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Jennifer Reeve and Dan Drost

generally planted outdoors in mid- to late May with harvest beginning in late July or early August. High tunnels are used to advance the planting dates by 4–6 weeks and the harvest dates by a month or more. Maintaining soil quality and fertility in a

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Carl J. Rosen and Deborah L. Allan

such as manure or compost to chemically manufactured synthetic fertilizers over the past 60 to 70 years, there has been much debate about the effect that these nutrient sources have on crop and soil quality. In a review over 30 years ago on this subject

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Neal Mays, Curt Richard Rom, Kristofor R. Brye, Mary C. Savin and M. Elena Garcia

conventionally managed orchard soils reflect lower soil quality for the soil ecosystem than for organic or integrated systems ( Reganold et al., 2001 ), whereas greater soil quality in organic and integrated systems is attributed to organic residue additions to

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Sharon J.B. Knewtson, Rhonda Janke, M.B. Kirkham, Kimberly A. Williams and Edward E. Carey

( Knewtson et al., 2010 ). Variety and fertility trials in high tunnels in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska began in 2002 ( Jett, 2004 ; Kadir et al., 2006 ; Zhao et al., 2007 ). However, the effect that cropping under high tunnels has on soil quality is

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Sharon J.B. Knewtson, M.B. Kirkham, Rhonda R. Janke, Leigh W. Murray and Edward E. Carey

, tillage, and traffic. The effect that this may have on soil quality is uncertain. In a 2006 survey of vegetable, fruit, and flower growers using high tunnels in the central Great Plains, 14% of growers were of the opinion that they had soil quality

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Rachel E. Rudolph, Lisa W. DeVetter, Chris Benedict and Inga A. Zasada

-quality crops. Many of those practices are common in modern agriculture, but they can be detrimental to soil quality. Soil quality, or soil health, has been defined as the “continued capacity of the soil to function” as a living ecosystem that sustains plants

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David M. Butler, Gary E. Bates and Sarah E. Eichler Inwood

have a negative impact on chemical, physical, and biological measures of soil quality ( Haynes and Tregurtha, 1999 ). Increasing organic matter inputs through crop residue conservation ( Lal, 1995 ), cover crops ( Snapp et al., 2005 ), and manures or

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Matt A. Rudisill, Bruce P. Bordelon, Ronald F. Turco and Lori A. Hoagland

question. Soil quality is broadly defined as the ability of a soil to function in terms of sustaining plant productivity and moderating water and air quality, all while allowing for improvement in human health and habitation ( USDA, 2014 ). Managing soil

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Carl J. Rosen and David E. Birong

Recent demand for high-quality garlic (Allium sativum L.) has prompted an interest in growing garlic as an alternative crop in the Upper Midwest. The overall objective of this study was to determine the effects of various amendments on garlic growth and selected soil quality indices in two contrasting soils. Garlic (Rocambole type) was planted in the fall of 1995 on a Kandota sandy loam (5% organic matter) and a Spartan loamy sand (1.5% organic matter). Three treatments replicated three times were tested: 1) a nonamended control, 2) manure compost, and 3) fertilizer application based on a soil test. Scapes were removed on half the plants in each plot and allowed to grow until harvest on the other half. Soil microbial biomass nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) were determined before planting and about 4 weeks after emergence. Within each site, the effect of soil amendments on garlic yield depended on scape removal. Garlic yield in nonamended soil was lowest when scapes were not removed. The effect of scape removal tended to diminish when compost or fertilizer was applied. Overall yields were 35% higher in the sandy loam soil compared to the loamy sand soil. Drought stress occurred during bulbing at both locations. Higher yields in the sandy loam soil were likely due to its higher water-holding capacity. Soil amendments did not consistently affect microbial biomass N and C; however, the sandy loam soil had 2 to 6 times higher biomass N and 3 to 4 times higher biomass C than the loamy sand soil and reflected the higher organic matter content of the sandy loam.

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Maren J. Mochizuki, Anusuya Rangarajan, Robin R. Bellinder, Harold M. van Es and Thomas Björkman

( Bottenberg et al., 1997 ), and has lower insect pests in conservation tillage systems ( Bottenberg et al., 1997 ). If soil quality benefits can be demonstrated early in the transition to conservation tillage with minimal or no crop yield reduction, growers