Joseph Burke, Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX and Katie L Rothlisberger-Lewis, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Shallowater, TX
Dramatic losses of top soil during the Dust Bowl led to the creation of soil conservation management practices, but adoption on the Texas High Plains has been historically low compared to other regions of the United States. Adoption of soil health management practices may be more readably adopted if farmers on the Texas High Plains witnessed more immediate results from these changes. One traditional measure of soil health is an increase in soil organic carbon (SOC); however, due to the climatic conditions of the Texas High Plains it can take decades to see significant changes in SOC. One potential rapid measurement could be permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC), shown to be more sensitive to management changes than SOC. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of conservation management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) and permanganate oxidizable carbon (POXC). Two locations were sampled, one at the Agricultural Complex for Advanced Research and Extension Systems (Ag-CARES) in Lamesa, TX, and the Helms Research Farm in Halfway, TX which have been in no-till cropping systems for 25 and 5 years, respectively. Discussion of results will include the relationship between implementation of no-tillage and the rates of SOC and POXC.