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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Soil Crusting and Water Infiltration Affected by Long-Term Tillage and Residue Management


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 5, p. 1524-1530
    Received: June 4, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. J. L. Pikul Jr.  and
  2. J. F. Zuzel
  1. USDA-ARS, Northern Plains Soil and Water Research Center, P.O. Box 1109, Sidney, MT 59270
    USDA-ARS Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, P.O. Box 370, Pendleton, OR, 97801



Soils with low organic carbon (OC) are prone to crusting. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of tillage and N-fertility on crusting and water infiltration. Experiments were conducted on two long-term winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) -fallow studies. Primary tillage treatments on a tillage study started in 1940 were moldboard plow, disk, and sweep, with fertilizer rates of 45 and 180 kg N ha−1. Primary tillage on a residue management study started in 1931 was spring moldboard plowing. Residue management consisted of wheat straw burned in fall with no added N (FB), 22.4 tons ha−1 of strawy manure every other year (SM), and 90 kg N ha−1 every other year (N90). Water infiltration did not differ among tillage treatments but was 57% greater on 180 kg N ha−1 than on 45 kg N ha−1. Porosity of the surface crust on 180 kg N ha−1 was 12% greater than on 45 kg N ha−1 and 29% greater on SM than on FB. There was a 14% increase in porosity of the surface crust during winter on SM and N90 and a decrease in porosity on FB. Organic C was 62% greater on SM than on FB. Porosity was significantly correlated (r = 0.75) with OC on the tillage and residue studies. Management practices that conserve or increase OC are important to develop porous soils with high infiltrability.

Joint contribution of USDA-ARS and Oregon State Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn. Technical Paper No.10223.

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