Mineralizable soil nitrogen and labile soil organic matter in diverse long-term cropping systems

John Thomas Spargo, Michel A. Cavigelli, Steven B. Mirsky, Jude E. Maul, John J. Meisinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sustainable soil fertility management depends on long-term integrated strategies that build and maintain soil organic matter and mineralizable soil N levels. These strategies increase the portion of crop N needs met by soil N and reduce dependence on external N inputs required for crop production. To better understand the impact of management on soil N dynamics, we conducted field and laboratory research on five diverse management systems at a long-term study in Maryland, the USDA- Agricultural Research Service Beltsville Farming Systems Project (FSP). The FSP is comprised of a conventional no-till corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.)-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/double-crop soybean rotation (NT), a conventional chisel-till corn-soybean-wheat/soybean rotation (CT), a 2 year organic corn-soybean rotation (Org2), a 3 year organic corn-soybean-wheat rotation (Org3), and a 6 year organic corn-soybean-wheat-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (3 years) rotation (Org6). We found that total potentially mineralizable N in organic systems (average 315 kg N ha-1) was significantly greater than the conventional systems (average 235 kg N ha-1). Particulate organic matter (POM)-C and -N also tended to be greater in organic than conventional cropping systems. Average corn yield and N uptake from unamended (minus N) field microplots were 40 and 48%, respectively, greater in organic than conventional grain cropping systems. Among the three organic systems, all measures of N availability tended to increase with increasing frequency of manure application and crop rotation length (Org2 < Org3 ≤ Org6) while most measures were similar between NT and CT. Our results demonstrate that organic soil fertility management increases soil N availability by increasing labile soil organic matter. Relatively high levels of mineralizable soil N must be considered when developing soil fertility management plans for organic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-266
Number of pages14
JournalNutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

Fingerprint

soil nitrogen
soybean
cropping systems
soil organic matter
cropping practice
soybeans
maize
nitrogen
corn
wheat
soil
soil fertility
farming system
farming systems
crop
Agricultural Research Service
agricultural research
crop rotation
crops
particulate organic matter

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

Cite this

Spargo, John Thomas ; Cavigelli, Michel A. ; Mirsky, Steven B. ; Maul, Jude E. ; Meisinger, John J. / Mineralizable soil nitrogen and labile soil organic matter in diverse long-term cropping systems. In: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems. 2011 ; Vol. 90, No. 2. pp. 253-266.
@article{540c4053ee5f455c866013a8e29aec2f,
title = "Mineralizable soil nitrogen and labile soil organic matter in diverse long-term cropping systems",
abstract = "Sustainable soil fertility management depends on long-term integrated strategies that build and maintain soil organic matter and mineralizable soil N levels. These strategies increase the portion of crop N needs met by soil N and reduce dependence on external N inputs required for crop production. To better understand the impact of management on soil N dynamics, we conducted field and laboratory research on five diverse management systems at a long-term study in Maryland, the USDA- Agricultural Research Service Beltsville Farming Systems Project (FSP). The FSP is comprised of a conventional no-till corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.)-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/double-crop soybean rotation (NT), a conventional chisel-till corn-soybean-wheat/soybean rotation (CT), a 2 year organic corn-soybean rotation (Org2), a 3 year organic corn-soybean-wheat rotation (Org3), and a 6 year organic corn-soybean-wheat-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (3 years) rotation (Org6). We found that total potentially mineralizable N in organic systems (average 315 kg N ha-1) was significantly greater than the conventional systems (average 235 kg N ha-1). Particulate organic matter (POM)-C and -N also tended to be greater in organic than conventional cropping systems. Average corn yield and N uptake from unamended (minus N) field microplots were 40 and 48{\%}, respectively, greater in organic than conventional grain cropping systems. Among the three organic systems, all measures of N availability tended to increase with increasing frequency of manure application and crop rotation length (Org2 < Org3 ≤ Org6) while most measures were similar between NT and CT. Our results demonstrate that organic soil fertility management increases soil N availability by increasing labile soil organic matter. Relatively high levels of mineralizable soil N must be considered when developing soil fertility management plans for organic systems.",
author = "Spargo, {John Thomas} and Cavigelli, {Michel A.} and Mirsky, {Steven B.} and Maul, {Jude E.} and Meisinger, {John J.}",
year = "2011",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s10705-011-9426-4",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "90",
pages = "253--266",
journal = "Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems",
issn = "1385-1314",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "2",

}

Mineralizable soil nitrogen and labile soil organic matter in diverse long-term cropping systems. / Spargo, John Thomas; Cavigelli, Michel A.; Mirsky, Steven B.; Maul, Jude E.; Meisinger, John J.

In: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 90, No. 2, 01.06.2011, p. 253-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mineralizable soil nitrogen and labile soil organic matter in diverse long-term cropping systems

AU - Spargo, John Thomas

AU - Cavigelli, Michel A.

AU - Mirsky, Steven B.

AU - Maul, Jude E.

AU - Meisinger, John J.

PY - 2011/6/1

Y1 - 2011/6/1

N2 - Sustainable soil fertility management depends on long-term integrated strategies that build and maintain soil organic matter and mineralizable soil N levels. These strategies increase the portion of crop N needs met by soil N and reduce dependence on external N inputs required for crop production. To better understand the impact of management on soil N dynamics, we conducted field and laboratory research on five diverse management systems at a long-term study in Maryland, the USDA- Agricultural Research Service Beltsville Farming Systems Project (FSP). The FSP is comprised of a conventional no-till corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.)-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/double-crop soybean rotation (NT), a conventional chisel-till corn-soybean-wheat/soybean rotation (CT), a 2 year organic corn-soybean rotation (Org2), a 3 year organic corn-soybean-wheat rotation (Org3), and a 6 year organic corn-soybean-wheat-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (3 years) rotation (Org6). We found that total potentially mineralizable N in organic systems (average 315 kg N ha-1) was significantly greater than the conventional systems (average 235 kg N ha-1). Particulate organic matter (POM)-C and -N also tended to be greater in organic than conventional cropping systems. Average corn yield and N uptake from unamended (minus N) field microplots were 40 and 48%, respectively, greater in organic than conventional grain cropping systems. Among the three organic systems, all measures of N availability tended to increase with increasing frequency of manure application and crop rotation length (Org2 < Org3 ≤ Org6) while most measures were similar between NT and CT. Our results demonstrate that organic soil fertility management increases soil N availability by increasing labile soil organic matter. Relatively high levels of mineralizable soil N must be considered when developing soil fertility management plans for organic systems.

AB - Sustainable soil fertility management depends on long-term integrated strategies that build and maintain soil organic matter and mineralizable soil N levels. These strategies increase the portion of crop N needs met by soil N and reduce dependence on external N inputs required for crop production. To better understand the impact of management on soil N dynamics, we conducted field and laboratory research on five diverse management systems at a long-term study in Maryland, the USDA- Agricultural Research Service Beltsville Farming Systems Project (FSP). The FSP is comprised of a conventional no-till corn (Zea mays L.)-soybean (Glycine max L.)-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/double-crop soybean rotation (NT), a conventional chisel-till corn-soybean-wheat/soybean rotation (CT), a 2 year organic corn-soybean rotation (Org2), a 3 year organic corn-soybean-wheat rotation (Org3), and a 6 year organic corn-soybean-wheat-alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) (3 years) rotation (Org6). We found that total potentially mineralizable N in organic systems (average 315 kg N ha-1) was significantly greater than the conventional systems (average 235 kg N ha-1). Particulate organic matter (POM)-C and -N also tended to be greater in organic than conventional cropping systems. Average corn yield and N uptake from unamended (minus N) field microplots were 40 and 48%, respectively, greater in organic than conventional grain cropping systems. Among the three organic systems, all measures of N availability tended to increase with increasing frequency of manure application and crop rotation length (Org2 < Org3 ≤ Org6) while most measures were similar between NT and CT. Our results demonstrate that organic soil fertility management increases soil N availability by increasing labile soil organic matter. Relatively high levels of mineralizable soil N must be considered when developing soil fertility management plans for organic systems.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79956342480&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79956342480&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10705-011-9426-4

DO - 10.1007/s10705-011-9426-4

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:79956342480

VL - 90

SP - 253

EP - 266

JO - Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

JF - Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

SN - 1385-1314

IS - 2

ER -