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Soil Quality

Soil Quality is “the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant and animal health” (Doran and Parkin, 1994). Research on soil quality is a critical and emerging area of emphasis for CSANR, including understanding and measuring essential soil quality parameters, exploring management strategies to positively impact soil functions, and providing farmers and ranchers with tools to implement improved soil quality management.

 

Featured Publications

Nutrient Recovery: Products from dairy manure to improve soil fertility

Benedict, C., J. Harrison, S. Hall, G. Yorgey. 2018. Washington State University. FS305E.

Building Soils for Better Crops – 2016 Conference

Soil Health

Awale, R., S. Machado, R. Ghimire, P. Bista.  Soil Health. Chapter 2 In Yorgey, G. and C. Kruger, eds. Advances in Dryland Production Systems in the Pacific Northwest. Washington State University Extension, Pullman, WA.

Soil Fertility Management

Borrelli, K., T. Maaz, W. Pan, P. Carter, H. Tao. 2017. Chapter 6 In Yorgey, G. and C. Kruger, eds. Advances in Dryland Production Systems in the Pacific Northwest. Washington State University Extension, Pullman, WA.

Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest

Georgine Yorgey and Chad Kruger, Eds. 2017. Washington State University Extension. Pullman, WA.

Farmer to Farmer Case Study Video: Grazed Cover Cropping

Yorgey, G.G., K. Borrelli, and K. Painter. 2017. Produced by Darrell Kilgore and CAHNRS Communications. Pullman, WA. Drew Leitch is experimenting with cover cropping to provide supplemental feed for his cow-calf operation, while improving soil health for his dryland crop operation.

Increasing resilience among cereal-based farmers in the Inland Pacific Northwest – Farmer to Farmer Case Studies

Yorgey, Georgine, Kathleen Painter, Hilary Davis, Kristy Borrelli, Sylvia Kantor, Leigh Bernacchi, R. Dennis Roe, Chad Kruger  2014.  Video and print case studies part of REACCH PNA project. The goal of these case studies to inspire others to take management risks on their farms that can improve their overall sustainability and resiliency into the future. Future case studies are in progress and will focus on farmers who manage water in irrigated systems, tillage practices and residue management in unique ways.

Productivity, economics, and fruit and soil quality of weed management systems in commercial organic orchards in Washington State, USA

Granatstein, D., P. Andrews, and A. Groff. May 2014. Organic Agriculture. DOI 10.1007/s13165-014-0068-0

Nitrogen Management and Climate Change Mitigation in Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems

Yorgey, G. 2014. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series available here: http://csanr.wsu.edu/webinars/pnw-ag-and-climate-change/ .

Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Inland Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems

Yorgey, G. 2014. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series available here: http://csanr.wsu.edu/webinars/pnw-ag-and-climate-change/ .   Flux Tower 3-minute video referenced in presentation.

Nitrogen Cycling and Losses in Agricultural Systems

Borrelli, K. 2014. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series available here: http://csanr.wsu.edu/webinars/pnw-ag-and-climate-change/ .

Management to Reduce N2O Emissions in Organic Vegetable Production Systems

Cogger, C., A. Fortuna, D. Collins. Feb 27, 2014. The second of a two-part webinar series on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems.

This is the focus of our current research. How do different organic vegetable production systems affect N2O emissions, and how do other outcomes of those systems affect their potential for adoption?

Systems include full tillage with high-carbon amendment (compost), full tillage with low carbon amendment (broiler litter), pasture-vegetable rotation, and reduced tillage cover crop mulch.
Measurements include N2O and CO2 emissions, soil N, microbial ecology focused on denitrification organisms, crop yield, and soil … » More …

Why the Concern about Nitrous Oxide Emissions?

Cogger, C., A. Fortuna, D. Collins. Feb 25, 2014. The first of a two-part webinar series on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems.

Topics for this webinar include:

Source and properties of N2O as a greenhouse gas, its relative contribution to global
warming, and the role of agriculture in N2O emissions
Review of the nitrogen cycle and the production of N2O
The relationship between organic practices and N2O production
How we measure N2O emissions

Intended audience is extension faculty and farmers who want a big picture perspective on why we’re interested in nitrous … » More …

Soil Fertility in Organic Systems: A Guide for Gardeners and Small Acreage Farmers

Collins,D. C. Miles, C. Cogger, R. Koenig. 2013.  Pacific Northwest Extension Publication PNW646.

Soil Testing: A Guide for Farms with Diverse Vegetable Crops

Collins, D. 2012. Washington State University Extension. EM050E.

Northwest Soil Science: Nitrogen Mineralization

Soil Scientist Doug Collins published an article on Readthedirt.org that explains his research on how and when soil nutrients are available to crops.

A Fine Thin Skin – wind, water, valcanoes and ice

Steury, 2011.  Article highlighting CSANR soil research in Washington State Magazine.

Closing the recycling loop through organic amendments in agriculture and gardens

Recorded webinar (online presentation) from Jan 2011 by Craig Cogger, Crop and Soils Scientist and Extension Educator. This seminar discusses research and guidelines on soil amendment choices based on use, nitrogen availability, carbon sequestration potential, handling nutrient imbalances in organic amendments, and an update on herbicide issues in some composts.

 

Additional Publications

Growing Vegetables in Areas Where Soils Were Contaminated with Heavy Metals – March 2009

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Orchard floor management effects on nitrogen fertility and soil biological activity in newly established organic apple orchard.

L. Hoagland, L. Carpenter-Boggs, D. Granatstein, M. Mazzola, J. Smith, F. Peryea, and J. Reganold. 2008. Biology and Fertility of Soils online.

Soils and Soil Testing

Links for farmers and gardeners to resources on soil sampling, soil testing, and soil test interpretation.

Soil Quality

A series of measurements was begun in 2004 to assess selected soil physical and biological properties in a variety of cropping and management systems. Measurements include bulk density, soil compaction, soil organic matter, and aggregate stability. Biological measurements began in 2005.

Soil and winegrape quality in biodynamically and organically managed vineyards.

J. R. Reeve, L. Carpenter-Boggs, J. P. Reganold, A. L. York, G. McGourty, and L. P. McCloskey. 2005. Amer. J. Enol. Vitic. 56: 367-376.

Soil Organic Matters – September 2004

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

On-farm Composting for Residue Management and Soil Quality Improvement – September 2004

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Measuring Soil Quality – Initial Considerations – September 2003

Article in Sustaining the Pacific Northwest Newsletter

Soil and plant mineral nutrition and fruit quality under organic, conventional, and integrated apple production systems in Washington State, USA.

P.K. Andrews, J.K. Fellman, J.D. Glover, J.P. Reganold. 2001. Acta Hort. 564:291-298.

Systematic method for rating soil quality of conventional, organic, and integrated apple orchards in Washington State

J.D. Glover, J.P. Reganold, P.K. Andrews. 2000. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 80:29-45.

Organic and Biodynamic Management: Effects on Soil Biology

Carpenter-Boggs, L., A.C. Kennedy, J.P. Reganold. 2000. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 64:1651-1659.

Significance of gravimetric versus volumetric measurements of soil quality under biodynamic, conventional, and continuous grass management.

J.P. Reganold, A.S. Palmer. 1995. J. Soil Water Conservation 50:298-305.

Soil quality and financial performance of biodynamic and conventional farms in New Zealand.

J.P. Reganold, A.S. Palmer, J.C. Lockhart, and A.N. Macgregor. 1993. Science 260(5106):344-349.

 

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