Tag Archives: state of the science

16Nov/19

Poultry manure improves profits, soil health

A 20-year study by Iowa State University researchers shows fertilizing cropland with poultry manure can benefit soil health and farm profits when compared to a commercial fertilizer. The study looked at long-term impacts of poultry manure on soil quality, crop yield, production costs and water quality in conventional Iowa cropping systems.

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04Jan/19

Getting to the Science of Soil Health: USDA Releases Standard Indicators and Laboratory Procedures to Assess Soil Health

The enthusiasm for the soil health principles in some cases has gotten ahead of the science behind them. To address this, NRCS and the Agricultural Research Services (ARS) lead a diverse group of technical experts in selecting methods to assess six standard soil health indicators, which focus on key physical and biological process that must function well in healthy soils. The document titled “Recommended Soil Health Indicators and Associated Laboratory Procedures”, Technical Note No. 450 (PDF) was developed by a group of experts and provides information getting us closer to understanding the science behind soil health and how it is best measured.

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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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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…

08Jan/18
Trophic levels of the soil food web

Soil quality impacts of agricultural and municipal biosolids applications

Background Soil health management refers to the preservation and improvement in soil physical, chemical, and biological properties to maximize the productive capacity of soil. Cover crops and reduced tillage are promoted for improving soil health; however,Read More…

03Jul/17
soil with earth worm

Manure Impact on Soil Aggregation

If manure increases formation of larger (macro) and more stable soil aggregates, several benefits may result for fields fertilized by manure compared to commercial fertilizer including: Reduced runoff and soil erosion; Increased water infiltration into theRead More…

01May/17

Manure and Soil Health Presentations Bring Experts, Give Voice to Wondering Minds

Farmers and ranchers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of soil quality/health to the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural system. Research and field observations have demonstrated that carefully managed manure applications can contribute toRead More…