DYNAMIC SOIL PROPERTIES IN THE LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY: UNDERSTANDING RESPONSES OF INFILTRATION RATE, BULK DENSITY, AGGREGATE STABILITY TO DIFFERENT TILLAGE PRACTICES
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Dynamic soil properties (DSPs) are soil properties that change with natural and anthropogenic disturbances and stressors including agricultural and wildland management. These soil properties can change for months and years in response to the land use or management practice changes. This research project aims to explore the relationship between different dynamic soil physical properties in response to the different tillage practices in the Hidalgo sandy clay loam benchmark soil series in Texas. Data analyses will be done to compare the associations of tillage to these soil physical properties and to build a discussion about the relationship between on-farm practices to other aspects of farm viability. We hypothesized that infiltration rates, bulk density, and aggregate stability will be the highest in the ecological reference sites, while the conventional tilled sites have the lowest and intermittent tillage fields will have similar readings as conventional fields, the soil physical properties in Hidalgo sandy clay loam are all intercorrelated, finally, there are other factors affecting soil dynamic properties such as the inherent properties of the soil; the deeper the sample the less the variation on dynamic soil properties results. However, our preliminary results gotten as we continue to explore shows that the soil's physical properties are impacted by management practices and are not substantially impacted by depth.