Biological Systems Engineering, Department of


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Published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture VOL. 13(5):617-622. Published by American Society of Agricultural Engineers.


This study was conducted to measure runoff, erosion, and soil quality characteristics of a site in southwestern Oklahoma the first year following conversion from the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Treatments included undisturbed CRP, Old World bluestem (Bothriochlora ischaemum L.), no-till wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and conservation-till wheat. Significant differences in surface cover were found between each of the experimental treatments, with values ranging from 100% on the undisturbed CRP site to 42% for the conservation-till treatment. No significant difference in runoff was found among the various experimental treatments. The Old World bluestem and winter wheat treatments had only minimal erosion during the first year following conversion from the CRP. Production of Old World bluestem maintained levels of soil quality similar to those of the undisturbed CRP. Conversion of this CRP area to winter wheat production significantly reduced biological nutrient reserves, suggesting a degradation of soil quality. If this trend continues, long term productivity and the quality of air and water resources at this site could be affected.