Effects of two Conservation Reserve Program Prairie Restorations on Soil Microbial Communities

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2007: $9,800.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Grant Recipient: UW-Madison
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Teri Balser

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn


  • Soil Management: general soil management

    Proposal abstract:

    Management strategies that preserve soil organic carbon, and the biological functions that influence organic carbon storage, are essential components to sustaining long-term environmental quality in agriculture. The USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provides incentives for farmers to enhance soil quality on their lands, but incentives to switch to production of biofuel crops may become more prevalent. We aim to investigate whether farmers are likely to switch their CRP lands back into production for biofuels, and what effects this might have on soil quality and carbon storage in agricultural lands.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Primary objectives include:
    -identifying the factors, both environmental and cultural, that will preserve soil quality gains from the CRP as the lands are brought back into production or managed in other ways
    -providing a novel set of tools to farmers and land managers to make decisions about managing for carbon on their lands
    -assessing the usefulness of current methods of providing scientific information to farmers and other end-users

    Results will be disseminated as part of a Master's thesis and in scientific and farmer-oriented journals.

    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.