Applying the chipped debris to the fallowed
orchard or vineyard land stabilizes the surface area to limit fugitive dust emissions due to wind erosion and helps improve soil health by increasing soil carbon, organic matter and water retention.
Cycles of wetting and drying of soil during fallow periods, particularly when combined with soil disturbance such as with tillage, can greatly decrease the survival of mycorrhizal fungi in fallowed
soils (Pattinson and McGee 1997).
Because of low commodity prices or dry land crop loss, the land fallowed
, but the next year it most likely will become productive again.
The scientists saw large decreases or increases in carbon storage in areas where, for example, fields were fallowed
or lands were reforested.
These low nitrate levels, particularly in the red clay, were probably caused by high rainfall during the previous 90 days, which leached (or denitrified) nitrate beyond the sampled depth; however, the surprisingly high [MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] after long fallow on the black earth suggests that N levels in this soil may have been little affected by leaching or that long fallowed
soils were less vulnerable to leaching because of their lower organic matter content.