Comparison of Steady State Water Infiltration Rates Among Farming Systems

Published Feb 8, 2011


During Iowa’s spring 2008 floods, PFI members who had grass-based livestock systems and long crop rotations reported that their soils held the rainwater. This experiment tested those claims. The main objective of the study was to quantify the ecological resiliency of different farming systems by measuring the rate of water infiltration and soil quality indicators (reported separately) on neighboring farms with different farming systems. Data from this experiment suggest that systems with a longer crop rotation and rotational grazing increase the steady state infiltration rate. However, additional data collection and analysis is needed to confirm this trend at additional sites in Iowa.