Field and laboratory studies were conducted at Stoneville, MS, from 1996 to 1998 to determine the influence of subsoiling (SS) and conventional tillage (CT) of a Sharkey clay soil on microbial characteristics and herbicide degradation. Soil samples obtained from imazaquin-treated and nontreated plots from the soybean row and interrow position were analyzed. Because only the row position is actually disturbed by SS, a comparison of row and interrow position on the parameter was conducted. Imazaquin (preemergence, 140 g ai ha−1) had no effect on microbial populations, microbial enzyme activity (fluorescein diacetate [FDA] hydrolysis and triphenyl-tetrazolium chloride [TTC] dehydrogenase), and organic carbon content. Estimates of microbial activity based on FDA hydrolysis and TTC dehydrogenase activity indicated greater activity under CT; however, microbial biomass and organic carbon were not affected by tillage or row position. A laboratory study assessed the degradation of carboxyl- and ring-labeled 2,4-D as influenced by tillage and row position. Soils from CT plots had an initially higher mineralization rate of 14C carboxyl-labeled 2,4-D compared to soils from SS plots; however, no effect of tillage or row position was observed on the cumulative amount of 14CO2 evolved 14 d after treatment (DAT) in 1996 and 18 DAT in 1998. In studies with ring-labeled 2,4-D, a higher 14CO2 evolution was detected in soils obtained from SS plots, regardless of row position, whereas a greater amount of radioactivity was observed in the unextractable fraction from CT soils. Because differences in 2,4-D mineralization between tillage regimes were minimal, adoption of SS as a tillage practice for heavy clay soils in the Mississippi Delta may have a limited effect on microbial characteristics and biodegradation of soil-applied herbicides.