Date of Award

11-2009

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Soil Science

Department

Earth and Soil Sciences

Advisor

Brent G. Hallock

Abstract

Implementation of Sustainable Management Practices at Two California Central Coast Vineyards and Their Effects on Soil Fertility

Dawn Michelle Stimson

“Sustainable agriculture” has gained increased popularity in recent years. This study was conducted to determine the effects of sustainable management practices on soil fertility at two California Central Coast vineyards. The effects of cover crops (Erosion Control Mix - blando brome [Bromus hordeaceus], hykon rose clover [Trifolium hirtum All.], and zorro annual fescue [Vulpia mourns]), green waste compost (Forest Blend), and reduced tillage on soil fertility were investigated in San Luis Obispo, California on a clay and sandy loam soil. Between the fall 2007 and spring 2008, which had a low precipitation amount (13.3 & 15.6 inches), there was a significant difference (P <0.001 to 0.007) between vineyards in terms of their mean soil nutrient and ratio concentrations. The range of soil values (soil pH, P, K, exchangeable Ca, Mg, and K, OM, Ca/Mg and C/N ratios) was either completely separate or different between Vineyard One and Two. There was almost no significant difference found between treatments and their effects on soil nutrients, exchangeable cations, and ratios. However, there were some noticeable effects on soil nutrients, exchangeable cations and ratios. Soil P and K concentrations increased in most areas (except cover crop/till where it decreased slightly). Soil P increases ranged from 14 to 143% while potassium increases ranged from 9 to 78%. Soil OM increased in all areas at both vineyards (5 to 55%). Ca/Mg ratios increased in some areas between 8 and 43%. C/N ratios increased in all areas between 5 and 85%. Soil type appears to affect soil nutrients, exchangeable cations, and ratios more than sustainable management practices.

Keywords: Sustainable, vineyard, and soil nutrients.

Appendix A.tif (1041 kB)
Appendix A

Appendix B.tif (640 kB)
Appendix B

Appendix C.tif (6185 kB)
Appendix C

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