generally encounters difficulties. To identify and quantify the importance and presence of several adoption obstacles in the Tillabéri region, we conducted 100 households surveys exploring farmers' erosion perception, WSC technique knowledge and resource availability. Although the important adoption triggers such as food insecurity and limited fertile land availability are present, the regions' adoption rate is low due to a general lack of manure availability and a profound knowledge of erosion and the techniques themselves, which indicates

  9. IMPROVEMENT OF SANDY SOIL WITH WATER-CONSERVING MEMBRANE AND ITS EFFECT ON CROP GROWTH

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Xiu-jun; CUI Xiang-hao; LI Qu-sheng

    2005-01-01

    Water-conserving membrane is a new material of improving sandy soil. It is based on the rule that a compound with organic and inorganic components can produce colloid after its integrating with Ca2+ in soil. The water-conserving membrane will obstruct capillary and increase viscidity of sandy soil, so as to decrease leakage and evaporation in sandy soil. The water-conserving membrane contains polyacrylic acid (PAA) and bentonite. When PAA concentration and Ph of solution are different, water-conserving membrane can be made in different depth of soil. This experiment shows that the solution with 0.2% PAA does not harm and poison the crops, on the contrary,promotes crop germination. The solution with 0.2% or 0.4% PAA can accelerate corn growth. Accordingly, different crops need the application of the different PAA concentrations in the cultivation. Therefore, on the basis of different vadose coefficient in sandy soil, the solution with different PAA concentration can improve sandy soil and increase its water-conserving competence very well. The solution can be used to improve sandy soil and control desert enlargement in arid, semi-arid and semi-humid areas.

  10. [Effects of conservation tillage on the composition of soil exchangeable base].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ning; Lou, Yi-Lai; Zhang, Xiao-Ke; Liang, Wen-Ju; Liang, Lei

    2010-06-01

    Taking the soil in Zhangwu County of Liaoning Province as test object, a comparative study was made to understand the composition of soil exchangeable base under traditional tillage and 6-year conservation tillage (no-tillage plus straw mulch). Comparing with traditional tillage, conservation tillage increased the total amount of exchangeable base (SEB) and the contents of exchangeable K, Ca, and Mg in top (0-15 cm) soil, suggesting its positive effect in increasing soil nutrient holding capacity and buffering ability. This effect had a close relationship with the changes of soil organic matter and clay contents, according to correlation analysis. In addition, the K/SEB and Ca/Mg ratios were higher, while the (Ca+Mg)/SEB, Ca/K, and Mg/K ratios were lower under conservation tillage than under traditional tillage, illustrating that the effects of conservation tillage on soil exchangeable base were mainly presented in the relative enrichment of soil exchangeable Ca and K, especially K. Conservation tillage increased the stratification ratio (0-5 cm/5-15 cm and 0-5 cm/15-30 cm) of soil exchangeable K, Ca, and Mg, and SEB, suggesting the increase of the vertical variability of SEB in plough layer.

  11. A virtual, interactive and dynamic excursion in Google Earth on soil management and conservation (AgroGeovid)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanwalleghem, Tom; Giráldez, Juan Vicente

    2013-04-01

    Many courses on natural resources require hands-on practical knowledge and experience that students traditionally could only acquire by expensive and time-consuming field excursions. New technologies and social media however provide an interesting alternative to train students and help them improve their practical knowledge. AgroGeovid is a virtual excursion, based on Google Earth, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter that is aimed at agricultural engineering students, but equally useful for any student interested in soil management and conservation, e.g. geography, geology and environmental resources. Agrogeovid provides the framework for teachers and students to upload geotagged photos, comments and discussions. After the initial startup phase, where the teacher uploaded material on e.g. soil erosion phenomena, soil conservation structures and different soil management strategies under different agronomic systems, students contributed with their own material gathered throughout the academic year. All students decided to contribute via Facebook, in stead of Twitter, which was not known to most of them. The final result was a visual and dynamic tool which students could use to train and perfect skills adopted in the classroom using case-studies and examples from their immediate environment.

  12. A Corpus-based Study on Collocation and Colligation of "Soil" in Agricultural English

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hu Jia-ying; Sun Yuan-yuan

    2014-01-01

    This paper was based on the corpus built by the writers on agricultural science and technology English. Through corpus-based research and statistical tools AntConc 3.2.1 and BFSU Collocator 1.0 (Beijing Foreign Studies University Collocator 1.0), this paper tried to make an analysis of the collocation and colligation of the word "soil". The result revealed the colligation between "soil"and its collocates in agricultural academic papers, which was instructive to academic writing and the research method was a practical reference of building a corpus on agricultural science and technology English.

  13. Organic Phosphorus Characterisation in Agricultural Soils by Enzyme Addition Assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarosch, Klaus; Frossard, Emmanuel; Bünemann, Else K.

    2013-04-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a non-renewable resource and it is a building block of many molecules indispensable for life. Up to 80 per cent of total soil P can be in organic form. Hydrolysability and thereby availability to plants and microorganisms differ strongly among the multitude of chemical forms of soil organic P. A recent approach to characterise organic P classes is the addition of specific enzymes which hydrolyse organic P to inorganic orthophosphate, making it detectable by colorimetry. Based on the substrate specificity of the added enzymes, conclusions about the hydrolysed forms of organic P can then be made. The aim of this study was to determine the applicability of enzyme addition assays for the characterisation of organic P species in soil:water suspensions of soils with differing properties. To this end, ten different soil samples originating from four continents, with variable pH (in water) values (4.2-8.0), land management (grassland or cropped land) and P fertilization intensity were analysed. Three different enzymes were used (acid phosphatase, nuclease and phytase). Acid phosphatase alone or in combination with nuclease was applied to determine the content of P in simple monoesters (monoester-like P) and P in DNA (DNA-like P), while P hydrolysed from myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (Ins6P-like P) was calculated from P release after incubation with phytase minus P release by acid phosphatase. To reduce sorption of inorganic P on soil particles of the suspension, especially in highly weathered soils, soil specific EDTA additions were determined in extensive pre-tests. The results of these pre-tests showed that recoveries of at least 30 per cent could be achieved in all soils. Thus, detection of even small organic P pools, such as DNA-like P, was possible in all soils if a suitable EDTA concentration was chosen. The enzyme addition assays provided information about the hydrolysable quantities of the different classes of soil organic P compounds as affected

  14. Effects of Surfactants on Cryptosporidium parvum Mobility in Agricultural Soils from Illinois and Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darnault, C. J.; Koken, E.; Jacobson, A. R.; Powelson, D.

    2011-12-01

    The occurence of the parasitic protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum in rural and agricultural watersheds due to agricultural activities and wildlife is inevitable. Understanding the behavior of C. parvum oocysts in the environment is critical for the protection of public health and the environment. To better understand the mechanisms by which the pathogen moves through soils and contaminates water resources, we study their mobility under conditions representative of real-world scenarios, where both C. parvum and chemicals that affect their fate are present in soils. Surfactants occur widely in soils due to agricultural practices such as wastewater irrigation and the application of pesticides or soil wetting agents. They affect water tension and, consequently, soil infiltration processes and the air-water interfaces in soil pores where C. parvum may be retained. We investigate the effects of surfactants on the mobility of C. parvum oocysts in agricultural soils from Illinois and Utah under unsaturated flow conditions. As it is critical to examine C. parvum in natural settings, we also developed a quantification method using RT-PCR for monitoring C. parvum oocysts in environmental soil and water samples. We optimized physico-chemical parameters to disrupt C. parvum oocysts and extract their DNA, and developed isolation methods to separate C. parvum oocysts from colloids in natural soil samples. The results of this research will lead to the development of an accurate and sensitive molecular method for the monitoring of C. parvum oocysts in environmental soil and water samples, and will further our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the behavior of C. parvum oocysts in soils, in particular the role of vadose zone processes, sorption to soil and surfactants.

  15. Profiling nematode communities in unmanaged flowerbed and agricultural field soils in Japan by DNA barcode sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hisashi Morise

    Full Text Available Soil nematodes play crucial roles in the soil food web and are a suitable indicator for assessing soil environments and ecosystems. Previous nematode community analyses based on nematode morphology classification have been shown to be useful for assessing various soil environments. Here we have conducted DNA barcode analysis for soil nematode community analyses in Japanese soils. We isolated nematodes from two different environmental soils of an unmanaged flowerbed and an agricultural field using the improved flotation-sieving method. Small subunit (SSU rDNA fragments were directly amplified from each of 68 (flowerbed samples and 48 (field samples isolated nematodes to determine the nucleotide sequence. Sixteen and thirteen operational taxonomic units (OTUs were obtained by multiple sequence alignment from the flowerbed and agricultural field nematodes, respectively. All 29 SSU rDNA-derived OTUs (rOTUs were further mapped onto a phylogenetic tree with 107 known nematode species. Interestingly, the two nematode communities examined were clearly distinct from each other in terms of trophic groups: Animal predators and plant feeders were markedly abundant in the flowerbed soils, in contrast, bacterial feeders were dominantly observed in the agricultural field soils. The data from the flowerbed nematodes suggests a possible food web among two different trophic nematode groups and plants (weeds in the closed soil environment. Finally, DNA sequences derived from the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (COI gene were determined as a DNA barcode from 43 agricultural field soil nematodes. These nematodes were assigned to 13 rDNA-derived OTUs, but in the COI gene analysis were assigned to 23 COI gene-derived OTUs (cOTUs, indicating that COI gene-based barcoding may provide higher taxonomic resolution than conventional SSU rDNA-barcoding in soil nematode community analysis.

  16. Soil and Moisture Conservation Practice Report for Long Island Refuges Fiscal Year 1972

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Soil and moisture conservation practices were carried out on four Long Island Refuges during fiscal year 1972. This report outlines the reasoning behind the changes...

  17. Unusually high soil nitrogen oxide emissions influence air quality in a high-temperature agricultural region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikawa, P Y; Ge, C; Wang, J; Eberwein, J R; Liang, L L; Allsman, L A; Grantz, D A; Jenerette, G D

    2015-11-10

    Fertilized soils have large potential for production of soil nitrogen oxide (NOx=NO+NO2), however these emissions are difficult to predict in high-temperature environments. Understanding these emissions may improve air quality modelling as NOx contributes to formation of tropospheric ozone (O3), a powerful air pollutant. Here we identify the environmental and management factors that regulate soil NOx emissions in a high-temperature agricultural region of California. We also investigate whether soil NOx emissions are capable of influencing regional air quality. We report some of the highest soil NOx emissions ever observed. Emissions vary nonlinearly with fertilization, temperature and soil moisture. We find that a regional air chemistry model often underestimates soil NOx emissions and NOx at the surface and in the troposphere. Adjusting the model to match NOx observations leads to elevated tropospheric O3. Our results suggest management can greatly reduce soil NOx emissions, thereby improving air quality.

  18. Conservation of Agroecosystem through Utilization of Parasitoid Diversity: Lesson for Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystem Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DAMAYANTI BUCHORI

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available For many years, agricultural intensification and exploitation has resulted in biodiversity loss and threaten ecosystem functioning. Developing strategies to bridge human needs and ecosystem health for harmonization of ecosystem is a major concern for ecologist and agriculturist. The lack of information on species diversity of natural enemies and how to utilize them with integration of habitat management that can renovate ecological process was the main obstacle. Parasitoids, a group of natural enemies, play a very important role in regulating insect pest population. During the last ten years, we have been working on exploration of parasitoid species richness, how to use it to restore ecosystem functions, and identifying key factors influencing host-parasitoid interaction. Here, we propose a model of habitat management that is capable of maintaining agricultural biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We present data on parasitoid species richness and distribution in Java and Sumatera, their population structure and its impact toward biological control, relationship between habitat complexes and parasitoid community, spatial and temporal dynamic of parasitoid diversity, and food web in agricultural landscape. Implications of our findings toward conservation of agroecosystem are discussed.

  19. Integrated assessment of conservation opportunities in the irrigated agriculture sector of the Pacific Northwest Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrer, B.J.; Lezberg, A.J.; Wilfert, G.L.

    1985-02-01

    This report documents research to identify the potential energy savings and cost per kWh saved for implementing currently available energy conservation measures in the irrigated agriculture sector of the Pacific Northwest. A computer model that simulates the energy consumption process of irrigation systems and estimates the levelized costs of undertaking conservation investments is the primary analytical tool used in this research. Using engineering and economic input parameters for the various conservation measures that could potentially be implemented in irrigated agriculture, the Irrigation Sector Energy Planning (ISEP) model generates estimates of energy savings and cost per kWh saved for the measures. All parameters input to the ISEP model are based upon empirical field data. Results provided by the ISEP model indicate tht by the year 2003 a total of approximately 158.6 average MW of energy could potentially be saved in the Pacific Northwest irrigation sector on all sprinkler-irrigated acres. Approximately 130.4 average MW can be saved on acres currently by sprinkler, while an additional 28.2 average MW could be saved on new acres that are forecast to come under irrigation in the next 20 years. The largest share of the total savings (47%) is estimated to come from the use of low-pressure irrigation. Over 60% of the total potential savings 158.6 average MW is estimated to be available for a cost per kWh saved of 20 mills or less and over 75% could be achieved for a cost of 30 mills or less. Savings from low-pressure irrigation and the redesign of fittings and mainlines will normally cost less than 20 mills per kWh saved. Almost all of the savings that are estimated to cost more than 30 mills per kWh saved to obtain are savings from improved irrigation scheduling on irrigated acres that use surface water and have low average pumping lifts.

  20. Implications Of Soil Resistivity Measurements Using The Electrical Resistivity Method A Case Study Of A Maize Farm Under Different Soil Preparation Modes At KNUST Agricultural Research Station Kumasi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakalia

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Continuous vertical electrical sounding CVES technique was used to investigate the soil moisture content of a maize farm at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST Agricultural Research Station ARS Kumasi Ghana. The soils of the maize farm were categorized into four different land preparation modes ploughed-harrowed ploughed hoed and no-till plot. Time-lapse measurements with CVES was carried out using the multi-electrode Wenner array to investigate soil moisture variation with the help of the ABEM Terrameter SAS 4000 resistivity meter. The results showed a heterogeneous distribution of soil moisture content both spatially and temporally. Most of the water available for plants uptake was within a depth of 0.20 0.40 m which coincided with the root zones of the maize crops. In addition the no-till plot was found to conserve more moisture during dry weather conditions than the rest of the plots. The research shows that CVES technique is applicable in monitoring shallow soil water content in the field and the results obtained could be used to optimize irrigation scheduling and to assess the potential for variable-rate irrigation.

  1. Testing the validity of a Cd soil quality standard in representative Mediterranean agricultural soils under an accumulator crop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Recatala, L., E-mail: luis.recatala@uv.es [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain); Sanchez, J. [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain); Arbelo, C. [Departamento de Edafologia y Geologia, Facultad de Biologia, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna (Tenerife), Islas Canarias (Spain); Sacristan, D. [Departamento de Planificacion Territorial, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC-Universitat de Valencia-Generalitat Valenciana), Cami de la Marjal S/N, 46470 Albal (Valencia) (Spain)

    2010-12-01

    The validity of a quality standard for cadmium (Cd) in representative agricultural Mediterranean soils under an accumulator crop (Lactuca sativa L.) is evaluated in this work considering both its effect on the crop growth (biomass production) and the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. Four soils with different properties relevant to regulate the behaviour of heavy metals were selected from the Valencian Region, a representative area of the European Mediterranean Region. For all soils, the effective concentration of added Cd causing 50% inhibition (EC{sub 50}) on the biomass production was much higher than the minimum legal concentration used to declare soils as contaminated by cadmium, i.e. 100 times the baseline value for Cd, in Spain (Spanish Royal Decree 9/2005). As expected, Cd toxicity in the crop was higher in the soils having less carbonate content. On the other hand, for all soils, from the second dose on, which represents 10-times the baseline value for Cd, the metal content in crops exceeded the maximum level established for leaf crops by the European legislation (Regulation EC no. 466/2001). Soil salinity and coarse textures make the accumulation of Cd in the edible part of the plant easier. Therefore, the legal baseline soil cadmium content established by the Spanish legislation seems not valid neither from the point of view of the effect on the crop growth nor from the point of view of the metal accumulation in the edible part of the plant. In order to realistically declare contaminated soils by heavy metals, soil quality standards should be proposed taking into account the soil properties. Further research in other agricultural areas of the region would improve the basis for proposing adequate soil quality standards for heavy metals as highlighted by the European Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection.

  2. Implications of Using Thermal Desorption to Remediate Contaminated Agricultural Soil: Physical Characteristics and Hydraulic Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Peter L; DeSutter, Thomas M; Casey, Francis X M; Derby, Nathan E; Wick, Abbey F

    2016-07-01

    Given the recent increase in crude oil production in regions with predominantly agricultural economies, the determination of methods that remediate oil contamination and allow for the land to return to crop production is increasingly relevant. Ex situ thermal desorption (TD) is a technique used to remediate crude oil pollution that allows for reuse of treated soil, but the properties of that treated soil are unknown. The objectives of this research were to characterize TD-treated soil and to describe implications in using TD to remediate agricultural soil. Native, noncontaminated topsoil and subsoil adjacent to an active remediation site were separately subjected to TD treatment at 350°C. Soil physical characteristics and hydraulic processes associated with agricultural productivity were assessed in the TD-treated samples and compared with untreated samples. Soil organic carbon decreased more than 25% in both the TD-treated topsoil and the subsoil, and total aggregation decreased by 20% in the topsoil but was unaffected in the subsoil. The alteration in these physical characteristics explains a 400% increase in saturated hydraulic conductivity in treated samples as well as a decrease in water retention at both field capacity and permanent wilting point. The changes in soil properties identified in this study suggest that TD-treated soils may still be suitable for sustaining vegetation, although likely at a slightly diminished capacity when directly compared with untreated soils.

  3. Spatial variability of soil moisture regimes at different scales: implications in the context of precision agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voltz, M

    1997-01-01

    Precision agriculture is based on the concept of soil-specific management, which aims to adapt management within a field according to specific site conditions in order to maximize production and minimize environmental damage. This paper examines how the nature and sources of variation in soil moisture regimes affect our ability to simulate soil water behaviour within a field with adequate precision in order to advise optimal soil-specific management. Field examples of variation in soil moisture regimes are described to illustrate the difficulties involved. A discussion identifies three main points. First, it is recognized that the current modelling approaches to soil moisture regimes do not sufficiently account for local heterogeneities in soil and crop characteristics such as soil morphology and rooting patterns. Second, the estimation of within-field variation of soil hydraulic properties is difficult because of large short-range variation of the properties and general lack of observed data; one way to overcome this problem is to seek new measurement techniques or to find easy-to-measure auxiliary variables spatially correlated to the variables of interest. Last, as pollution impacts often become noticeable to society at scales larger than the scale of agricultural management, hydrological modelling can serve for linking both scales and advising agricultural practices that minimize undesirable pollution effects.

  4. Persistence and dissipation pathways of the antidepressant sertraline in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongxia; Sumarah, Mark W; Topp, Edward

    2013-05-01

    Sertraline is a widely-used antidepressant that is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It has been detected in biosolids and effluents from sewage treatment plants. Since sertraline can reach agriculture land through the application of municipal biosolids or reclaimed water, the persistence and dissipation pathways of (3)H-sertraline were determined in laboratory incubations using three agriculture soils varying in textures and properties. The total solvent extractable radioactivity decreased in all three soils with times to dissipate 50% of material (DT50) ranging from 48.1±3.5 (loam soil) to 84.5±13.8 (clay soil) days. Two hydroxylated sertraline transformation products were identified in all three soils by high performance liquid chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-TOF-MS), but the accumulation did not exceed 10% of the initial parent concentration. The addition of liquid municipal biosolids to the loam soil had no effect on the rate of sertraline dissipation, or production of transformation products. In summary, sertraline was persistent in agricultural soils with major dissipation pathways including the production of non-extractable soil-bound residues, and accumulation of hydroxylated transformation products. The biologically active sertraline transformation product norsertraline was not detected in soil.

  5. Conservation of soil organic carbon, biodiversity and the provision of other ecosystem services along climatic gradients in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Marks

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial carbon resources are major drivers of development in West Africa. The distribution of these resources co-varies with ecosystem type and rainfall along a strong Northeast-Southwest climatic gradient. Soil organic carbon, a strong indicator of soil quality, has been severely depleted in some areas by human activities, which leads to issues of soil erosion and desertification, but this trend can be altered with appropriate management. There is significant potential to enhance existing soil carbon stores in West Africa, with benefits at the global and local scale, for atmospheric CO2 mitigation as well as supporting and provisioning ecosystem services. Three key factors impacting carbon stocks are addressed in this review: climate, biotic factors, and human activities. Climate risks must be considered in a framework of global change, especially in West Africa, where landscape managers have few resources available to adapt to climatic perturbations. Among biotic factors, biodiversity conservation paired with carbon conservation may provide a pathway to sustainable development, and biodiversity conservation is also a global priority with local benefits for ecosystem resilience, biomass productivity, and provisioning services such as foodstuffs. Finally, human management has largely been responsible for reduced carbon stocks, but this trend can be reversed through the implementation of appropriate carbon conservation strategies in the agricultural sector, as shown by multiple studies. Owing to the strong regional climatic gradient, country-level initiatives will need to consider carbon sequestration approaches for multiple ecosystem types. Given the diversity of environments, global policies must be adapted and strategies developed at the national or sub-national levels to improve carbon storage above and belowground. Initiatives of this sort must act locally at farmer scale, and focus on ecosystem services rather than on carbon

  6. Conservation of soil organic carbon, biodiversity and the provision of other ecosystem services along climatic gradients in West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Marks

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial carbon resources are major drivers of development in West Africa. The distribution of these resources co-varies with ecosystem type and rainfall along a strong Northeast-Southwest climatic gradient. Soil organic carbon, a strong indicator of soil quality, has been severely depleted in some areas by human activities, which leads to issues of soil erosion and desertification, but this trend can be altered via appropriate management. There is significant potential to enhance existing soil carbon stores in West Africa, with benefits at the global and local scales, for atmospheric CO2 mitigation and supporting, and provisioning ecosystem services, respectively. Three key factors impacting carbon stocks are addressed in this review: climate, biotic factors, and human activities. Climate risks must be considered in a framework of global change, especially in West Africa, where landscape managers have few resources available to adapt to climatic perturbations. Among biotic factors, biodiversity conservation paired with carbon conservation may provide a pathway to sustainable development, as evidence suggests that both may be inter-linked, and biodiversity conservation is also a global priority with local benefits for ecosystem resilience, biomass productivity, and provisioning services such as foodstuffs. Finally, human management has largely been responsible for reduced carbon stocks, but this trend can be reversed through the implementation of appropriate carbon conservation strategies in the agricultural sector, as shown by multiple studies. Owing to the strong regional climatic gradient, country-level initiatives will need to consider carbon sequestration approaches for multiple ecosystem types. Given the diversity of environments, global policies must be adapted and strategised at the national or sub-national levels to improve C storage above and belowground. Initiatives of this sort must act locally at farmer scale, and

  7. Conservation of soil organic carbon, biodiversity and the provision of other ecosystem services along climatic gradients in West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marks, E.; Aflakpui, G. K. S.; Nkem, J.; Poch, R. M.; Khouma, M.; Kokou, K.; Sagoe, R.; Sebastiã, M.-T.

    2009-08-01

    Terrestrial carbon resources are major drivers of development in West Africa. The distribution of these resources co-varies with ecosystem type and rainfall along a strong Northeast-Southwest climatic gradient. Soil organic carbon, a strong indicator of soil quality, has been severely depleted in some areas by human activities, which leads to issues of soil erosion and desertification, but this trend can be altered with appropriate management. There is significant potential to enhance existing soil carbon stores in West Africa, with benefits at the global and local scale, for atmospheric CO2 mitigation as well as supporting and provisioning ecosystem services. Three key factors impacting carbon stocks are addressed in this review: climate, biotic factors, and human activities. Climate risks must be considered in a framework of global change, especially in West Africa, where landscape managers have few resources available to adapt to climatic perturbations. Among biotic factors, biodiversity conservation paired with carbon conservation may provide a pathway to sustainable development, and biodiversity conservation is also a global priority with local benefits for ecosystem resilience, biomass productivity, and provisioning services such as foodstuffs. Finally, human management has largely been responsible for reduced carbon stocks, but this trend can be reversed through the implementation of appropriate carbon conservation strategies in the agricultural sector, as shown by multiple studies. Owing to the strong regional climatic gradient, country-level initiatives will need to consider carbon sequestration approaches for multiple ecosystem types. Given the diversity of environments, global policies must be adapted and strategies developed at the national or sub-national levels to improve carbon storage above and belowground. Initiatives of this sort must act locally at farmer scale, and focus on ecosystem services rather than on carbon sequestration solely.

  8. Enhancing agricultural forecasting using SMOS surface soil moisture retrievals

    Science.gov (United States)

    With the onset of data availability from the ESA Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission (Kerr and Levine, 2008) and the expected 2015 launch of the NASA Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) mission (Entekhabi et al., 2010), the next five years should see a significant expansion in our ab...

  9. Fate and availability of glyphosate and AMPA in agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonsen, Louise; Fomsgaard, Inge S; Svensmark, Bo; Spliid, Niels Henrik

    2008-06-01

    The fate of glyphosate and its degradation product aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) was studied in soil. Labeled glyphosate was used to be able to distinguish the measured quantities of glyphosate and AMPA from the background values since the soil was sampled in a field where glyphosate had been used formerly. After addition of labeled glyphosate, the disappearance of glyphosate and the formation and disappearance of AMPA were monitored. The resulting curves were fitted according to a new EU guideline. The best fit of the glyphosate degradation data was obtained using a first-order multi compartment (FOMC) model. DT(50) values of 9 days (glyphosate) and 32 days (AMPA) indicated relatively rapid degradation. After an aging period of 6 months, the leaching risk of each residue was determined by treating the soil with pure water or a phosphate solution (pH 6), to simulate rain over a non-fertilized or fertilized field, respectively. Significantly larger (p glyphosate and AMPA were extracted from the soil when phosphate solution was used as an extraction agent, compared with pure water. This indicates that the risk of leaching of aged glyphosate and AMPA residues from soil is greater in fertilized soil. The blank soil, to which 252 g glyphosate/ha was applied 21 months before this study, contained 0.81 ng glyphosate/g dry soil and 10.46 ng AMPA/g dry soil at the start of the study. Blank soil samples were used as controls without glyphosate addition. After incubation of the blank soil samples for 6 months, a significantly larger amount of AMPA was extracted from the soil treated with phosphate solution than from that treated with pure water. To determine the degree of uptake of aged glyphosate residues by crops growing in the soil, (14)C-labeled glyphosate was applied to soil 6.5 months prior to sowing rape and barley seeds. After 41 days, 0.006 +/- 0.002% and 0.005 +/- 0.001% of the applied radioactivity was measured in rape and barley, respectively.

  10. Soil and water conservation for sustainable land management: where do we stand ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govers, Gerard

    2014-05-01

    Although soil and water conservation efforts date back to the 1930's in the USA, the implementation of appropriate conservation measures and land management strategies is still lagging in many areas in the world. The reasons for this are, without any doubt, manifold and range from an inadequate understanding of the problem, over the insufficient understanding of the effectiveness of measures and a lack of insight into the benefits of sustainable strategies, to an lack of sensitivity for the impact of certain strategies on local social and economic systems. In this paper we will not attempt to present a general overview of the state of knowledge in this wide domain, but rather focus on the identification of major bottlenecks that impede or slow down the application of sustainable conservation technology, whereby we will focus on soil degradation as a main problem. Moving towards more sustainable soil conservation and land management strategies requires progress on the following issues: - We need accurate data on the extent of problems of land degradation It may sound surprising that several decades of research have not delivered those data, but recent research conclusively shows that, for many areas, our estimates of erosion rates are far off and sometimes our perception is plain wrong. This has detrimental consequences as funds are inefficiently used and, on the long term, stakeholders will invariably lose interest. Various strategies may be used to improve the quality of the data that we used. - We need good insight in the effectiveness of different measures. A major issue here is the scale of assessment: the classical tools used to assess the effectiveness of measures are sometimes not suitable and may lead to both underestimation and overestimation of effectiveness. Furthermore, perceptions of effectiveness may have been shaped by experiences that are decades old, while agricultural technology has moved on. - We need a correct assessments of the co-benefits we

  11. Soil, land use time, and sustainable intensification of agriculture in the Brazilian Cerrado region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabaquini, Kleber; Galvão, Lênio Soares; Formaggio, Antonio Roberto; de Aragão, Luiz Eduardo Oliveira E Cruz

    2017-02-01

    The Brazilian Cerrado area is in rapid decline because of the expansion of modern agriculture. In this study, we used extensive field data and a 30-year chronosequence of Landsat images (1980-2010) to assess the effects of time since conversion of Cerrado into agriculture upon soil chemical attributes and soybean/corn yield in the Alto do Rio Verde watershed. We determined the rates of vegetation conversion into agriculture, the agricultural land use time since conversion, and the temporal changes in topsoil (0-20 cm soil depth) and subsurface (20-40 cm) chemical attributes of the soils. In addition, we investigated possible associations between fertilization/over-fertilization and land use history detected from the satellites. The results showed that 61.8% of the native vegetation in the Alto do Rio Verde watershed was already converted into agriculture with 31% of soils being used in agriculture for more than 30 years. While other fertilizers in cultivated soils (e.g., Ca(+2), Mg(+2), and P) have been compensated over time by soil management practices to keep crop yield high, large reductions in C org (38%) and N tot (29%) were observed in old cultivated areas. Furthermore, soybean and cornfields having more than 10 years of farming presented higher values of P and Mg(+2) than the ideal levels necessary for plant development. Therefore, increased risks of over-fertilization of the soils and environmental contamination with these macronutrients were associated with soybean and cornfields having more than 10 years of farming, especially those with more than 30 years of agricultural land use.

  12. Soil Incubation Study to Assess the Impacts of Manure Application and Climate Change on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiavone, K.; Barbieri, L.; Adair, C.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural fields in Vermont's Lake Champlain Basin have problems with the loss of nutrients due to runoff which creates eutrophic conditions in the lakes, ponds and rivers. In efforts to retain nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil farmers have started to inject manure rather than spraying it. Our understanding of the effects this might have on the volatilization of nitrogen into nitrous oxide is limited. Already, agriculture produces 69% of the total nitrous oxide emissions in the US. Understanding that climate change will affect the future of agriculture in Vermont, we set up a soil core incubation test to monitor the emissions of CO₂ and N₂O using a Photoacoustic Gas Sensor (PAS). Four 10 cm soil cores were taken from nine different fertilizer management plots in a No Till corn field; Three Injected plots, three Broadcast plots, and three Plow plots. Frozen soil cores were extracted in early April, and remained frozen before beginning the incubation experiment to most closely emulate three potential spring environmental conditions. The headspace was monitored over one week to get emission rates. This study shows that environmental and fertilizer treatments together do not have a direct correlation to the amount of CO₂ and N₂O emissions from agricultural soil. However, production of CO₂ was 26% more in warmer environmental conditions than in variable(freeze/thaw) environmental conditions. The injected fertilizer produced the most emissions, both CO₂ and N₂O. The total N₂O emissions from Injected soil cores were 2.2x more than from traditional broadcast manure cores. We believe this is likely due to the addition of rich organic matter under anaerobic soil conditions. Although, injected fertilizer is a better application method for reducing nutrient runoff, the global warming potential of N₂O is 298 times that of CO₂. With climate change imminent, assessing the harmful effects and benefits of injected fertilizer is a crucial next step in

  13. Integration of Soil Information System and Interactive Self—Organizing Data for Agricultural Developing Zones in Red Soil Region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHIZHOU; WANGRENCHAO; 等

    1999-01-01

    Integration of soil information system (SIS) and interactive self-organizing data(ISODATA) was studied to establish proper agricultural developing zones in red soil region of southern China which are of crucial importance to farmers,researchers,and decision maders while utilizing and managing red soil resources.SIS created by using ARC/INFO was used to provide data acquisition,systematic model parameter assignment,and visual display of analytic results.Topography,temperature,soil component(e.g.,organic matter and pH) and condition of agricultural production were selected as parameters of ISODATA model.Taking Longyou County,Zhejiang Province as the case study area,the effect of the integration and recommendations are discussed for future research.

  14. Field potential soil variability index to identify precision agriculture opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Precision agriculture (PA) technologies used for identifying and managing within-field variability are not widely used despite decades of advancement. Technological innovations in agronomic tools, such as canopy reflectance or electrical conductivity sensors, have created opportunities to achieve a ...

  15. Soil processes as a guiding principle in precision agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alphen, van J.

    2002-01-01

    The fact that conventional agricultural practices have many detrimental effects is widely acknowledged (Rabbinge, 1997). To mitigate these effects, Dutch policy makers have implemented environmental laws that are essentially based on characteristic indicators for groundwater quality. This has result

  16. Agriculture intensification decreases soil C content and respiration activity in a Mediterranean Vertisol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farina, Roberta; Francaviglia, Rosa; Felici, Barbara; Renzi, Gianluca; Troccoli, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Adoption of intensive and non-conservative farming practices in Mediterranean areas, often causes a strong reduction of soil organic C, with major side effects on soil functioning and CO2 emissions to atmosphere. The purpose of our research was to evaluate the effect of durum wheat-(Triticum durum Desf.) (DW) based rotations, common in Southern Italy, on soil organic C content and soil potential respiration, after 19 years of cultivation. The rotation experiment was carried out since 1992 in Foggia (Apulia, Italy) at the experimental farm of the Cereal Research Centre in a clayey vertisol. Here we report results concerning two rotations, among seven: continuous durum wheat (CDW) and bare fallow-durum wheat-durum wheat- (BF-DW-DW) compared with an adjoining soil, covered with permanent grassland undisturbed, since 1972, considered at steady state. Results showed a negative trend of soil C in both rotations. The C reduction respect to the undisturbed soil (14.5 g C kg-1 of soil) were 0.15 and 0.13% for CDW and BF-DW-DW, respectively. Daily soil potential respiration was always higher in the undisturbed soil: it was 13.65, 10.46 and 8.64 mg C-CO2/kg soil day-1, for undisturbed soil, BF-DW-DW and DWC respectively. The cumulative respiration in 28 days for CDW and BF-DW-DW rotations compared with undisturbed soil was lower by 23 and 32%, respectively. Among the two rotations compared, BF-DW-DW showed to be slightly more conservative than the DWC rotation for soil C, even though none of the two rotations was able to keep the soil C level at values comparable to steady state, due both to soil disturbance and to lower C inputs respect to the permanent cover.

  17. Impact of agricultural extensification on the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services (soil structure maintenance, water regulation)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, J.; Pérès, G.; Groot, A. de;

    Introduction – There are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. In this context, one aim of the EcoFINDERS European project was to assess the impact of agricultural extensification, across a broad range of European land-use systems, on the relati...... biodiversity, providing better soil structure and water infiltration. These results provide more quantitative insights that allow for ecohydrological modelling (forecasting) and economic valuation.......Introduction – There are increasing pressures on soil biodiversity and soil degradation remains a pertinent issue. In this context, one aim of the EcoFINDERS European project was to assess the impact of agricultural extensification, across a broad range of European land-use systems......, on the relationships between soil biodiversity and ecosystem services. Special attention was given to the relation between i) soil biodiversity and aggregate stability, and ii) earthworms and soil macroporosity and water infiltration.  Method - Data from seven long-term field studies (France, Germany, United...

  18. Improving the prediction of arsenic contents in agricultural soils by combining the reflectance spectroscopy of soils and rice plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Tiezhu; Wang, Junjie; Chen, Yiyun; Wu, Guofeng

    2016-10-01

    2290 nm, leaf spectral bands near 700, 890 and 900 nm in PLSR models were important wavelengths for soil arsenic prediction. Moreover, soil arsenic showed significantly positive correlations with soil organic matter (r = 0.62, p soil and leaf spectra may be based on their relationships with soil organic matter and leaf chlorophyll contents, respectively. Although RPD of 1.47 was below the recommended RPD of >2 for soil analysis, arsenic prediction in agricultural soils can be improved by combining the leaf and soil spectra.

  19. Farmers' knowledge and perceptions of soil erosion and conservation measures in the Central Highlands, Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Okoba, B.O.; Graaff, de J.

    2005-01-01

    A lack of appreciation of Kenyan farmers' knowledge and their perceptions of soil erosion and soil conservation measures was the reason for low adoption of recommended technologies. This research was carried out to identify the criteria that farmers used to distinguish farm-types and to use these ty

  20. Development of Soil and Water Conservation in Last Several Decades in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhen

    2016-04-01

    China is one of the countries suffered from very severe soil erosion over the world. It has caused a series of environmental and economic problems, and hence attracted the attentions from the Chinese government in the last several decades. To make clear the real situations of soil erosion, four times national surveys for soil and water conservation have been conducted from 1985 to 2012, this provided the crucial information to develop measures to reduce soil loss. The Law of Soil and Water Conservation of People's Republic of China was promulgated in 1991 and revised in 2010. It together with the relative regulations and technical standards have played very important roles in controlling erosion caused by human activities. National key projects of soil and water conservation were put into effect across the country, numerous small watersheds located in different regions were well treated and protected, these both contributed to the ecological improvement greatly. Undoubtedly, after several decades' efforts in soil erosion control, remarkable progresses have been achieved in environment, economy, and public awareness. In the background of "Soil and water conservation is one of the basic state policies in China", in the following years, greater achievements must be obtained under the support of more investments from governments and companies, more advanced technologies from research institutes, and deeper awareness from all people.

  1. Impacts of organic conservation tillage systems on crops, weeds, and soil quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organic farming has been identified as promoting soil quality even though tillage is used for weed suppression. Adopting conservation tillage practices can enhance soil quality in cropping systems where synthetic agrichemicals are used for crop nutrition and weed control. Attempts have been made t...

  2. Soil nitrogen dynamics and leaching under conservation tillage in the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Georgia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation tillage (CsT) involves management that reduces soil erosion by maintaining crop residue cover on farm fields. Typically, both infiltration and soil organic matter increase over time with CsT practices. We compared the impact of a commonly used CsT practice, strip tillage (ST), to conven...

  3. Factors influencing adoption of soil and water conservation measures in southern Mali

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodnar, F.; Graaff, de J.

    2003-01-01

    A soil and water conservation (SWC) extension programme, promoting erosion control measures and soil fertility measures, has been going on in southern Mali since 1986. Five factors that influence farmer adoption of SWC measures were analysed: land pressure, cotton-growing area, possession of ploughi

  4. Carbon dioxide efflux from soil with poultry litter applications in conventional and conservation tillage systems in northern Alabama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberson, T; Reddy, K C; Reddy, S S; Nyakatawa, E Z; Raper, R L; Reeves, D W; Lemunyon, J

    2008-01-01

    Increased CO2 release from soils resulting from agricultural practices such as tillage has generated concerns about contributions to global warming. Maintaining current levels of soil C and/or sequestering additional C in soils are important mechanisms to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere through production agriculture. We conducted a study in northern Alabama from 2003 to 2006 to measure CO2 efflux and C storage in long-term tilled and non-tilled cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plots receiving poultry litter or ammonium nitrate (AN). Treatments were established in 1996 on a Decatur silt loam (clayey, kaolinitic thermic, Typic Paleudults) and consisted of conventional-tillage (CT), mulch-tillage (MT), and no-tillage (NT) systems with winter rye [Secale cereale (L.)] cover cropping and AN and poultry litter (PL) as nitrogen sources. Cotton was planted in 2003, 2004, and 2006. Corn was planted in 2005 as a rotation crop using a no-till planter in all plots, and no fertilizer was applied. Poultry litter application resulted in higher CO2 emission from soil compared with AN application regardless of tillage system. In 2003 and 2006, CT (4.39 and 3.40 micromol m(-2) s(-1), respectively) and MT (4.17 and 3.39 micromol m(-2) s(-1), respectively) with PL at 100 kg N ha(-1) (100 PLN) recorded significantly higher CO2 efflux compared with NT with 100 PLN (2.84 and 2.47 micromol m(-2) s(-1), respectively). Total soil C at 0- to 15-cm depth was not affected by tillage but significantly increased with PL application and winter rye cover cropping. In general, cotton produced with NT conservation tillage in conjunction with PL and winter rye cover cropping reduced CO2 emissions and sequestered more soil C compared with control treatments.

  5. Study on ozone treatment of soil for agricultural application of surface dielectric barrier discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagatomo, Takuya; Abiru, Tomoya; Mitsugi, Fumiaki; Ebihara, Kenji; Nagahama, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Recently, application of plasma technologies to the agricultural field has attracted much interest because residual pesticides and excessive nitrogen oxides contained in plants, soil, and groundwater have become a serious issue worldwide. Since almost all of the atmospheric discharge plasma generates ozone, the effects of ozone are among the key factors for their agricultural applications. We have proposed the use of ozone generated using surface barrier discharge plasma for soil disinfection or sterilization. In this work, the ozone consumption coefficient and diffusion coefficient in soil were measured by the ultraviolet absorption method. The pH(H2O) and amount of nitrogen nutrient in soil after ozone diffusion treatment were studied and plant growth was observed simultaneously. The effect of ozone treatment on the amount of DNA in soil was also investigated and compared with that determined from the obtained ozone consumption coefficient.

  6. Electrical Imaging of Infiltration in Agricultural Soils on Long Island, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampousis, A.; Kenyon, P. M.; Sanwald, K.; Steiner, N.

    2007-12-01

    High resolution electrical resistivity imaging of vadose zone infiltration experiments was conducted on agricultural soils by the City College and Graduate Center of CUNY, in cooperation with Cornell University's Agricultural Stewardship Program and Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC) in Riverhead, New York. Measurements were made in active vineyards with a commercial resistivity imaging system, using a half- meter electrode spacing. Soils considered were Riverhead sandy loam (RdA), Haven loam (HaA), and Bridgehampton silty loam (BgA). The Riverhead and Haven soils are the most common types found on eastern Long Island. The Bridgehampton is considered the most fertile. Soil samples and measurements of soil compaction were collected at the same time as the geophysical measurements. In addition, remote sensing data were obtained for the three sites and processed to produce normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data to evaluate potential correlations between vegetation vigor, soil texture and water migration patterns. Applications of this study include continuous water content monitoring in high value cash crops (precision agriculture). Changes in electrical resistivity during infiltration are clearly visible at all three locations. Preliminary analysis of the results shows correlations of baseline resistivity with particle size distributions and correlations between changes in resistivity during infiltration and soil compaction data. Time-lapse electrical images of the three sites will also be compared with published properties for these soils, including particle size distribution, saturated hydraulic conductivity, available water capacity, and surface texture.

  7. Genetic and functional diversity of ubiquitous DNA viruses in selected Chinese agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Li-Li; Yu, Dan-Ting; Zhang, Li-Mei; Shen, Ju-Pei; He, Ji-Zheng

    2017-01-01

    Viral community structures in complex agricultural soils are largely unknown. Electron microscopy and viromic analyses were conducted on six typical Chinese agricultural soil samples. Tailed bacteriophages, spherical and filamentous viral particles were identified by the morphological analysis. Based on the metagenomic analysis, single-stranded DNA viruses represented the largest viral component in most of the soil habitats, while the double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the Caudovirales order were predominanted in Jiangxi-maize soils. The majority of functional genes belonged to the subsystem “phages, prophages, transposable elements, and plasmids”. Non-metric multidimensional analysis of viral community showed that the environment medium type was the most important driving factor for the viral community structure. For the major viral groups detected in all samples (Microviridae and Caudovirales), the two groups gathered viruses from different sites and similar genetic composition, indicating that viral diversity was high on a local point but relatively limited on a global scale. This is a novel report of viral diversity in Chinese agricultural soils, and the abundance, taxonomic, and functional diversity of viruses that were observed in different types of soils will aid future soil virome studies and enhance our understanding of the ecological functions of soil viruses. PMID:28327667

  8. Soil Quality Indices for Evaluating Smallholder Agricultural Land Uses in Northern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aweke M. Gelaw

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Population growth and increasing resource demands in Ethiopia are stressing and degrading agricultural landscapes. Most Ethiopian soils are already exhausted by several decades of over exploitation and mismanagement. Since many agricultural sustainability issues are related to soil quality, its assessment is very important. We determined integrated soil quality indices (SQI within the surface 0–15 cm depth increment for three agricultural land uses: rain fed cultivation (RF; agroforestry (AF and irrigated crop production (IR. Each land use was replicated five times within a semi-arid watershed in eastern Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Using the framework suggested by Karlen and Stott (1994; four soil functions regarding soil’s ability to: (1 accommodate water entry (WE; (2 facilitate water movement and availability (WMA; (3 resist degradation (RD; and (4 supply nutrients for plant growth (PNS were estimated for each land use. The result revealed that AF affected all soil quality functions positively more than the other land uses. Furthermore, the four soil quality functions were integrated into an overall SQI; and the values for the three land uses were in the order: 0.58 (AF > 0.51 (IR > 0.47 (RF. The dominant soil properties influencing the integrated SQI values were soil organic carbon (26.4%; water stable aggregation (20.0%; total porosity (16.0%; total nitrogen (11.2%; microbial biomass carbon (6.4%; and cation exchange capacity (6.4%. Collectively, those six indicators accounted for more than 80% of the overall SQI values.

  9. Conservation implications of amphibian habitat relationships within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    The widespread use of stream channelization and subsurface tile drainage for removing water from agricultural fields has led to the development of numerous channelized agricultural headwater streams within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States. Channelized agricultural headwater s...

  10. Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Approach to Support Sustainable Soil Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Forouzangohar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation. We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.

  11. Ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes: a spatially explicit approach to support sustainable soil management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forouzangohar, Mohsen; Crossman, Neville D; MacEwan, Richard J; Wallace, D Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T

    2014-01-01

    Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km(2) in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.

  12. Bioavailability and soil-to-plant transfer factors as indicators of potentially toxic element contamination in agricultural soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adamo, Paola, E-mail: paola.adamo@unina.it [Dipartimento di Agraria, Università di Napoli Federico II, via Università 100, 80055 Portici (Italy); Iavazzo, Pietro [Dipartimento di Agraria, Università di Napoli Federico II, via Università 100, 80055 Portici (Italy); Albanese, Stefano [Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell' Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli (Italy); Agrelli, Diana [Dipartimento di Agraria, Università di Napoli Federico II, via Università 100, 80055 Portici (Italy); De Vivo, Benedetto; Lima, Annamaria [Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, dell' Ambiente e delle Risorse, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli (Italy)

    2014-12-01

    Soil pollution in agricultural lands poses a serious threat to food safety, and suggests the need for consolidated methods providing advisory indications for soil management and crop production. In this work, the three-step extraction procedure developed by the EU Measurement and Testing Programme and two soil-to-plant transfer factors (relative to total and bioavailable concentration of elements in soil) were applied on polluted agricultural soils from southern Italy to obtain information on the retention mechanisms of metals in soils and on their level of translocation to edible vegetables. The study was carried out in the Sarno river plain of Campania, an area affected by severe environmental degradation potentially impacting the health of those consuming locally produced vegetables. Soil samples were collected in 36 locations along the two main rivers flowing into the plain. In 11 sites, lettuce plants were collected at the normal stage of consumption. According to Italian environmental law governing residential soils, and on the basis of soil background reference values for the study area, we found diffuse pollution by Be, Sn and Tl, of geogenic origin, Cr and Cu from anthropogenic sources such as tanneries and intensive agriculture, and more limited pollution by Pb, Zn and V. It was found that metals polluting soils as a result of human activities were mainly associated to residual, oxidizable and reducible phases, relatively immobile and only potentially bioavailable to plants. By contrast, the essential elements Zn and Cu showed a tendency to become more readily mobile and bioavailable as their total content in soil increased and were more easily transported to the edible parts of lettuce than other pollutants. According to our results, current soil pollution in the studied area does not affect the proportion of metals taken up by lettuce plants and there is a limited health risk incurred. - Highlights: • Soil pollution in an intensively farmed area of

  13. Net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity of conventional and conservation agriculture system in rainfed semi arid tropics of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratibha, G.; Srinivas, I.; Rao, K. V.; Shanker, Arun K.; Raju, B. M. K.; Choudhary, Deepak K.; Srinivas Rao, K.; Srinivasarao, Ch.; Maheswari, M.

    2016-11-01

    Agriculture has been considered as one of the contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and it continues to increase with increase in crop production. Hence development of sustainable agro techniques with maximum crop production, and low global warming potential is need of the hour. Quantifying net global warming potential (NGWP) and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) of an agricultural activity is a method to assess the mitigation potential of the activity. But there is dearth of information on NGWP of conservation agriculture under rainfed conditions. Hence in this study two methods such as crop based (NGWPcrop) and soil based (NGWPsoil) were estimated from the data of the experiment initiated in 2009 in rainfed semiarid regions of Hyderabad, India with different tillage practices like conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT), zero tillage (ZT) and residue retention levels by harvesting at different heights which includes 0, 10 and 30 cm anchored residue in pigeonpea-castor systems. The results of the study revealed that under rainfed conditions CT recorded 24% higher yields over ZT, but CT and RT were on par with each other. However, the yield gap between the tillage treatments is narrowing down over 5 years of study. ZT and RT recorded 26 and 11% lower indirect GHG emissions (emissions from farm operations and input use) over CT, respectively. The percent contribution of CO2 eq. N2O emission is higher to total GHG emissions in both the crops. Both NGWPcrop, NGWPsoil, GHGIcrop, and GHGIsoil based were influenced by tillage and residue treatments. Further, castor grown on pigeonpea residue recorded 20% higher GHG emissions over pigeonpea grown on castor residues. The fuel consumption in ZT was reduced by 58% and 81% as compared to CT in pigeonpea and castor, respectively. Lower NGWP and GHGI based on crop and soil was observed with increase in crop residues and decrease in tillage intensity in both the crops. The results of the study indicate that, there

  14. Persistence and dissipation pathways of the antidepressant sertraline in agricultural soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Hongxia; Sumarah, Mark W.; Topp, Edward, E-mail: ed.topp@agr.gc.ca

    2013-05-01

    Sertraline is a widely-used antidepressant that is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It has been detected in biosolids and effluents from sewage treatment plants. Since sertraline can reach agriculture land through the application of municipal biosolids or reclaimed water, the persistence and dissipation pathways of {sup 3}H-sertraline were determined in laboratory incubations using three agriculture soils varying in textures and properties. The total solvent extractable radioactivity decreased in all three soils with times to dissipate 50% of material (DT{sub 50}) ranging from 48.1 ± 3.5 (loam soil) to 84.5 ± 13.8 (clay soil) days. Two hydroxylated sertraline transformation products were identified in all three soils by high performance liquid chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC–TOF-MS), but the accumulation did not exceed 10% of the initial parent concentration. The addition of liquid municipal biosolids to the loam soil had no effect on the rate of sertraline dissipation, or production of transformation products. In summary, sertraline was persistent in agricultural soils with major dissipation pathways including the production of non-extractable soil-bound residues, and accumulation of hydroxylated transformation products. The biologically active sertraline transformation product norsertraline was not detected in soil. - Highlights: • The antidepressant drug sertraline is carried in biosolids used as fertilizers. • The persistence of this drug in agricultural soils was determined using radioisotope methods. • The half-life ranged from about 50 to 85 days. • Hydroxylated transformation products accumulated to less than 10% of the concentration of the added parent.

  15. Cadmium contamination of agricultural soils and crops resulting from sphalerite weathering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robson, T C; Braungardt, C B; Rieuwerts, J; Worsfold, P

    2014-01-01

    The biogeochemistry and bioavailability of cadmium, released during sphalerite weathering in soils, were investigated under contrasting agricultural scenarios to assess health risks associated with sphalerite dust transport to productive soils from mining. Laboratory experiments (365 d) on temperate and sub-tropical soils amended with sphalerite (soil accumulated ≈38% (29 μmol kg(-1)) of the liberated Cd, exceeding food safety limits. In contrast, rice grown in flooded sub-tropical soil accumulated far less Cd (0.60 μmol kg(-1)) due to neutral soil pH and Cd bioavailability was possibly also controlled by secondary sulfide formation. The results demonstrate long-term release of Cd to soil porewaters during sphalerite weathering. Under oxic conditions, Cd may be sufficiently bioavailable to contaminate crops destined for human consumption; however flooded rice production limits the impact of sphalerite contamination.

  16. Enhanced degradation of metalaxyl in agricultural soils of São Paulo State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papini Solange

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available This work investigated the effect of repeated applications on enhanced degradation of metalaxyl in two different agricultural soils used for cultivation of orange and lemon from Casa Branca and Itapetininga districts of São Paulo State, Brazil. Soil samples were collected from areas repeatedly treated with commercial ridomil 50GR for six successive years, and from other areas never exposed to this fungicide. At the laboratory, soil samples received a 14C-metalaxyl solution and its degradation was studied through radiometric techniques to measure biomineralization and recovery of extractable- and soil-bound products. Enhanced degradation was verified only in one soil, although partial degradation and mineralization of the fungicide were detected in both soils. The different rates and patterns of metalaxyl degradation in the soils were probably due to their different physical, chemical, and biological characteristics.

  17. Soil and water conservation: Our history and future challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remembering our past is an essential first step into the future. Building upon that philosophy, our objective is to summarize two presentations from a 2012 Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) symposium focused on soil management challenges in response to climate change in order to examine: (1) ho...

  18. Optimization in the utility maximization framework for conservation planning: a comparison of solution procedures in a study of multifunctional agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Kreitler

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative methods of spatial conservation prioritization have traditionally been applied to issues in conservation biology and reserve design, though their use in other types of natural resource management is growing. The utility maximization problem is one form of a covering problem where multiple criteria can represent the expected social benefits of conservation action. This approach allows flexibility with a problem formulation that is more general than typical reserve design problems, though the solution methods are very similar. However, few studies have addressed optimization in utility maximization problems for conservation planning, and the effect of solution procedure is largely unquantified. Therefore, this study mapped five criteria describing elements of multifunctional agriculture to determine a hypothetical conservation resource allocation plan for agricultural land conservation in the Central Valley of CA, USA. We compared solution procedures within the utility maximization framework to determine the difference between an open source integer programming approach and a greedy heuristic, and find gains from optimization of up to 12%. We also model land availability for conservation action as a stochastic process and determine the decline in total utility compared to the globally optimal set using both solution algorithms. Our results are comparable to other studies illustrating the benefits of optimization for different conservation planning problems, and highlight the importance of maximizing the effectiveness of limited funding for conservation and natural resource management.

  19. Optimization in the utility maximization framework for conservation planning: a comparison of solution procedures in a study of multifunctional agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitler, Jason; Stoms, David M; Davis, Frank W

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative methods of spatial conservation prioritization have traditionally been applied to issues in conservation biology and reserve design, though their use in other types of natural resource management is growing. The utility maximization problem is one form of a covering problem where multiple criteria can represent the expected social benefits of conservation action. This approach allows flexibility with a problem formulation that is more general than typical reserve design problems, though the solution methods are very similar. However, few studies have addressed optimization in utility maximization problems for conservation planning, and the effect of solution procedure is largely unquantified. Therefore, this study mapped five criteria describing elements of multifunctional agriculture to determine a hypothetical conservation resource allocation plan for agricultural land conservation in the Central Valley of CA, USA. We compared solution procedures within the utility maximization framework to determine the difference between an open source integer programming approach and a greedy heuristic, and find gains from optimization of up to 12%. We also model land availability for conservation action as a stochastic process and determine the decline in total utility compared to the globally optimal set using both solution algorithms. Our results are comparable to other studies illustrating the benefits of optimization for different conservation planning problems, and highlight the importance of maximizing the effectiveness of limited funding for conservation and natural resource management.

  20. ECONOMIC IMPACT OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN AGRICULTURE EXPLOATATION IN SOUTH OF ROMANIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anisoara CHIHAIA

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity, as variation of life form on Earth is the base of agriculture, in each of its fields, from the food to the services provided by ecosystems, the main streams and links of production. Standards or requirements that farmers must meet to be eligible for subsidies contribute to maintain biodiversity. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the costs needed to implement environmental standards and their implications for farm rentability. This study was made in farms with different size in the south part of Romania. Even if it can be seen a increase of production expenses which lead to a light decrease of farms profitability, the long-term benefit of biodiversity conservation is considerably.

  1. Nitrous oxide production and consumption potential in an agricultural and a forest soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yu, Kewei; Struwe, Sten; Kjøller, Annelise;

    2008-01-01

    Both a laboratory incubation experiment using soils from an agricultural field and a forest and field measurements at the same locations were conducted to determine nitrous oxide (N2O) production and consumption (reduction) potentials using the acetylene (C2H2) inhibition technique. Results from...... the laboratory experiment show that the agricultural soil had a stronger N2O reduction potential than the forest soil, as indicated by the N2O/N2 ratio in denitrification products. Without C2H2 inhibition, N2O could reach a maximum concentration of 51 and 296 ppmv in headspace of the agricultural and forest soil...... slurries, respectively. Addition of glucose decreased the maximum N2O concentration to 22 ppmv in headspace of the agricultural soil slurries, but increased to 520 ppmv in the forest soil slurries. Addition of exogenous N2O did not change such N2O accumulation maxima during the incubations. The field...

  2. SOIL SPATIAL ANALYSIS AND AGRICULTURAL LAND USE OPTIMIZATION BY USING GIS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    This paper discusses the methods and process of Geographic Information System (GIS) applied in soil spatial analysis, involving the collection of soil spatial data that GIS required, spatial analysis method of soil nutrient, land use, slope and exposure of geography, crop yield and other factors, and also including acquiring soil spatial information and creating thematic map, and so on. Taking Hengjing Town in Wuxian County of Jiangsu Province as a case study and the maximum income as a principle, and applying the GIS methods and their interrelated models, we have calculated the most optimized agricultural land and the possible maximum income of Hengjing Town. According to the method, we can rationally regulate local agricultural production, and put forward some scenarios for optimizing agricultural structure of Hengjing Town. The paper puts forward an evaluation method of land adaptability based on soil spatial analysis, and offers some research clews to optimize agricultural land use constitution, so the paper will be have important reference value for soil study.

  3. Protected areas and agricultural expansion: Biodiversity conservation versus economic growth in the Southeast of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moraes, Mayra Cristina Prado de; Mello, Kaline de; Toppa, Rogério Hartung

    2017-03-01

    The conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and urban areas plays a threat to the protected areas and the natural ecosystems conservation. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the agricultural expansion and its impact on the landscape spatial and temporal patterns in a buffer zone of a protected area located in the transition zone between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The land use and land cover were mapped between 1971 and 2008 and landscape metrics were calculated to provide a spatiotemporal analysis of the forest structure and the expansion of the croplands. The results showed that the landscape patterns were affected by the economic cycles. The predominant crop surrounding the protected area is sugar cane, which increased by 39% during this period, followed by citrus. This landscape change is connected to the Brazilian oil crisis in 1973. The rapid expansion of sugar cane was largely driven by Brazil's biofuel program, the "Proálcool" (pro-alcohol), a project in 1975 that mixed ethanol with gas for automotive fuel. The forest loss occurred mainly between 1971 and 1988, decreasing the forest cover from 17% in 1971 to 12.7% in 2008. Most of the forest patches are smaller than 50 ha and has low connectivity. Throughout the years, the fragments in the buffer zone have become smaller and with an elongated shape, and the park has become isolated. This forest fragmentation process and the predominance of monoculture lands in the buffer zone threaten the protected areas, and can represent a barrier for these areas to provide the effective biodiversity conservation. The measures proposed are necessary to ensure the capability of this ecosystem to sustain its original biodiversity.

  4. Contamination, source, and input route of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in historic wastewater-irrigated agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ning; Li, Hong-Bo; Long, Jin-Lin; Cai, Chao; Dai, Jiu-Lan; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Ren-Qing

    2012-12-01

    Contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) of historic wastewater-irrigated agricultural topsoil (0-5 cm) and the contribution of groundwater irrigation and atmospheric deposition to soil PAHs were studied in a typical agricultural region, i.e. Hunpu region, Liaoning, China. Concentrations of total PAHs ranged from 0.43 to 2.64 mg kg⁻¹ in topsoil, being lower than those found in other wastewater-irrigated areas. The levels of PAHs in soil declined as the distance from a water source increased. Concentrations of individual PAHs were generally higher in upland than in paddy topsoils. The calculated nemerow composite index showed that agricultural soil in the region was "polluted" by PAHs. A human health risk assessment based on the total toxic equivalent concentration showed that the presence of elevated concentrations of PAHs in the soil might pose a great threat to the health of local residents. Ratios of pairs of PAHs and principal component analysis (PCA) showed that pyrogenesis, such as coal combustion, was the main source of PAHs, while petroleum, to some extent, also had a strong influence on PAHs contamination in upland soil. The distribution patterns of individual PAHs and composition of PAHs differed between irrigation groundwater and topsoil, but were similar between atmospheric deposition and topsoil. There were significant linear correlations (r = 0.90; p soils, while no significant relationships were observed between irrigation groundwater and topsoil in levels of PAHs. These suggested that PAHs in agricultural soils were mainly introduced from atmospheric deposition, rather than from groundwater irrigation after the phasing out of wastewater irrigation in the region since 2002. This study provides a reference to ensure agricultural product safety, pollution control, and proper soil management.

  5. How agricultural management shapes soil microbial communities: patterns emerging from genetic and genomic studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, Amanda; Grandy, A. Stuart

    2016-04-01

    Agriculture is a predominant land use and thus a large influence on global carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balances, climate, and human health. If we are to produce food, fiber, and fuel sustainably we must maximize agricultural yield while minimizing negative environmental consequences, goals towards which we have made great strides through agronomic advances. However, most agronomic strategies have been designed with a view of soil as a black box, largely ignoring the way management is mediated by soil biota. Because soil microbes play a central role in many of the processes that deliver nutrients to crops and support their health and productivity, agricultural management strategies targeted to exploit or support microbial activity should deliver additional benefits. To do this we must determine how microbial community structure and function are shaped by agricultural practices, but until recently our characterizations of soil microbial communities in agricultural soils have been largely limited to broad taxonomic classes due to methodological constraints. With advances in high-throughput genetic and genomic sequencing techniques, better taxonomic resolution now enables us to determine how agricultural management affects specific microbes and, in turn, nutrient cycling outcomes. Here we unite findings from published research that includes genetic or genomic data about microbial community structure (e.g. 454, Illumina, clone libraries, qPCR) in soils under agricultural management regimes that differ in type and extent of tillage, cropping selections and rotations, inclusion of cover crops, organic amendments, and/or synthetic fertilizer application. We delineate patterns linking agricultural management to microbial diversity, biomass, C- and N-content, and abundance of microbial taxa; furthermore, where available, we compare patterns in microbial communities to patterns in soil extracellular enzyme activities, catabolic profiles, inorganic nitrogen pools, and nitrogen

  6. From agricultural intensification to conservation: sediment transport in the Raccoon River, Iowa, 1916-2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Christopher S; Schilling, Keith E

    2011-01-01

    Fluvial sediment is a ubiquitous pollutant that negatively affects surface water quality and municipal water supply treatment. As part of its routine water supply monitoring, the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) has been measuring turbidity daily in the Raccoon River since 1916. For this study, we calibrated daily turbidity readings to modern total suspended solid (TSS) concentrations to develop an estimation of daily sediment concentrations in the river from 1916 to 2009. Our objectives were to evaluate long-term TSS patterns and trends, and relate these to changes in climate, land use, and agricultural practices that occurred during the 93-yr monitoring period. Results showed that while TSS concentrations and estimated sediment loads varied greatly from year to year, TSS concentrations were much greater in the early 20th century despite drier conditions and less discharge, and declined throughout the century. Against a backdrop of increasing discharge in the Raccoon River and widespread agricultural adaptations by farmers, sediment loads increased and peaked in the early 1970s, and then have slowly declined or remained steady throughout the 1980s to present. With annual sediment load concentrated during extreme events in the spring and early summer, continued sediment reductions in the Raccoon River watershed should be focused on conservation practices to reduce rainfall impacts and sediment mobilization. Overall, results from this study suggest that efforts to reduce sediment load from the watershed appear to be working.

  7. Effects of copper in flooded Florida agricultural soils on Hyalella azteca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Tham C; Schuler, Lance J; Rand, Gary M

    2009-04-01

    This study examined the uptake and effects of copper (Cu) from flooded agricultural soils to epibenthic amphipods (Hyalella azteca) using 10-day sediment toxicity tests. Soils were collected from 10 citrus agricultural sites in South Florida. One sediment toxicity test was conducted with one flooding of the 10 soils, and based on the results of this test a second sediment toxicity test was conducted with 4 of the soils, after four 14-day flooding and four 14-day drying intervals over 4 months. Sediment toxicity tests were conducted under flow-through conditions using U.S. EPA methodology. Effects on survival, dry weight, and whole-body Cu concentrations of H. azteca were determined. Cu concentrations in overlying water and sediment of both sediment toxicity tests exceeded regulatory criteria for aquatic organisms. Although survival of H. azteca was not consistently affected from the first to the second sediment toxicity tests, dry weight was consistently reduced and related to Cu concentrations in soil, overlying water, and pore water. Furthermore, whole-body tissue Cu concentrations were significantly higher in H. azteca in all 10 soil-water treatments in the first sediment toxicity test and in all 4 soil-water treatments in the second sediment toxicity test compared to controls. Whole-body tissue concentrations and effects on dry weight were related to Cu exposures in soil, overlying water, and pore water. In these managed soil-water systems, small fish consuming H. azteca with high concentrations of Cu may be at risk.

  8. Native soil fungi associated with compostable plastics in three contrasting agricultural settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore-Kucera, Jennifer; Cox, Stephen B; Peyron, Mark; Bailes, Graham; Kinloch, Kevin; Karich, Kalin; Miles, Carol; Inglis, Debra Ann; Brodhagen, Marion

    2014-01-01

    Plastics are used widely as agricultural mulches to suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. Disposal of conventional plastic mulches requires physical removal for disposal in a landfill or incineration. Biodegradable plastic mulches that could be tilled into the soil at the end of a growing season represent an attractive alternative to conventional plastic mulches. In this study, three commercially available mulches labeled as "biodegradable" and one experimental, potentially biodegradable mulch were used during a tomato growing season, and then buried in field soil at three locations for approximately 6 months, as would occur typically in an agricultural setting. Degradation after 6 months in soil was minimal for all but the cellulosic mulch. After removal of mulches from soil, fungi were isolated from the mulch surfaces and tested for their ability to colonize and degrade the same mulches in pure culture. The majority of culturable soil fungi that colonized biodegradable mulches were within the family Trichocomaceae (which includes beneficial, pathogenic, and mycotoxigenic species of Aspergillus and Penicillium). These isolates were phylogenetically similar to fungi previously reported to degrade both conventional and biodegradable plastics. Under pure culture conditions, only a subset of fungal isolates achieved detectable mulch degradation. No isolate substantially degraded any mulch. Additionally, DNA was extracted from bulk soil surrounding buried mulches and ribosomal DNA was used to assess the soil microbial community. Soil microbial community structure was significantly affected by geographical location, but not by mulch treatments.

  9. Avoidance tests with Folsomia candida for the assessment of copper contamination in agricultural soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boiteau, G., E-mail: Gilles.Boiteau@agr.gc.ca [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Center, 850 Lincoln Road, P.O. Box 20280, Fredericton, NB, E3B 4Z7 (Canada); Lynch, D.H. [Nova Scotia Agricultural College, P.O. Box 550, Truro NS, B2N 4L2 (Canada); MacKinley, P. [Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Center, 850 Lincoln Road, P.O. Box 20280, Fredericton, NB, E3B 4Z7 (Canada)

    2011-04-15

    The feasibility of assessing copper accumulation in agricultural soils using avoidance tests with a Canadian strain of Folsomia candida was investigated under laboratory conditions. The avoidance response to nominal copper sulfate concentrations of 0, 200, 800, 1600 and 3200 mg kg{sup -1} in OECD soil was inconsistent between trials with the standard plastic cup or a modified Petri dish method requiring less soil. However, combined results from three Petri dish trials decreased variability and provided a 75% avoidance level, close to the 80% criterion proposed for avoidance tests. A Copper avoidance EC{sub 50s} of 18 mg kg{sup -1}was obtained using the Petri dish method whether tests were conducted with or without light. While Petri dish tests have potential as a cheap tool to distinguish metal contaminated soils from uncontaminated soils they would be unsuitable for tracking or quantifying changes in metal concentrations. throughout remediation. Advantages and limitations of the method have been presented. - Research highlights: > Avoidance cup test using Folsomia candida detects Cu independently of concentration. > Improved avoidance Petri dish test detects Cu in soil in function of concentration. > Cu voidance tests had similar EC50 values whether conducted with or without light. > Combining Cu avoidance test trials in OECD soil reduced the variability of results. - Improved avoidance tests having an EC{sub 50} value similar to the background Cu concentration in uncontaminated agricultural soils can distinguish Cu contaminated and Cu free OECD soil.

  10. Efficient mapping of agricultural soils using a novel electromagnetic measurement system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinks, Immo; Pregesbauer, Michael

    2016-04-01

    "Despite all our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains." - Paul Harvey. Despite the fact, that a farmers most precious good is the soil that he or she cultivates, in most cases actually very little is known about the soils that are being farmed. Agricultural soils are under constant threat through erosion, depletion, pollution and other degrading processes, in particular when considering intensive industrial scale farming. The capability of soils to retain water and soil moisture is of vital importance for their agricultural potential. Detailed knowledge of the physical properties of soils, their types and texture, water content and the depth of the agricultural layer would be of great importance for resource-efficient tillage with sub-area dependent variable depth, and the targeted intelligent application of fertilizers or irrigation. Precision farming, which has seen increasing popularity in the USA as well as Australia, is still in its infancy in Europe. Traditional near-surface geophysical prospection systems for agricultural soil mapping have either been based on earth resistance measurements using electrode-disks that require soil contact, with inherent issues, or electromagnetic induction (EMI) measurements conducted with EMI devices mounted in non-metallic sledges towed several metres behind survey vehicles across the fields. Every farmer passes over the fields several times during each growing season, working the soil and treating the crops. Therefore a novel user-friendly measurement system, the "Topsoil Mapper" (TSM) has been developed, which enables the farmer to simultaneously acquire soil conductivity information and derived soil parameters while anyway passing over the fields using different agricultural implements. The measurement principle of the TSM is electromagnetic induction using a multi-coil array to acquire conductivity information along a vertical profile down to approximately 1.1 m

  11. Mechanization of Conservation Agriculture for Smallholders: Issues and Options for Sustainable Intensification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian Sims

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Conservation agriculture (CA is an increasingly adopted production system to meet the goals of sustainable crop production intensification in feeding a growing world population whilst conserving natural resources. Mechanization (especially power units, seeders, rippers and sprayers is a key input for CA and smallholder farmers often have difficulties in making the necessary investments. Donors may be able to provide mechanization inputs in the short term, but this is not a sustainable solution as a machinery input supply chain needs to be built up to continue availability after external interventions cease. Local manufacture should be supported, as was the case in Brazil, but this is a slow development process, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. A more immediate solution is to equip and train CA service provision entrepreneurs. With the right equipment, selected for the needs of their local clientele, and the right technical and business management training, such entrepreneurs can make a livelihood by supplying high quality CA and other mechanization services on a fully costed basis. Elements of the required training, based on extensive field experience, are provided. To catalyse the growth of CA providers’ business, the market can be stimulated for an initial period by issuing e-vouchers for services and inputs.

  12. Fate of triclosan in agricultural soils after biosolid applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triclosan (5-chloro-2-[2,4-dichloro-phenoxy]-phenol (TCS) is a bactericidal compound that is added to a wide variety of household and personal care products. The consumer use of these products releases TCS into urban wastewater and this compound ends up in the environment when agricultural land is ...

  13. Bacterial oxidation of methyl bromide in fumigated agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, L.G.; Connell, T.L.; Guidetti, J.R.; Oremland, R.S.

    1997-01-01

    The oxidation of [14C]methyl bromide ([14C]MeBr) to 14CO2 was measured in field experiments with soils collected from two strawberry plots fumigated with mixtures of MeBr and chloropicrin (CCI3NO2). Although these fumigants are considered potent biocides, we found that the highest rates of MeBr oxidation occurred 1 to 2 days after injection when the fields were tarped, rather than before or several days after injection. No oxidation of MeBr occurred in heat-killed soils, indicating that microbes were the causative agents of the oxidation. Degradation of MeBr by chemical and/or biological processes accounted for 20 to 50% of the loss of MeBr during fumigation, with evasion to the atmosphere inferred to comprise the remainder. In laboratory incubations, complete removal of [14C]MeBr occurred within a few days, with 47 to 67% of the added MeBr oxidized to 14CO2 and the remainder of counts associated with the solid phase. Chloropicrin inhibited the oxidation of MeBr, implying that use of this substance constrains the extent of microbial degradation of MeBr during fumigation. Oxidation was by direct bacterial attack of MeBr and not of methanol, a product of the chemical hydrolysis of MeBr. Neither nitrifying nor methane-oxidizing bacteria were sufficiently active in these soils to account for the observed oxidation of MeBr, nor could the microbial degradation of MeBr be linked to cooxidation with exogenously supplied electron donors. However, repeated addition of MeBr to live soils resulted in higher rates of its removal, suggesting that soil bacteria used MeBr as an electron donor for growth. To support this interpretation, we isolated a gram-negative, aerobic bacterium from these soils which grew with MeBr as a sole source of carbon and energy.

  14. Mobility and fate of carbetamide in an agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crovetto, Guillermo; Navalón, Alberto; Ballesteros, Oscar; Vílchez, Jose Luis; García-Herruzo, Francisco; Rodríguez-Maroto, Jose Miguel

    2009-11-01

    The objective of this work is to gain a better understanding of the fate of carbetamide, as a representative herbicide, after its soil application. To reach this goal, batch and column laboratory experiments were performed and a transport model was proposed consistent with these results. Then field-scale experiments were carried out for two years and the results compared with those that would be obtained from the transport model, once the degradation terms were introduced. All this is done for four different scenarios: first, considering that the soil is under its natural condition; second, the soil is amended with organic carbon by the addition of stabilized sewage sludge; third, considering that the percolating aqueous phase contains a significant quantity of surfactant [Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate, (LAS)]; and fourth, the scenario in which the sewage sludge and the surfactant are present simultaneously. The Freundlich model yields a good fit to the data of the sorption isotherms obtained from batch equilibrium experiments, but the isotherms are close to linear. The batch sorption/desorption kinetic data together with the column and field results indicate that the retention kinetics are quite fast and local equilibrium can be assumed for the description of the sorption phenomenon. Results also prove that carbetamide is moderately retained in the original soil with a mean value of the partition coefficient of carbetamide about 0.46 (L kg(-1)). When the soil is amended with sewage sludge, this coefficient is somewhat lower, about 0.40 (L kg(-1)). A further decrease is observed 0.32 L kg(-1)) when the surfactant (LAS) at critical micelle concentration (CMC) is used. The two-region model yields a good reproduction of the results of carbetamide mobility in the soil, both at the laboratory scale and at the field scale.

  15. A method for estimating maximum static rainfall retention in pebble mulches used for soil moisture conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Hongtao; Lei, Tingwu; Jiang, Zhiyun; Horton, Robert

    2016-06-01

    Mulching of agricultural fields and gardens with pebbles has long been practiced to conserve soil moisture in some semi-arid regions with low precipitation. Rainfall interception by the pebble mulch itself is an important part of the computation of the water balance for the pebble mulched fields and gardens. The mean equivalent diameter (MED) was used to characterize the pebble size. The maximum static rainfall retention in pebble mulch is based on the water penetrating into the pores of pebbles, the water adhering to the outside surfaces of pebbles and the water held between pebbles of the mulch. Equations describing the water penetrating into the pores of pebbles and the water adhering to the outside surface of pebbles are constructed based on the physical properties of water and the pebble characteristics. The model for the water between pebbles of the mulch is based on the basic equation to calculate the water bridge volume and the basic coordination number model. A method to calculate the maximum static rainfall retention in the pebble mulch is presented. Laboratory rain simulation experiments were performed to test the model with measured data. Paired sample t-tests showed no significant differences between the values calculated with the method and the measured data. The model is ready for testing on field mulches.

  16. The Role of Biochar in Ameliorating Disturbed Soils and Sequestering Soil Carbon in Tropical Agricultural Production Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolde Mekuria

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural soils in the tropics have undergone significant declines in their native carbon stock through the long-term use of extractive farming practices. However, these soils have significant capacity to sequester CO2 through the implementation of improved land management practices. This paper reviews the published and grey literature related to the influence of improved land management practices on soil carbon stock in the tropics. The review suggests that the implementation of improved land management practices such as crop rotation, no-till, cover crops, mulches, compost, or manure can be effective in enhancing soil organic carbon pool and agricultural productivity in the tropics. The benefits of such amendments were, however, often short-lived, and the added organic matters were usually mineralized to CO2 within a few cropping seasons leading to large-scale leakage. We found that management of black carbon (C, increasingly referred to as biochar, may overcome some of those limitations and provide an additional soil management option. Under present circumstances, recommended crop and land management practices are inappropriate for the vast majority of resource constrained smallholder farmers and farming systems. We argue that expanding the use of biochar in agricultural lands would be important for sequestering atmospheric CO2 and mitigating climate change, while implementing the recommended crop and land management practices in selected areas where the smallholder farmers are not resource constrained.

  17. Survival and transport of faecal bacteria in agricultural soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bech, Tina Bundgaard

    Today, there is yearly applied 34 million tonnes of animal waste to arable land in Denmark. This waste may contain pathogenic zoonotic bacteria and/or antibiotic resistant bacteria, and when applied to arable land there is a risk of contaminating groundwater, surface water, feeding animals or fresh...... produce. Prediction of faecal bacterial survival and transport in the soil environment will help minimize the risk of contamination, as best management practices can be adapted to this knowledge. The aim of this Ph.D. is to study factors influencing faecal bacteria survival and transport in soil...

  18. Trace elements assessment in agricultural and desert soils of Aswan area, south Egypt: Geochemical characteristics and environmental impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darwish, Mohamed Abdallah Gad; Pöllmann, Hebert

    2015-12-01

    Determination of chemical elements, Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, P, Pb, Sc, Sr, Ti, Y, and Zn have been performed in agricultural and desert soils and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) at Aswan area. Consequently, the pollution indices, univariate and multivariate statistical methods have been applied, in order to assess the geochemical characteristics of these elements and their impact on soil environmental quality and plant, and to reach for their potential input sources. The investigation revealed that the mean and range values of all element concentrations in agricultural soil are higher than those in desert soil. Furthermore, the agricultural soil displayed various degrees of enrichment and pollution of Cd, Zn, Mo, Co, P, Ti, Pb. The geochemical pattern of integrated pollution indices gave a clear image of extreme and strong pollution in the agricultural soil stations, their poor quality with high risk to human health and considered as a tocsin for an alert. In contrast, the desert soil is the good environmental quality and safe for plant, animal and human health. Alfalfa is tolerant plant and considered as a biomarker for P and Mo in polluted agricultural soil. Four geochemical associations of analyzing elements in agricultural soil and three ones in desert soil have been generated, and their enhancements were essentially caused by various anthropogenic activities and geogenic sources. The investigation also revealed that the broad extended desert soil is fruitful and promising as cultivable lands for agricultural processes in the futures.

  19. Effects of aluminium water treatment residuals, used as a soil amendment to control phosphorus mobility in agricultural soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulén, Barbro; Etana, Ararso; Lindström, Bodil

    2012-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) leaching from agricultural soils is a serious environmental concern. Application of aluminium water treatment residuals (Al-WTRs) at a rate of 20 Mg ha(-1) to clay soils from central Sweden significantly increased mean topsoil P sorption index (PSI) from 4.6 to 5.5 μmol kg(-1) soil. Mean degree of P saturation in ammonium lactate extract (DPS-AL) significantly decreased from 17 to 13%, as did plant-available P (P-AL). Concentrations of dissolved reactive P (DRP) decreased by 10-85% in leaching water with Al-WTR treatments after exposure of topsoil lysimeters to simulated rain. Soil aggregate stability (AgS) for 15 test soils rarely improved. Three soils (clay loam, silty loam and loam sand) were tested in greenhouse pot experiments. Aluminium-WTR application of 15 or 30 ton ha(-1) to loam sand and a clay loam with P-AL values of 80-100 mg kg(-1) soil significantly increased growth of Italian ryegrass when fertilised with P but did not significantly affect growth of spring barley on any soil. Al-WTR should only be applied to soils with high P fertility where improved crop production is not required.

  20. Influence of soil tillage and erosion on the dispersion of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorovic, Gorana Rampazzo; Rampazzo, Nicola; Mentler, Axel; Blum, Winfried E. H.; Eder, Alexander; Strauss, Peter

    2014-03-01

    Erosion processes can strongly influence the dissipation of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid applied with Roundup Max® in agricultural soils; in addition, the soil structure state shortly before erosive precipitations fall can be a key parameter for the distribution of glyphosate and its metabolite. Field rain simulation experiments showed that severe erosion processes immediately after application of Roundup Max® can lead to serious unexpected glyphosate loss even in soils with a high presumed adsorption like the Cambisols, if their structure is unfavourable. In one of the no-tillage-plot of the Cambisol, up to 47% of the applied glyphosate amount was dissipated with surface run-off. Moreover, at the Chernozem site with high erosion risk and lower adsorption potential, glyphosate could be found in collected percolation water transported far outside the 2x2 m experimental plots. Traces of glyphosate were found also outside the treated agricultural fields.

  1. Adaptive Targeting: Engaging Farmers to Assess Perceptions and Improve Watershed Modeling, Optimization, and Adoption of Agricultural Conservation Practices

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Targeting agricultural conservation practices to farmland that has the greatest impact on surface water quality has received wide support from scientists and watershed managers. The targeting approach has, however, been politically contentious as many believe farmers will oppose the approach on grounds such as privacy invasion and unfair distribution of government incentives. Targeting conservation practices using complex optimization models has become common in the scientific community, and ...

  2. Measurement of the open porosity of agricultural soils with acoustic waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Jeanne; Mercatoris, Benoit; Destain, Marie-France

    2015-04-01

    The space between agricultural soil aggregates is defined as structural porosity. It plays important roles in soil key functions that an agricultural soil performs in the global ecosystem. Porosity is one of the soil properties that affect plant growth along with soil texture, aggregate size, aeration and water holding capacity (Alaoui et al. 2011). Water supplies regulation of agricultural soil is related to the number of very small pores present in a soil due to the effect of capillarity. Change of porosity also affect the evaporation of the water on the surface (Le Maitre et al. 2014). Furthermore, soil is a habitat for soils organisms, and most living organisms, including plant roots and microorganisms require oxygen. These organisms breathe easier in a less compacted soil with a wide range of pores sizes. Soil compaction by agricultural engine degrades soil porosity. At the same time, fragmentation with tillage tools, creation of cracks due to wetting/drying and freezing/thawing cycles and effects of soil fauna can regenerate soil porosity. Soil compaction increases bulk density since soil grains are rearranged decreasing void space and bringing them into closer contact (Hamza & Anderson 2005). Drainage is reduced, erosion is facilitated and crop production decreases in a compacted soil. Determining soil porosity, giving insight on the soil compaction, with the aim to provide advices to farmers in their soil optimization towards crop production, is thus an important challenge. Acoustic wave velocity has been correlated to the porosity and the acoustic attenuation to the water content (Oelze et al. 2002). Recent studies have shown some correlations between the velocity of acoustic waves, the porosity and the stress state of soil samples (Lu et al. 2004; Lu 2005; Lu & Sabatier 2009), concluding that the ultrasonic waves are a promising tool for the rapid characterisation of unsaturated porous soils. Propagation wave velocity tends to decrease in a high porous

  3. Soil and water contamination with carbofuran residues in agricultural farmlands in Kenya following the application of the technical formulation Furadan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otieno, Peter O; Lalah, Joseph O; Virani, Munir; Jondiko, Isaac O; Schramm, Karl-Werner

    2010-02-01

    This study was undertaken to determine the concentrations of carbofuran residues in water, soil and plant samples from selected sites in the farmlands in Kenya and to demonstrate the impact of Furadan use on the local environment. Soil, water and plant samples obtained from agricultural farmlands where the technical formulation Furadan has been used extensively showed high environmental contamination with concentrations of carbofuran and its two toxic metabolites 3-hydroxycarbofuran and 3-ketocarbofuran, separately, ranging from 0.010-1.009 mg/kg of dry surface soil, 0.005-0.495 mg/L in water samples from two rivers flowing through the farms and bdl-2.301 mg/L in water samples from ponds and dams located close to the farms. Maize plant samples contained these residues in concentrations ranging from 0.04-1.328 mg/kg of dry plant tissue. The significantly high concentration levels of carbofuran and its metabolites, 3-ketocarbofuran and 3-hydroxycarbofuran, found in various matrices demonstrate that Furadan was used extensively in the two areas and that there was environmental distribution and exposure of residues in water which posed risks when used for domestic purposes or as drinking water for animals in two wildlife conservancies where the dams and ponds are located. Surface soil contamination was also high and posed risks through run-off into the dams and rivers as well as through secondary exposure to small birds and mammals.

  4. Sorption and degradation of estrogen conjugates in agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    The natural estrogenic hormone, 17'-estradiol (E2), can disrupt the endocrine system of some aquatic species at ng/L concentrations. Laboratory studies have shown low potentials for E2 persistence and mobility in the environment due to high degradation and soil retention. However, field studies have...

  5. What are the effects of agricultural management on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Söderström, Bo; Hedlund, Katarina; Jackson, Louise E.

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks significantly influence the atmospheric C concentration. Agricultural management practices that increase SOC stocks thus may have profound effects on climate mitigation. Additional benefits include higher soil fertility since increased SOC stocks improve......, such as oxidation/mineralization, leaching and erosion. However, a systematic review comparing the efficacy of different agricultural management practices to increase SOC stocks has not yet been produced. Since there are diverging views on this matter, a systematic review would be timely for framing policies...

  6. Monitoring changes in soil carbon resulting from intensive production, a non-traditional agricultural methodology.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dwyer, Brian P.

    2013-03-01

    New Mexico State University and a group of New Mexico farmers are evaluating an innovative agricultural technique they call Intensive Production (IP). In contrast to conventional agricultural practice, IP uses intercropping, green fallowing, application of soil amendments and soil microbial inocula to sequester carbon as plant biomass, resulting in improved soil quality. Sandia National Laboratories role was to identify a non-invasive, cost effective technology to monitor soil carbon changes. A technological review indicated that Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) best met the farmers objectives. Sandia partnered with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to analyze farmers test plots using a portable LIBS developed at LANL. Real-time LIBS field sample analysis was conducted and grab samples were collected for laboratory comparison. The field and laboratory results correlated well implying the strong potential for LIBS as an economical field scale analytical tool for analysis of elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphate.

  7. Does agricultural crop diversity enhance soil microbial biomass and organic matter dynamics? A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDaniel, M D; Tiemann, L K; Grandy, A S

    2014-04-01

    Our increasing dependence on a small number of agricultural crops, such as corn, is leading to reductions in agricultural biodiversity. Reductions in the number of crops in rotation or the replacement of rotations by monocultures are responsible for this loss of biodiversity. The belowground implications of simplifying agricultural plant communities remain unresolved; however, agroecosystem sustainability will be severely compromised if reductions in biodiversity reduce soil C and N concentrations, alter microbial communities, and degrade soil ecosystem functions as reported in natural communities. We conducted a meta-analysis of 122 studies to examine crop rotation effects on total soil C and N concentrations, and the faster cycling microbial biomass C and N pools that play key roles in soil nutrient cycling and physical processes such as aggregate formation. We specifically examined how rotation crop type and management practices influence C and N dynamics in different climates and soil types. We found that adding one or more crops in rotation to a monoculture increased total soil C by 3.6% and total N by 5.3%, but when rotations included a cover crop (i.e., crops that are not harvested but produced to enrich the soil and capture inorganic N), total C increased by 8.5% and total N 12.8%. Rotations substantially increased the soil microbial biomass C (20.7%) and N (26.1%) pools, and these overwhelming effects on microbial biomass were not moderated by crop type or management practices. Crop rotations, especially those that include cover crops, sustain soil quality and productivity by enhancing soil C, N, and microbial biomass, making them a cornerstone for sustainable agroecosystems.

  8. Applying nitrogen site-specifically using soil electrical conductivity maps and precision agriculture technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, E D; Wolcott, M C; Hanson, G P

    2001-10-16

    Soil texture varies significantly within many agricultural fields. The physical properties of soil, such as soil texture, have a direct effect on water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, crop yield, production capability, and nitrogen (N) loss variations within a field. In short, mobile nutrients are used, lost, and stored differently as soil textures vary. A uniform application of N to varying soils results in a wide range of N availability to the crop. N applied in excess of crop usage results in a waste of the grower"s input expense, a potential negative effect on the environment, and in some crops a reduction of crop quality, yield, and harvestability. Inadequate N levels represent a lost opportunity for crop yield and profit. The global positioning system (GPS)-referenced mapping of bulk soil electrical conductivity (EC) has been shown to serve as an effective proxy for soil texture and other soil properties. Soils with a high clay content conduct more electricity than coarser textured soils, which results in higher EC values. This paper will describe the EC mapping process and provide case studies of site-specific N applications based on EC maps. Results of these case studies suggest that N can be managed site-specifically using a variety of management practices, including soil sampling, variable yield goals, and cropping history.

  9. Applying Nitrogen Site-Specifically Using Soil Electrical Conductivity Maps and Precision Agriculture Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.D. Lund

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Soil texture varies significantly within many agricultural fields. The physical properties of soil, such as soil texture, have a direct effect on water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, crop yield, production capability, and nitrogen (N loss variations within a field. In short, mobile nutrients are used, lost, and stored differently as soil textures vary. A uniform application of N to varying soils results in a wide range of N availability to the crop. N applied in excess of crop usage results in a waste of the grower’s input expense, a potential negative effect on the environment, and in some crops a reduction of crop quality, yield, and harvestability. Inadequate N levels represent a lost opportunity for crop yield and profit. The global positioning system (GPS-referenced mapping of bulk soil electrical conductivity (EC has been shown to serve as an effective proxy for soil texture and other soil properties. Soils with a high clay content conduct more electricity than coarser textured soils, which results in higher EC values. This paper will describe the EC mapping process and provide case studies of site-specific N applications based on EC maps. Results of these case studies suggest that N can be managed site-specifically using a variety of management practices, including soil sampling, variable yield goals, and cropping history.

  10. Where Land Use Changes Occur: Using Soil Features to Understand the Economic Trends in Agricultural Lands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Rivieccio

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the major land use change processes over the 1990–2008 period in Abruzzo region (Central Italy in relation to the characteristics of the soils and with particular regard to their capability for agricultural purposes, in order to highlight their implications on agricultural productivity. The relative changes in the agricultural incomes and land values were also estimated. To this end, we proposed an inventory approach as a flexible and feasible way for monitoring land use changes at multiple scales. As main outcomes, the shrinkage of agricultural lands and their internal changes (intensification vs. extensification processes were highlighted. The shrinkage of agricultural lands was strictly related to: (a reforestation process in mountain areas and less productive lands after land abandonment; and (b urbanization on plains and more productive lands. Although the intensification process was demonstrated to have a positive effect on the overall regional agricultural incomes, especially on high quality soils, this was not adequate to compensate the economic loss due to the other land use changes, especially in marginal areas and low-to-medium quality soils. Finally, the paper discusses the geographical pattern of land use change processes across the region, including their interrelations and combined effects, and ultimately offers recommendations to decision-makers addressing future sustainable development objectives from local to global scale.

  11. Crop residues reuse to improve agricultural soil quality

    OpenAIRE

    Cornejo, Jennifer Moreno; Cano, Angel Faz

    2008-01-01

    Since the 70´s in The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, the irrigated agricultural area has increased, especially in the agrarian district “Comarca del Campo de Cartagena”, (South East of Spain). As a consequence, the amount of crop residues generated has gone up too. At the present, harvest residues constitute a very serious environmental problem because, in most cases, these residues are dehydrated on the land and burned later on with subsequent negative consequences...

  12. Analysis of surface soil moisture patterns in agricultural landscapes using empirical orthogonal functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Korres

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil moisture is one of the fundamental variables in hydrology, meteorology and agriculture. Nevertheless, its spatio-temporal patterns in agriculturally used landscapes affected by multiple natural (rainfall, soil, topography etc. and agronomic (fertilisation, soil management etc. factors are often not well known. The aim of this study is to determine the dominant factors governing the spatio-temporal patterns of surface soil moisture in a grassland and an arable land test site within the Rur catchment in Western Germany. Surface soil moisture (0–6 cm has been measured in an approx. 50×50 m grid at 14 and 17 dates (May 2007 to November 2008 in both test sites. To analyse spatio-temporal patterns of surface soil moisture, an Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF analysis was applied and the results were correlated with parameters derived from topography, soil, vegetation and land management to connect the pattern to related factors and processes. For the grassland test site, the analysis results in one significant spatial structure (first EOF, which explains about 57.5% of the spatial variability connected to soil properties and topography. The weight of the first spatial EOF is stronger on wet days. The highest temporal variability can be found in locations with a high percentage of soil organic carbon (SOC. For the arable land test site, the analysis yields two significant spatial structures, the first EOF, explaining 38.4% of the spatial variability, shows a highly significant correlation to soil properties, namely soil texture. The second EOF, explaining 28.3% of the spatial variability, is connected to differences in land management. The soil moisture in the arable land test site varies more during dry and wet periods on locations with low porosity.

  13. A GPS Backpack System for Mapping Soil and Crop Parameters in Agricultural Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, J. V.; Lebars, J. M.

    Farmers are having to gather increasing amounts of data on their soils and crops. Precision agriculture metre-by-metre is based on a knowledge of the spatial variation of soil and crop parameters across a field. The data has to be spatially located and GPS is an effective way of doing this. A backpack data logging system with GPS position tagging is described which has been designed to aid a fanner in the manual collection of data.

  14. Microbiological and biochemical properties of an agricultural Mexican soil amended with sewage sludge

    OpenAIRE

    Renato Armenta; Rocio Vaca; Jorge Lugo; Pedro del Aguila

    2012-01-01

    The application of sewage sludge is a concern because it may affect the quality of organic matter and microbiological and biochemical soil properties. The effects of surface application of sewage sludge to an agricultural soil (at 18 and 36 t ha-1 dry basis) were assessed in one maize (Zea mays L.) growing season. The study evaluated microbial biomass, basal respiration and selected enzymatic activities (catalase, urease, acid and alkaline phosphatase, and #946;-glucosidase) 230 days after s...

  15. Influence of management practices on microbial nitrogen cyclers in agricultural soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; McMillan, Mary; Pereg, Lily

    2016-04-01

    Agricultural land management has great influences on soil properties, in particular on microbial communities, due to their sensitivity to the perturbations of the soils. This is even more relevant in Mediterranean agricultural areas under semi-arid conditions. The Mediterranean belt is suffering from an intense degradation of its soils due to the millennia of intense land use and due to unsustainable management practices. As a consequence this area is suffering from a depletion of N content. In this work we investigated the effect of several traditional agricultural management practices on specific functional groups related to the nitrogen cycle in the soil. A field experiment was performed with orchard orange trees (citrus sinesis) in Eastern Spain to assess the long-term effects of ploughing with inorganic fertilization (PI) and ecological practices (EP) (chipped pruned branches and weeds as well as manure from sheep and goats) on microbes that can undertake nitrogen fixation and denitrification. Nine samples of soil were taken from every treatment, near the drip irrigation point and in a zone without the influence of drip irrigation (between trees row), and total DNA extracted. DNA samples were stored at minus-20°C to be analysed by qPCR. Microbial populations involved in the N biochemical cycle were analysed by targeted amplification of key functional biomarker genes: the abundance of nifH (nitrogen fixation), nirS, nirK and nosZ (denitrification) detected by quantitative PCR (qPCR) has shown significant differences between treatments with higher abundance of all four genes in soils from ecological agricultural treatments. This may indicate that the ecological treatment created conditions that are more suitable for N cyclers in the soil and a better fertility and quality status of these soils.

  16. Soil chemical sensor and precision agricultural chemical delivery system and method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colburn, J.W. Jr.

    1991-07-23

    A real time soil chemical sensor and precision agricultural chemical delivery system includes a plurality of ground-engaging tools in association with individual soil sensors which measure soil chemical levels. The system includes the addition of a solvent which rapidly saturates the soil/tool interface to form a conductive solution of chemicals leached from the soil. A multivalent electrode, positioned within a multivalent frame of the ground-engaging tool, applies a voltage or impresses a current between the electrode and the tool frame. A real-time soil chemical sensor and controller senses the electrochemical reaction resulting from the application of the voltage or current to the leachate, measures it by resistivity methods, and compares it against pre-set resistivity levels for substances leached by the solvent. Still greater precision is obtained by calibrating for the secondary current impressed through solvent-less soil. The appropriate concentration is then found and the servo-controlled delivery system applies the appropriate amount of fertilizer or agricultural chemicals substantially in the location from which the soil measurement was taken. 5 figures.

  17. CHANGES IN BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY OF BROWN FOREST SOILS UNDER AGRICULTURAL USE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kozun Y. S.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural use leads to a significant transformation of soils. The first to use the soil for cultivation react most sensitive biological indicators. The purpose of the study - to establish the effect of using the brown forest soils for planting apple orchards for their biological activity, in particular on the humus content, enzyme activity (catalase and dehydrogenase. For the control, we have selected forest area adjacent to arable land. Because of violations of the natural vegetation, there are changes in hydrothermal conditions of the soil. Humidity soil plowed off under forest, while temperatures gets considerably higher. Plowing, compared with the control, revealed significant loss of humus (50% in the upper most disturbed horizons. In the lower horizons of the values of this index were quite low (1.5% on all sections of the test. The decline in humus content, as well as overheating and draining soil tillage results in a change of enzymatic activity not only in the surface layers, but also in the whole profile. Due to the movement of the most favorable hydrothermal conditions in the underlying horizons, an increase of enzyme activity over control values in the deeper layers of the soil. The article shows a possibility of the use of biological indicators as indicators of changes in the brown forest soils as a result of agricultural use

  18. Prediction of soil properties for agricultural and environmental applications from infrared and X-ray soil spectral properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Towett, Erick Kibet

    2013-12-09

    Many of today's most pressing problems facing developing countries, such as food security, climate change, and environmental protection, require large area data on soil functional capacity. Conventional assessments (methods and measurements) of soil capacity to perform specific agricultural and environmental functions are time consuming and expensive. In addition, repeatability, reproducibility and accuracy of conventional soil analytical data are major challenges. New, rapid methods to quantify soil properties are needed, especially in developing countries where reliable data on soil properties is sparse, and to take advantage of new opportunities for digital soil mapping. Mid infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (MIR) has already shown promise as a rapid analytical tool and there are new opportunities to include other high-throughput techniques, such as total X-ray fluorescence (TXRF), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy. In this study TXRF and XRD were tested in conjunction with IR to provide powerful diagnostic capabilities for the direct prediction of key soil properties for agricultural and environmental applications especially for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) soils. Optimal combinations of spectral methods for use in pedotransfer functions for low cost, rapid prediction of chemical and physical properties of African soils as well as prediction models for soil organic carbon and soil fertility properties (soil extractable nutrients, pH and exchangeable acidity) were tested in this study. This study has developed and tested a method for the use of TXRF for direct quantification of total element concentrations in soils using a TXRF (S2 PICOFOX trademark) spectrometer and demonstrated that TXRF could be used as a rapid screening tool for total element concentrations in soils assuming sufficient calibration measures are followed. The results of the current study have shown that TXRF can provide efficient chemical fingerprinting which could be further

  19. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego N. Chavarría

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L., vetch (Vicia sativa L. and radish (Raphanus sativus L. which were sown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1 and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2, with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield.

  20. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chavarría, D.N.; Verdenelli, R.A.; Muñoz, M.J.; Conforto, C.; Restovich, S.B.; Andriulo, A.E.; Meriles, J.M.; Vargas-Gil, S.

    2016-11-01

    Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC) as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation) during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L.), vetch (Vicia sativa L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) which weresown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1) and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2), with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased