A comparison of the quality of hayfield and pasture soils on a Northwestern Ontario farm
Honours Bachelor of Environmental Management
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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This thesis examines aspects of soil quality between a hayfield and pasture site on a farm in Northwestern Ontario. Soil compaction, pH, and carbon were the main aspects looked at between the two sites. The purpose of this study is to answer how soil compaction, pH, and carbon content differ between a hayfield and pasture site, and to provide a baseline of soil quality data that can be used in determining the effect of farming practices on soil quality in the future. A one-way ANOVA was completed to determine that though the hayfield had a significantly higher percentage of carbon and sulfur, there were no significant differences (α = 0.05) found amongst any of the other factors including carbon and sulfur amounts (kg/ha). A regression was also run to determine the strength of a linear relationship amongst CNS. These relationships were very strong with r2 values of 0.938 (carbon v. nitrogen), 0.850 (carbon vs. sulfur), and 0.824 (nitrogen v. sulfur). It can be concluded from these results that though very little difference exists between the two fields, the strength of the linear relationships examined were very strong. These results are further discussed and analyzed concerning why there was a lack of significant differences amongst the fields, and it was suggested that the brevity of the research timeframe did not allow for the full representation of the effect of the current farming practices taking place on the site. Of key importance is that this data is identified as a baseline dataset that will provide an excellent foundation for future studies looking to identify how farming practices affect soil quality.