Soil Test Lab Analyses - Agronomic — Living Field Lab (LFL) Study

Data in the KBS LTER core database may not be published without written permission of the lead investigator or project director Full terms of use

Soil chemisty test results from Living Field Lab soils.

This datatable is part of the Living Field Laboratory dataset.

The Living Field Laboratory is a long-term rotation study established in 1993 under the direction of Emeritus Professor Dr. Richard Harwood to evaluate the benefits of cover crops (as green manure) and/or the addition of composted dairy manure in two integrated systems compared to a conventional and an organic system. The LFL accommodates every entry point of the crop rotation each year and has a factorial design that allows for the comparison of a number of interactions. These interactions include: differences in N management, rotation effects, and cover crops. From 1993 through 2005, the rotation consisted of corn (Zea mays L.)/corn/soybean (Glycine max)/wheat (Triticum aestivum) vs. continuous corn. During this period, crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) was seeded to 1st yr. corn, 2nd yr corn was in rye grass (Lolium multiflorum), soybean had no cover, and red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) was frost-seeded into wheat.

In 2006, under the direction of Dr. Sieglinde Snapp and through consultation with a farmer advisory group, the rotation was shortened to a 3 yr rotation of corn/soybean/wheat vs. continuous corn. The remaining plot in each management system was converted to a 2 yr rotation of corn/soybean. Cereal rye (Secale cereale) is now planted after corn regardless of crop rotation. Cereal rye follows soybean in the 2-yr rotation. Red clover is frost-seeded into wheat.

The management systems are: Conventional, Integrated Fertilizer and Integrated Compost. Weed management is identical across systems, and nitrogen fertilizer management adjusted to take into account soil N availability and balance nitrogen inputs across treatments. The cover crop is present as a split plot (plus minus) within each system. The split-plot cover crop treatment was established in 1993 in Integrated Fertilizer and in Integrated Compost, while the split-plot cover crop treatment was established 14 years later in 2007 in the Conventional treatment, to allow a comparison of short and long-term cover crop presence.

In 2007, the organic management system was changed to a comparison of a perennial grain systems (perennial wheat-alfalfa intercrop) and a 4-yr rotation of corn/soybean/wheat/ alfalfa (Medicago sativa). This allows the comparison of a typical Michigan field crop organic system to a novel system that involves a new, perennial system.


Experiment: Living Field Lab (LFL) Study
Data available from: January 1992 to January 2002
Dataset: KBS042
Datatable ID: KBS042-020.67
Core Areas Inorganic Nutrients,Disturbance
Repository link:
Related Tables:
Last Updated 2022-01-27
Variate Description Units
Year year in which the date occurs
Plot plot ID
Rep field replicate
Cover cover crop present or not
Mgmnt management type
Spring Crop crop planted in the spring
Depth depth of soil sample centimeter
Sample Date date soil was sampled
pH pH of the sample dimensionless
BpH Buffer pH of the sample dimensionless
P phosphorus lb/ac
K potassium lb/ac
Ca calcium lb/ac
Mg magnesium lb/ac
Fe iron µg/kg
Zn zinc µg/kg
Mn manganese µg/kg

Data Excerpt

year plot rep cover mgmnt spring_crop depth sample_date ph bph p k ca mg fe zn mn
2001 416 4 no cover conventional wheat 0-30 2001-04-28 00:00:00 UTC 6.5 7.3 68.0 110.0 1238.0 313.0
2001 417 4 no cover conventional soybean 0-30 2001-04-28 00:00:00 UTC 6.0 7.1 73.0 140.0 1143.0 270.0
2001 418 4 no cover conventional 1st yr corn 0-30 2001-04-28 00:00:00 UTC 6.3 7.3 44.0 140.0 1333.0 313.0
2001 419 4 no cover conventional cont. corn 0-30 2001-04-28 00:00:00 UTC 6.0 7.1 80.0 170.0 1143.0 313.0
2001 420 4 no cover conventional 2nd yr corn 0-30 2001-04-28 00:00:00 UTC 6.3 7.3 73.0 160.0 1333.0 304.0
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