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Title: A calculator to quantify cover crop effects on soil health and productivity

Abstract

Successful incorporation of cover crops within agricultural rotations requires the ability to objectively evaluate their effects on agroecosystem functions. In this study, we compiled data from a set of soil health measurements collected across the globe. We then used t-tests and unbalanced analysis of variation (UANOVA) tests to analyze cover crop effects on 38 soil health indicators. The t-test analysis indicated that cover crop use during fallow seasons caused significant changes in 28 of 38 indicators, with differences seen for all physical parameters and most indicators associated with biological and environmental measurements. Our UANOVA analysis allowed us to identify a hierarchy of most to least important environment and management factors for each indicator. Using this hierarchy, we developed a calculator for soil health evaluation. The soil health calculator requires only four inputs – climatic region, soil texture group, cash crop rotation, and cover crop type – and as output reports mean percent change for 13 soil health indicators. The analyses produced in this study provide new information on cover crop effects on soil health, and the corresponding web-based calculator will help to ensure that soil health measurements from the field and laboratory are useful to farmers, planners, and regulators. Further,more » as more data becomes integrated into the calculator, results will continue to improve in accuracy and realism, ultimately making soil health evaluation a practical outcome across the globe.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [2]
  1. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. Iowa State University
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1597634
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-145335
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Soil & Tillage Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 199
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
agronomy, conservation agriculture

Citation Formats

Jian, Jinshi, Lester, Brandon, Du, Xuan, Reiter, Mark, and Stewart, Ryan. A calculator to quantify cover crop effects on soil health and productivity. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1016/j.still.2020.104575.
Jian, Jinshi, Lester, Brandon, Du, Xuan, Reiter, Mark, & Stewart, Ryan. A calculator to quantify cover crop effects on soil health and productivity. United States. doi:10.1016/j.still.2020.104575.
Jian, Jinshi, Lester, Brandon, Du, Xuan, Reiter, Mark, and Stewart, Ryan. Fri . "A calculator to quantify cover crop effects on soil health and productivity". United States. doi:10.1016/j.still.2020.104575.
@article{osti_1597634,
title = {A calculator to quantify cover crop effects on soil health and productivity},
author = {Jian, Jinshi and Lester, Brandon and Du, Xuan and Reiter, Mark and Stewart, Ryan},
abstractNote = {Successful incorporation of cover crops within agricultural rotations requires the ability to objectively evaluate their effects on agroecosystem functions. In this study, we compiled data from a set of soil health measurements collected across the globe. We then used t-tests and unbalanced analysis of variation (UANOVA) tests to analyze cover crop effects on 38 soil health indicators. The t-test analysis indicated that cover crop use during fallow seasons caused significant changes in 28 of 38 indicators, with differences seen for all physical parameters and most indicators associated with biological and environmental measurements. Our UANOVA analysis allowed us to identify a hierarchy of most to least important environment and management factors for each indicator. Using this hierarchy, we developed a calculator for soil health evaluation. The soil health calculator requires only four inputs – climatic region, soil texture group, cash crop rotation, and cover crop type – and as output reports mean percent change for 13 soil health indicators. The analyses produced in this study provide new information on cover crop effects on soil health, and the corresponding web-based calculator will help to ensure that soil health measurements from the field and laboratory are useful to farmers, planners, and regulators. Further, as more data becomes integrated into the calculator, results will continue to improve in accuracy and realism, ultimately making soil health evaluation a practical outcome across the globe.},
doi = {10.1016/j.still.2020.104575},
journal = {Soil & Tillage Research},
number = ,
volume = 199,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {5}
}