Rhizosphere Ecology in Changing Cropping Systems

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2005: $7,348.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $3,800.00
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
Sandy Macnab
Oregon State University Extension, Sherman County

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, wheat
  • Fruits: cherries
  • Additional Plants: trees
  • Animals: bovine


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: earthworms, organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: urban/rural integration, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Government programs and rising input costs are forcing farmers to modify farming practices, with many unknowns. Farmers often wonder what these mean. This project explores and introduces the impact and sustainability on the rhizosphere that changing farming practices and methods produces on soil levels and quality.

    A workshop started with a day-long introductory session. It was followed by visits to soil pits under varying conditions and practices to visusally explore those differences. Eighteen soil pits in five counties were used over a three-day period allowing high volume local participation.

    Changing rhizosphere differences were visible to participants, and each difference was related to particular differences in tillage practices.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Primary target audiences are NRCS, SWCD, ARS, and CES staff to educate them on the soil quality impacts of production management systems. This is to assist them in providing accurate impacts of recommendations they may make to producers regarding possible changes producers may explore.

    A secondary audience is the leading producers and adopters who would see and better understand the differences on their own operations and better understand the pros and cons and risks of making changes in their farming and ranching practices.

    In both groups, it is hoped to quell the "fear of the unknown."

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.