Title

Characteristics of Soils under Common Management Practices on Farms in Western Kentucky

Presenter Information

River DowellFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Agronomy

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Iin Handayani

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Characteristics of Soils under Common Management Practices

on Farms in Western Kentucky

River O. Dowell and Iin P. Handayani, Murray State University, Kentucky

ABSTRACT

Properly understanding the importance of soil properties and how they continuously change is a key to achieving sustainability in agriculture. This study was conducted to observe the changes of soil properties regarding common tillage systems in Kentucky. Undisturbed and disturbed soil samples were collected from Butler County, KY at depths of 0-7.5 cm and 7.5-15 cm from four sites representing the different management practices of conventional tillage, no-till, pasture, and woodlands. The samples were analyzed for soil water retention, soil organic matter, acidity, bulk density, and porosity. From the data, it was determined that soils that were undisturbed (no-tilled soil, pasture, woodlands) had consistently higher water holding capacities at 77% than the disturbed soil site (conventional tillage) which was at 64%. Soil water content at field capacity was found to be lower in conventional tillage management systems at 34% when compared to other management systems which averaged to be 57%. Bulk density was lower in soils under conventional till systems at 0.98 g/cm3 than in soils under other practices which averaged to be 1.35 g/cm3. Porosity was determined to be higher in soils under conventional till soils at 63% than in soils that went untilled which averaged to be 50%. Soil organic carbon was determined from soil organic matter and was found to be higher in traditional tillage soils at 6.7% than in no-till soils which were at 3.4%. Soil acidity was determined for each site; a pH of 6.9 was found for woodland soils and an average pH of 7.3 was found for the remaining agricultural soils. No acidity was found in any of the four sites. Further studies will be conducted over these test plots.

Keywords: Acidity, bulk density, organic matter, tillage, water retention

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Characteristics of Soils under Common Management Practices on Farms in Western Kentucky

Characteristics of Soils under Common Management Practices

on Farms in Western Kentucky

River O. Dowell and Iin P. Handayani, Murray State University, Kentucky

ABSTRACT

Properly understanding the importance of soil properties and how they continuously change is a key to achieving sustainability in agriculture. This study was conducted to observe the changes of soil properties regarding common tillage systems in Kentucky. Undisturbed and disturbed soil samples were collected from Butler County, KY at depths of 0-7.5 cm and 7.5-15 cm from four sites representing the different management practices of conventional tillage, no-till, pasture, and woodlands. The samples were analyzed for soil water retention, soil organic matter, acidity, bulk density, and porosity. From the data, it was determined that soils that were undisturbed (no-tilled soil, pasture, woodlands) had consistently higher water holding capacities at 77% than the disturbed soil site (conventional tillage) which was at 64%. Soil water content at field capacity was found to be lower in conventional tillage management systems at 34% when compared to other management systems which averaged to be 57%. Bulk density was lower in soils under conventional till systems at 0.98 g/cm3 than in soils under other practices which averaged to be 1.35 g/cm3. Porosity was determined to be higher in soils under conventional till soils at 63% than in soils that went untilled which averaged to be 50%. Soil organic carbon was determined from soil organic matter and was found to be higher in traditional tillage soils at 6.7% than in no-till soils which were at 3.4%. Soil acidity was determined for each site; a pH of 6.9 was found for woodland soils and an average pH of 7.3 was found for the remaining agricultural soils. No acidity was found in any of the four sites. Further studies will be conducted over these test plots.

Keywords: Acidity, bulk density, organic matter, tillage, water retention