Effect of different cropping systems (CS) on the soil quality (SQ) was assessed for soils of Sub-humid (dry) ecosystem of Central India in Rahat watershed of Nagpur District, India. Forty two surface and subsurface samples were analyzed for two physical indicators viz. bulk density (BD) and particle size distribution; four chemical indicators viz. electrical conductivity (EC), soil organic carbon (SOC), Free Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and soil available nitrogen (SAN). Each SQ indicator was compared with its value under different CS in three different landforms. The results indicated that, the soil properties such as BD, clay content, SOC and SAN were greatly influenced by the components of each CS. The adverse impact of CS on the SQ indicators resulted in deterioration of SQ. Citrus + wheat under plateau top landform, sole tur – fallow under pediment landform and cotton – fallow under alluvial landform deteriorated the physical condition of soil as is expressed by higher BD under this system. The cotton – fallow CS also showed highest clay content. The sorghum - fallow CS adversely influenced the chemical environment in case of SOC and SAN which showed lowest value thereof. In alluvial landform the SAN content were high in different CS. The CSs which does not add biomass in the soil resulted in decreased SOC and BD due to its anti-microbial effect in soil. The adverse impact of these CS on SQ indicators resulted in deterioration in quality of soil. Therefore such CS should be prevented for long-term cultivation and appropriate crop rotation should be followed. Key words: Cropping system, landforms, soil quality, soil physical indicator, soil chemical indicator.
Keywords: Cropping system, landforms, soil chemical indicator, soil physical indicator, soil quality.