Raymond R Weil

Raymond R Weil
University of Maryland, College Park | UMD, UMCP, University of Maryland College Park · Department of Environmental Science and Technology

Ph.D. in Soil Science
Researching and teaching about soil health and improved cropping systems

About

204
Publications
492,865
Reads
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Introduction
Soil science, nutrient cycling, soil organic matter and cover crop systems for soil health and water quality. Methods developed for soil microbial biomass and active carbon are adopted by USDA/NRCS and researchers worldwide. Multi-purpose cover crops and ecological approaches to soil management for landscape managers and farms, large and small. Food security and soil management in Africa and other tropical regions.
Additional affiliations
January 2012 - December 2016
Columbia University
Position
  • Adjunct Senior Research Scholar
July 1989 - present
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Professor of Soil Science
August 1979 - July 1989
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
September 1973 - August 1977
January 1971 - August 1972
Purdue University
Field of study
  • Agronomy
January 1968 - March 1970
Michigan State University
Field of study
  • Crops and Soils

Publications

Publications (204)
Article
Brassica cover crops are new to the mid-Atlantic region, and limited information is available on their N uptake capabilities for effective N conservation. Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. cv. Daikon), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L. cv. Adagio), and rape (Brassica napus L. cv. Dwarf Essex) were compared with rye (Secale cereale L. cv. Wheeler...
Article
Full-text available
Tap-rooted species may penetrate compacted soils better than fibrous-rooted species and therefore be better adapted for use in “biological tillage”. We evaluated penetration of compacted soils by roots of three cover crops: FR (forage radish: Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, cv. ‘Daikon’), rapeseed (Brassica napus, cv. ‘Essex’), two tap-rooted...
Article
As the name implies, a cover crop consists of plants grown primarily to keep the land covered, especially during the off-season or between cash crops. In temperate regions like most of Europe and North America, a cover crop sown immediately after the main crop harvest in fall is considered a winter cover crop. It will grow in the fall, either subje...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-rooted cover crops may help alleviate effects of soil compaction, especially in no-till systems. We evaluate compaction-alleviating ability of three Brassica cover crops and cereal rye (Secale cereale L.). Using a minirhizotron camera, we observed soybean [Glycine Max (L.) Merr.] roots growing through compacted plowpan soil using channels made...
Article
Full-text available
The amount of mineral N remaining after cash crops informs agronomic and conservation practices. Few studies investigate mineral N below 30 cm, yet deeper N is more at risk for leaching to groundwater. We found, on average, 253 kg ha-1 of mineral N, 115 kg ha-1 in the NO3-N form, remaining after summer cash crop growth in the mid-Atlantic region. O...
Article
Full-text available
Cover crops can reduce nitrate leaching after cash crop harvest. Despite widespread cover crop implementation there has been a limited impact on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We hypothesize that typical timing for Maryland cover crop planting after cash crop harvest is too late to allow roots to take up substantial nitrate from the...
Article
Low investment in profitable technologies contributes to persistent poverty. Many farmers in developing countries invest too little in fertilizer despite evidence that fertilizer is profitable. This field experiment investigates a two-part explanation: (1) farmers are reluctant to invest without farm-specific evidence of profitability, possibly bec...
Preprint
Full-text available
Legume seeds (e.g. soybean, common bean, peanut, lentil and pea) are the main source of dietary protein for billions of people around the world. Soybeans are also vital for the production of non-ruminant livestock (poultry and pork) that in turn provide a second major source of human dietary protein. The utilization of legume protein by people (and...
Article
Full-text available
Background Soybeans (Glycine max) are a major protein source for both humans and non‐ruminant livestock, however, the usability of soybean protein is limited by the concentration of the essential sulfur (S) containing amino acids methionine and cysteine (MET+CYS). Traditional efforts to improve protein quality in soybeans have largely been focused...
Article
We evaluated permanganate oxidizable C (POXC) as a rapid test for identifying soils where improved organic matter management could improve soil function. At three sites, pairs of fields with similar soils but contrasting management history (cropped vs. sod) were studied. Fields historically in sod had higher initial total organic C (TOC) and POXC t...
Article
Full-text available
In the mid-Atlantic USA region, nitrogen uptake by crops ceases about four weeks prior to harvest maturity, leaving substantial mineral N in the soil profile, which is prone to leach during the winter. Deep-rooted cover crops planted by early-September can potentially take up residual N and recycle some of it for following cash crops. We performed...
Article
Full-text available
Use of mineral fertilizers is essential to enhance crop productivity in smallholder farming systems of Sub-Saharan Africa, but various studies have reported 'non-responsiveness' where application of inorganic fertilizers does not lead to satisfactory yield gains. This phenomenon is not well defined nor are its extent and causes well understood. In...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Growing a forage radish (Raphanus sativus L.) cover crop can be an effective way to capture residual nutrients, prevent winter erosion, and facilitate no-till seeding of early vegetable crops. In addition to reducing soil disturbance, not having to till prior to spring planting reduces labor requirements at a critical point in the season and may al...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
The main conclusion from this study is that a balled and burlapped (B & B) root ball consists almost entirely (99%) of soil and that the tree roots take up only a negligible portion of the mass and volume. These results contradict the perception by many producers that the root balls contain mainly tree roots and relatively little soil so that the s...
Article
Full-text available
The North Central Education and Research Activity Committee (NCERA-59) was formed in 1952 to address how soil organic matter formation and management practices affect soil structure and productivity. It is in this capacity that we comment on the science supporting soil quality and associated soil health assessment for agricultural lands with the go...
Article
Full-text available
Cover crops are subsidized by taxpayers for use on more than 600,000 acres of agricultural fields in Maryland as part of an initiative to protect water quality and the Chesapeake Bay. As cover crops grow and take up nutrients, the water leaching from fields is cleaned up, especially with regard to nitrogen. However, the way that cover crops are typ...
Poster
Full-text available
Temperate region forest soils have been a major sink for atmospheric carbon (C); therefore, evaluating the size of C stocks in these soils is important for climate and C cycling models. With the National Park Service, we conducted a soil quality survey of 414 forested sites within 11 national parks in the National Capital Region over a period of 10...
Article
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas and a catalyst of stratospheric ozone decay. Agricultural soils are the source of 75% of anthropogenic N2O emissions globally. Recently, significant attention has been directed at examining effects of conservation tillage on carbon sequestration in agricultural systems. However, limited knowledge i...
Article
Forage radish is a unique winter cover crop that is relatively new but becoming rapidly adopted in temperate, humid North America. Little is known about how the use of this cover crop may influence subsequent nitrogen availability, soil water accumulation in the soil profile in corn silage production system. In this present work, the average nitrog...
Article
Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is an increasingly popular winter cover crop in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. This crop can be used to scavenge residual soil nitrate (NO3−) and ammonium (NH4+), with the goal of reducing nitrogen (N) loss from agricultural fields and increasing N availability for subsequent cro...
Book
Full-text available
This edition updates a narrative that has been at the forefront of soil science for more than a century. The first edition, published in 1909, was largely a guide to good soil management for farmers in the glaciated regions of New York State in the northeastern U.S. Since then, it has evolved to provide a globally relevant framework for an integrat...
Article
With the advent of confined feeding systems and associated herd size increases, dairy farms have had to import more feed from off the farm, leading to on farm nutrient surpluses. Management-intensive grazing (MIG) is an alternative to confined feeding. Under MIG, the herd is rotated among small paddocks every 12–24 h for efficient conversion of for...
Article
Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is a relatively new winter cover crop becoming widely grown in humid temperate North America. Little is known about how the use of this fall/winter cover crop may influence carbon sequestration and distribution in the soil profile in corn silage production system. The objectives of this study w...
Chapter
Full-text available
Overview of the nature of the Earth's ecstatic skin, the soil. This chapter introduces the concepts of soils as natural bodies, their roles in the Earth's ecosystems, their physical, chemical and biological properties and considerations for their management and health.
Chapter
Full-text available
This is the 14th chapter in The Nature and Properties of Soils, 15th edition. It addresses all aspects of Phosphorus and Potassium in soil biogeochemistry and soil fertility.
Chapter
Full-text available
We conclude our exploration of soils as we began, with the observation that among the millions of life forms on our planet, one species, the human species, now exerts a dominant influence over the ecosystems and biogeochemistry of Earth. The imprint of human activity is found everywhere—from the composition of the atmosphere to the temperature of t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter 13 from The Nature and Properties of Soils. This chapter provides a detailed discussion of nitrogen and sulfur in the soil-plant systems and their global cycles.
Article
Full-text available
Cover crop residues and animal waste products can be important sources of N in cropping systems. The objectives of this research were to determine, under field conditions, the effects of hairy vetch (legume; Vicia villosa Roth)/cereal rye (grass; Secale cereale L.) proportion and pelletized poultry litter (PPL) management (no PPL, subsurface banded...
Article
Full-text available
Green and animal manures provide plant-available N (PAN) in annual cropping systems and contribute to improved soil quality. Our objectives were to determine the effects of cover crop residue type and pelletized poultry litter (PPL) application method on: (i) the spatiotemporal distribution of topsoil mineral N (Nmin), (ii) the average topsoil Nmin...
Article
Full-text available
Organic no-till (NT) management strategies generally employ high-residue cover crops that act as weed-suppressing mulch. In temperate, humid regions such as the mid-Atlantic USA, high-residue winter cover crops can hinder early spring field work and immobilize nutrients for cash crops. This makes the integration of cover crops into rotations diffic...
Research
Full-text available
Efficient use of fertilizers is of critical importance to sustainable agriculture in most developing countries. Countries like Malawi can ill-afford their current practice of importing and distributing fertilizers on the basis of national blanket recommendations, when, in fact, fertilizer needs differ greatly with different soil conditions. This pr...
Research
Full-text available
Weil, R.R. 1988. Soil management in sustainable farming systems. Virginia Conference on Sustainable Agriculture. Harrisonburg, VA. Virginia Tech. University. 9-14. 0ver the past couple of years interest in sustainable agriculture has spread to an unprecedented degree throughout the agricultural community. Three areas of concern seem to,underlie all...
Research
Full-text available
Weil, R.R. 1988. Soil management in sustainable farming systems. Virginia Conference on Sustainable Agriculture. Harrisonburg, VA. Virginia Tech. University. p.9-14. Over the past couple of years interest in sustainable agriculture has spread to an unprecedented degree throughout the agricultural community. Three areas of concern seem to,underlie a...
Article
Full-text available
The performance of legume–grass cover crop mixtures may be influenced by the species proportions in mixture. The objectives of this study were to: (i) evaluate total aboveground biomass and species biomass proportions resulting from different hairy vetch (legume; Vicia villosa Roth)/cereal rye (grass; Secale cereale L.) sown proportions, (ii) chara...
Article
Full-text available
The primary cause of soil degradation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expansion and intensification of agriculture in efforts to feed its growing population. Effective solutions will support resilient systems, and must cut across agricultural, environmental, and socioeconomic objectives. While many studies compare and contrast the effects of differe...
Article
The study of soil science as an academic discipline was established more recently than the study of many other sciences, and in this brief 100 year time the teaching of soil science in the United States has undergone several significant changes. At its very beginning, soil science education took place in whichever institutions established programs...
Article
The study of soil science as an academic discipline was established more recently than the study of many other sciences, and in this brief 100 year time the teaching of soil science in the United States has undergone several significant changes. At its very beginning, soil science education took place in whichever institutions established programs...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrogen (N) applied as fertilizer is subject to runoff and leaching. Nitrate (NO3−-N) concentrations in soil solution reflect the impacts of farm management on N cycling. Some of the most remote regions in the world are undergoing rapid land-use change, yet there are major barriers to conducting research in these locations. Fortunately, new tools...
Book
The exercises in this manual are designed to encourage the quantitative investigation of soil properties, as well as to give you a "feel" for what soils are and how they behave. You will have opportunities to see, touch and manipulate soil in the lab and in the field. This should help you develop a more in-depth understanding of the soil system tha...
Article
The Loess Plateau in China is one of the most severely eroded areas in the world. Understanding the characteristics of soil aggregation and the distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) in aggregates on the plateau is essential for improving regional soil quality. A 2-year study was conducted in a wheat cropping system on the plateau to investigate...
Article
Full-text available
Assessment of soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3-‒N) was conducted in a pigeon pea-groundnut intercrop maize rotation cropping system at Chitedze Agricultural Research Station (S 130 59’ 23.2”, E 0330 38’ 36.8”) in the 2012/2013 cropping season. In the 2011/2012 cropping season, eight treatments replicated three times in a randomized complete block design,...
Article
Prescribed fire in tidal marshes has been shown to generate short-term increases in plant-available nutrients, but the long-term implications of fire on nutrient availability and organic matter decomposition have not been well established. Two manipulative experiments were conducted over 1 yr within long-term annual burn and no-burn blocks at the B...
Article
Full-text available
Prescribed fire management generally stimulates plant biomass production in coastal marsh systems. This study was conducted to understand the interactive effects of the mechanisms of fire on vegetation production. The effects of canopy removal and ash deposition on biomass production were investigated in two manipulative experiments at the Blackwat...
Article
The effect of canopy removal, a form of non-lethal disturbance, was assessed for the interaction between two co-occurring American East Coast salt marsh angiosperms, Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volkart ex Schinz and R. Keller and Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene, in a greenhouse replacement series experiment. In mixture, aboveground production...
Article
Full-text available
Permanganate (KMnO4) oxidizable C (POXC), an estimate of labile soil C, was evaluated for use as a soil test to identify soils that may respond positively to soil organic matter (SOM) management. We hypothesized that soils lower in POXC would be more likely than soils higher in POXC to show increased crop productivity in response to practices that...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the mechanism of winter annual weed suppression by forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. variety longipinnatus) winter cover crops. Previous studies suggest that allelopathy from decomposing residue and competition due to rapid canopy development contribute to weed suppression by other Brassica cover crops. Four contrasting exper...
Conference Paper
No-till management is recognized for its potential to improve soil quality, reduce soil erosion and reduce machinery, labor and fuel costs; however organic production relies on intensive tillage as a primary weed control tactic. A cover crop-based rotational no-till corn system wherein fall-planted cover crops are rolled in the spring and the crop...
Conference Paper
Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) studies were conducted in the laboratory to determine the optimal co-digestion ratio of dairy manure and forage radish cover crops and their biogas potentials. Forage radish is an ideal cover crop because it does not compete with other food crops and it greatly enhances nutrient management as excess nitrogen and...
Article
Full-text available
Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is a new winter cover crop in the Mid-Atlantic region. The objective of this project was to characterize the repeatability, amount, and duration of weed suppression during and after a fall-planted forage radish cover crop and to quantify the subsequent effect on no-till seeded corn (Zea mays L....
Article
Cover crops can influence nutrient cycling in the agroecosystem. Forage radish (FR) (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) is unique in terms of P cycling because of its high tissue P concentration, rapid growth in the fall, and rapid decomposition in winter and spring. In addition, FR produces a taproot that decays during the winter and leaves d...
Article
Nematode community analysis was utilized to evaluate the biofumigant or allelopathic effects of brassicaceous and rye winter cover crops on non-target nematodes in three experiments (two sites) in Maryland. The cover crop treatments included mustard blend (Sinapis alba and Brassica juncea) ‘Caliente’, rapeseed (B. napus) ‘Essex’/’Humus’, forage rad...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Raymond R. Weil, University of Maryland, College Park, MD recording here:http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2010am/recordingredirect.cgi/id/8745 Small holder farmers develop, over long years of intergenerational experience, knowledge about their farming systems and about the soils, germplasm and climate in their native land. However problems may arise...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract Knowledge of environmental sciences in general and soil science in particular, is very limited among the public in the US. To reach people beyond the traditional audience for natural sciences, a course in Soil and Environmental Quality was developed for students in non science majors at the University of Maryland. This course is distinct f...