Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Can Simple Measures of Labile Soil Organic Matter Predict Corn Performance?

13.02.2013
Organic matter is important for soil health and crop productivity. While an indicator of soil quality, a lot of organic matter is in extremely stable forms, and the nutrients in such forms are difficult for plants to use. The active, labile fraction, however, is a modest but important part of the organic matter.

“The labile fraction is small – usually less than 20 or even 10 percent, depending on how you define it,” explains Steve Culman, lead author of a study published online Feb. 8 in Agronomy Journal. “But it is where a lot of the action happens. It’s where soil nutrients are rapidly cycled and are interacting with microbial communities.”

The size of the labile pool, then, can be an important predictor of corn agronomic performance. But the tests used up to this point to measure those pools, such as microbial biomass and particulate organic matter, were labor intensive and expensive. Culman, in Sieg Snapp’s lab at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, decided to use other measurements of the labile fractions – including nitrogen mineralization and carbon mineralization – to see what information these inexpensive tests might give them. Their results suggest that simple measures of labile organic matter can reflect long-term management and short-term seasonal changes as well as predict corn performance.

To better understand labile soil organic measurements and what they could tell farmers, the researchers measured soils managed in a variety of conditions. Fields were maintained with three different management practices (conventional, integrated, and compost) and two different crop rotations (continuous corn with no cover crops and corn-soybean-wheat with cover crops). After collecting soil from the different fields, the scientists then measured carbon and nitrogen mineralization.

“What’s nice about carbon and nitrogen mineralization is they’re based on actual biological activity,” says Culman. “You take into account the soil microbes and environment for these tests.”

A long-term cropping system trial provided the perfect opportunity to test the extent to which carbon and nitrogen mineralization measurements were affected by both management practice and crop rotation. These tests, then, could be used to identify the best practices, such as fertilizer application, for a given field. This would be especially useful for nitrogen – a nutrient that is incredibly important for crop growth but is rarely measured by farmers.

“Most farmers don’t test their soils for nitrogen,” explains Culman. “They just basically apply a rate based on their yield goals, and excess nitrogen may be applied. The long-term goal would be to offer these as predictive tests for farmers so they can say, ‘Given my soil type, management, and these measures, I should apply this amount of nitrogen.’ That’s the ultimate goal.”

The predictive power of such tests for best management practices goes hand-in-hand with crop performance. The researchers also found that carbon mineralization was a better predictor of corn agronomic performance than other measures that are currently used (pre-sidress nitrate test and leaf chlorophyll). With these tests, Culman and his coauthors hope to provide farmers with better tools to manage their fields and increase crop yields.

Says Culman, “This could have tremendous impacts, locally, regionally, and nationally, in terms of having tools that better predict our cropping system performance based on soil properties.”

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/aj/abstracts/0/0/agronj2012.0382.

A peer-reviewed international journal of agriculture and natural resource sciences, Agronomy Journal is published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy, with articles relating to original research in soil science, crop science, agroclimatology and agronomic modeling, production agriculture, and software. For more information visit: www.agronomy.org/publications/aj

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Caroline Schneider | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.sciencesocieties.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Farbeffekte durch transparente Nanostrukturen aus dem 3D-Drucker

Neues Design-Tool erstellt automatisch 3D-Druckvorlagen für Nanostrukturen zur Erzeugung benutzerdefinierter Farben | Wissenschaftler präsentieren ihre Ergebnisse diese Woche auf der angesehenen SIGGRAPH-Konferenz

Die meisten Objekte im Alltag sind mit Hilfe von Pigmenten gefärbt, doch dies hat einige Nachteile: Die Farben können verblassen, künstliche Pigmente sind oft...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Eisen und Titan in der Atmosphäre eines Exoplaneten entdeckt

Forschende der Universitäten Bern und Genf haben erstmals in der Atmosphäre eines Exoplaneten Eisen und Titan nachgewiesen. Die Existenz dieser Elemente in Gasform wurde von einem Team um den Berner Astronomen Kevin Heng theoretisch vorausgesagt und konnte nun von Genfern Astronominnen und Astronomen bestätigt werden.

Planeten in anderen Sonnensystemen, sogenannte Exoplaneten, können sehr nah um ihren Stern kreisen. Wenn dieser Stern viel heisser ist als unsere Sonne, dann...

Im Focus: Magnetische Antiteilchen eröffnen neue Horizonte für die Informationstechnologie

Computersimulationen zeigen neues Verhalten von Antiskyrmionen bei zunehmenden elektrischen Strömen

Skyrmionen sind magnetische Nanopartikel, die als vielversprechende Kandidaten für neue Technologien zur Datenspeicherung und Informationsverarbeitung gelten....

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industrie & Wirtschaft
Veranstaltungen

LaserForum 2018 thematisiert die 3D-Fertigung von Komponenten

17.08.2018 | Veranstaltungen

Aktuelles aus der Magnetischen Resonanzspektroskopie

16.08.2018 | Veranstaltungen

DFG unterstützt Kongresse und Tagungen - Oktober 2018

16.08.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

Bionik im Leichtbau

17.08.2018 | Verfahrenstechnologie

Klimafolgenforschung in Hannover: Kleine Pflanzen gegen große Wellen

17.08.2018 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

HAWK-Ingenieurinnen und -Ingenieure entwickeln die leichteste 9to-LKW-Achse ihrer Art

17.08.2018 | Messenachrichten

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics