Poster Title

Soil Responses to One-Season Winter Cover Crops

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Agriculture Science

Institution

Murray State University

KY House District #

5

KY Senate District #

1

Department

Hutson School od Agriculture

Abstract

Soil Responses to One-Season Winter Cover Crops

McKenna Morgan and I. P. Handayani

Hutson School of Agriculture Murray State University, KY, USA

Abstract

In regions like western Kentucky where wooded lots are common there is a growing interest in how to utilize them so that land profits can be maximized. The frequently poor soils in wooded areas due to erosion and lack of ground cover vegetation often cause complications in the creation of pasture areas. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effect of growing winter cover crops on soils to prepare for pasture systems in the spring. There were two parts in this experiment. Part one was the winter cover crop revegetation to prevent further soil erosion, add organic matter for the topsoil, and scavenge of nutrients from the lower soil horizons. The second part of the project involved the seeding of pasture forages appropriate for small livestock in the spring after the winter cover had been killed. Soil quality indicators such as soil organic matter, soil compaction, aggregate stability and water percolation were monitored to evaluate the progress of soil improvement. The focus of this research was to compare the soil quality before and after the revegetation. The results of this study will be beneficial for homeowners, foresters, agronomists and gardeners that face poor soil conditions associated with wooded plots.

Keywords: Aggregate stability, organic matter, restoration, water percolation, winter cover crops

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Soil Responses to One-Season Winter Cover Crops

Soil Responses to One-Season Winter Cover Crops

McKenna Morgan and I. P. Handayani

Hutson School of Agriculture Murray State University, KY, USA

Abstract

In regions like western Kentucky where wooded lots are common there is a growing interest in how to utilize them so that land profits can be maximized. The frequently poor soils in wooded areas due to erosion and lack of ground cover vegetation often cause complications in the creation of pasture areas. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the effect of growing winter cover crops on soils to prepare for pasture systems in the spring. There were two parts in this experiment. Part one was the winter cover crop revegetation to prevent further soil erosion, add organic matter for the topsoil, and scavenge of nutrients from the lower soil horizons. The second part of the project involved the seeding of pasture forages appropriate for small livestock in the spring after the winter cover had been killed. Soil quality indicators such as soil organic matter, soil compaction, aggregate stability and water percolation were monitored to evaluate the progress of soil improvement. The focus of this research was to compare the soil quality before and after the revegetation. The results of this study will be beneficial for homeowners, foresters, agronomists and gardeners that face poor soil conditions associated with wooded plots.

Keywords: Aggregate stability, organic matter, restoration, water percolation, winter cover crops