|Science Cluster||About Us||Top 10||Français|
Using information from the management questionnaire, the 60 fields were classified into four distinct management systems, Perennial, Summerfallow, Cereal, and Diverse, and soil nutrient availability examined according to management system.
Despite classification of four systems, only the Perennial and Diverse systems had a functionally (and statistically) significant effect on selected soil properties. Inclusion of alfalfa in rotation (Perennial system) acidified the soil and reduced availability of P and K relative to the Diverse system. According to soil test results, fields in all of the systems and across all soil zones were apparently deficient in available P, deficient to marginally deficient in available N and marginally deficient in available S. Available K levels were generally optimal.
Information from this study provides a baseline for fertility of soils under organic production across Saskatchewan. The overall low levels of available P, N and S identified in this study raise questions about the long-term sustainability of these organic systems, as well as the suitability of traditional soil testing for accurately assessing the soil fertility potential of organic managed soils.
See an OACC news article about this study...
© 2012, Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC)