|Title||Assessment of soil quality in fields with short- and long-term enrollment in the CRP|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2000|
|Authors||Baer, SG, Rice, CW, Blair, JM|
|Journal||Journal of Soil and Water Conservation|
Surface [5 to10 cm, (2 to 4 in) depth] soil quality was examined from fields representing short and long term enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Total carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) amounts were similar in soil with recent and long term enrollment in the CRP and were lower than a native prairie field. Active pools of C and N, however, did increase through the CRP. Soil with long term establishment of native grasses in the CRP exhibited 141% and 33% greater microbial biomass C and N, respectively, than soil recently enrolled in the CRP. Total inorganic N was significantly lower in CRP soil with ten versus no growing seasons and was more representative of levels in a native prairie due to reductions in nitrate availability. Our study indicates that CRP promotes soil restoration; however, ten growing seasons are not adequate for recovery of total soil C and N pools at this depth to pre-cultivation levels.