Agronomy Library > Soil Conservation

Cropping Systems & Soil Dynamics - Direct Seeding Advantage 2006
Author: Jason Cathcart & Rob Dunn, Alberta Agriculture & Food
Date Created: November 22, 2006
Last Reviewed: March 01, 2007

This paper will discuss some of the soil quality dynamics related to conservation cropping systems. Farming practices impact the physical, chemical and biological soil components with soil quality shifts being most dramatic during the transition periods after a change in soil disturbance, crop rotation or nutrient addition (fertilizer, manure or biomass). 

Extensive work has been done to document the physical and chemical changes (for example bulk density, aeration, organic matter and nutrient content) but less so for the soil biological components - which have proved more difficult to quantify. In this paper, we’ll provide some background on the diverse nature of the soil biological community, and discuss some of the work begun to measure this vital component.

Open the PDF for the complete paper