Thermal Biology Institute Seminar Series - Dr. Catherine Reardon USDA Agriculture Research Service
- Monday, February 12, 2018 from 3:10pm to 4:00pm
- Plant Biosciences Building, 108 - view map
Soil health and sustainability are important for continued crop productivity, especially in the dryland cropping region of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) where plant growth and return of biomass to soil are limited by low water availability. Approximately half of the 3.3 million dryland hectares in the PNW are planted to a 2-year winter wheat-summer fallow rotation, where fallow is practiced to store water for the following crop. Oilseeds, or Brassicas such as canola and mustard, are purported to boost yields of subsequent wheat crops with rotational benefits that include improved soil structure, increased mineral-nitrogen availability, and reduced weed pressure and soil-borne disease. In this research, we evaluated whether cropping intensification with oilseeds in the 12-inch annual precipitation zone in Eastern Oregon provided benefits to soil health. Specifically, we assessed soil from plots cultivated with and without oilseeds in rotation for nutrient cycling capacity and ability of soil microbial communities to promote plant growth.