OJSS  Vol.5 No.9 , September 2015
Long-Term Effects of Alternative Residue Management Practices on Soil Water Retention in a Wheat-Soybean, Double-Crop System in Eastern Arkansas
ABSTRACT
Soil water retention is a critical aspect of agricultural management, especially in areas such as the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley that face potential water shortages in the near future. Previous studies have linked changes in soil water retention characteristics to agricultural management practices, especially as they affect the accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM). Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the relationship between soil water potential and gravimetric soil water content in the top 7.5 cm as affected by nitrogen (N) fertilization/residue level (high and low), residue burning (burning and non-burning), tillage (conventional and no-tillage), and irrigation (irrigated and non-irrigated) after 12 complete cropping cycles in a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], double-crop production system in the Delta region of eastern Arkansas using soil wetting curves. The soil investigated was a Calloway silt loam (fine silty, mixed, active, thermic Glossaquic Fraglossudalf). The slope characterizing the relationship between the natural logarithm of the soil water potential and the gravimetric soil water content was only affected (P < 0.05) by the N-fertilization/residue-level treatment, while the intercept was unaffected by any field treatment. Averaged across tillage, burning, and irrigation, soil water contents under the high-exceeded those under low-N-fertilization/residue-level treatment at the same water potential, with the greatest differences observed at water contents > 0.12 g·g-1. Understanding the ways in which alternative residue management practices affect soil water retention characteristics is an important component of conserving irrigation water resources.

Cite this paper
Norman, R. , Brye, K. , Gbur, E. , Chen, P. and Rupe, J. (2015) Long-Term Effects of Alternative Residue Management Practices on Soil Water Retention in a Wheat-Soybean, Double-Crop System in Eastern Arkansas. Open Journal of Soil Science, 5, 199-209. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2015.59020.
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