28Sep/18

Maintaining soil fertility is important for soil health

Maintaining soil fertility is important not only for profitable crop production, but also soil health. In a long-term P and K fertility trial, we can see that there is much greater residue cover in plots that have received adequate potash applications over time compared to where no K was applied. Application of P had minimal to no effect on residue cover.

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02Sep/18
Stan Boltz demonstrating infiltration with jars of soil

Demonstrations Teach Soil Health Comparisons

Have you ever wondered how to demonstrate differences in the health of soils? At a recent meeting of the Soil Health Nexus team, Stan Boltz of the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service shared tips and tricks he uses when demonstrating soil health principles to producers and other farm advisors.

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01Aug/18
A saline-sodic headland along state Highway 5 East roadside ditch in Cavalier County, N.D.

Perennial Salt-Tolerant Covers for Saline-Sodic Headlands in NE North Dakota

Wet weather results in shallow groundwater depths and saturated soils, whereas, dry weather results in lower groundwater depths. Establishing a vegetative cover is the key to utilize excessive soil moisture, intercepting salt-carrying water before it will affect productive areas, reducing evaporation from the soil surface, adding organic material and increasing microbial activity. With time, these headlands might be planted with crops like wheat, canola and corn and soybean again.

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02Jul/18

Soil Health Parameters and Water Quality

As measuring soil health becomes more of a common practice, there are a variety of factors to consider based on location, soil type, and cropping system. So, which tests makes sense for you? To help address this question, Francisco Arriaga and Donna Brandt of the Soil Health Nexus team presented on Soil Health Parameters and Water Quality for the North Central Region Water Network’s The Current Webinar Series.

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04Jun/18
Spring rye growth at the same site.

Now Available: 2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health Presentations

Videos and presentations from the 2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health held on December 7-8, 2017 in Indianapolis are now available. Hosted by the Soil and Water Conservation Society with video development supported by SARE, the conference highlighted insights from some of the nation’s most innovative producers, conservation leaders and scientists on using cover crops to improve soil health.

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01May/18
Research demonstrates that animal manures can produce both environmental and productivity benefits over the commercial fertilizer it replaces.

Manure’s Impact on Yield, Nitrogen, and Carbon

Manure is often viewed by many as an environmental liability.  However, if manure is applied at rates equal to or less than the nitrogen (N) requirement of a crop, can manure produce environmental benefits over commercial fertilizer?  This was the focus of an Asian research group which summarized the results of 141 published studies from Asia, Europe, and the U.S. comparing manure substitution for fertilizer. This article summarizes the “Take Home Messages” from this research paper.

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01Feb/18
Manure being applied in the corn field, using a drag-hose system.

Can Manure Improve Soil Health?

Is there a correlation between soil health (or soil productivity) and manure? A Missouri team analyzed many soil health related variables and manure land application details, based on data collected under the Missouri Cover Crop Cost-ShareRead More…