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The Gates Farm Long-Term Soil Health Research Site: What, How and Results To-Date. G.S. Abawi Department of Plant Pathology. Goals for Gates Farm:. Establish a long-term soil health research site to promote multi-disciplinary research

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the gates farm long term soil health research site what how and results to date

The Gates Farm Long-Term Soil Health Research Site: What, How and Results To-Date...

G.S. Abawi

Department of Plant Pathology

goals for gates farm
Goals for Gates Farm:

Establish a long-term soil health research site to promote multi-disciplinary research

Assess the impact of soil management practices on soil quality...

Crop rotation, cover crops, and tillage

Living laboratory for hands-on training

slide3

The Gates Farm...

  • Long-term soil health research site
  • Located at NYSAES, Geneva, NY
  • 14-acre site (previously in cabbage production)
  • Split-split plot design with 4 reps

3 tillage treatments (plow, no-till, strip-till)

3 cover crop treatments (none, rye, vetch)

2 crop rotations (continuous vegetable vs. soil-building crops)

slide4

The Gates Farm

Rep 4

Rep 3

Rep 2

Strip-till

Rep 1

N

CROP ROTATION:

Continuous vegetable

Veg w/ soil-building crops

Plow till

COVER CROP:

No cover

Rye cover crop

No-till

Vetch cover crop

Each block is 400ft x 120ft

slide5

The Gates Farm

NYSAES, Geneva, NY

Strip-till

Plow till

No cover

Vetch cover

Rye cover

No-till

REP 3

gates farm cover crops
Gates Farm:Cover Crops

Vetch

No cover

Rye grain

Soil-building

Vegetable

soil health indicators

Soil

Health

Soil Health Indicators

Tier 1 indicators

  • Water stable aggregates (2.0 - 0.25 mm)
  • Bulk density
  • Available water capacity
  • Texture by feel
  • Field penetration resistance
  • Root heath bioassay
  • Active Carbon
  • PMN
  • Standard chemical analysis

Chemical

Physical

Biological

results so far
Results so far....

Minimal changes in soil physical indicators (bulk density, aggregate stability, penetration resistance, etc.)

  • Suggests a minimum transition period
  • May reflect reduced sampling in spring 2005

Significant changes in soil biological indicators

  • Soil microbes are able to respond to environmental changes more rapidly
slide13

Bean seed planted in field soil

Soil Bioassay w/ Bean for Assessing Soil Health

Beans grown in greenhouse

5 to 6 weeks

Soil collection

Root rot severity rating (1 = healthy to 9 = primary roots rotted)

Bean roots are washed

slide14

Root health assessment

NYSAES, Gates Farm 2004 and 2005.

Plow-till

Strip-till

No-till

Tillage and cover crop system

2004 – back

2005 – front

Root rot severity rating

slide19

Vigor ratings of sweet corn under different tillage systems and cover crops (1=least, 5= greatest vigor).

NYSAES, Gates Farm 2005. 19 July 05.

Cover crop

Growth/vigor/color

Tillage system

the gates farm
The Gates Farm:

What’s next...

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Soil Health Team (partial list)

Research Labs

David Wolfe

George Abawi

Harold van Es

Janice Thies

Renuka Rao

Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators

New York Grower Cooperators

The Farm Research Unit Staff - NYSAES

Funding Sources:

NE-SARE

NYS/CU IPM

FFF Hatch Program

CCE/Smith-Lever

NNY – Ag & Markets Program