I have been an educator of soils at the University of Minnesota Extension for 18 years. I have watched soil scientist retire, leave to other positions or pass away. Due to tight budgets or changes in priorities, many are not replaced. So please help me cultivate the next generation of soil scientists. There are websites with creative and scientific resources for teaching soils. Give it a try. Remember: Soil is not a dirty word!...More
In this second installment of our best stories from 2014, farmers showcase drainage systems that also irrigate, along with high-yield corn production tips. Read how tillage increases compaction, and plan for a micronutrient strategy. There are conservation ideas to help farmers be competitive, as well as thoughts on soil lime. All of these stories offered farmers an approach to help them Think Different about their farm operations.
Farmers, from an agronomic perspective, are doing great keeping phosphorus loss as low as 1% to 2%. The challenge, according to University of Arkansas phosphorus expert Andrew Sharpley, “isn’t so much the magnitude of the losses, or even the tile system itself; it’s the extent to which tile drainage has been implemented by farmers.”...More
The 5 ag stories to read this week include tips on storing grain this fall, as well as a reminder that a solid nutrient balance is important to corn yield, and not just nitrogen. Read about a new soil mapping technology from Purdue, and understand that when benchmarking your farm, it's important to use relevant benchmarks. For a little enjoyment, read about how you know you grew up on a farm when… .
“Rock and roll” isn’t about music for Mike Petefish when he’s picking rocks in Claremont, Minnesota. “When I see a rock like this one with a certain bluish color, I know it’ll be dense and heavier for its size than any other, and all I can do is rebury it cause I sure can’t lift it with a backhoe,” he says....More
Here are 5 ag stories you should read today, April 25. From late planting and concerns (or lack of), including compaction, to learning more about the PLC risk coverage in the Farm Bill, to NASA research about better soybeans, these are stories you should read....More
More than 50% of surveyed farmers want their local retailers to provide help to monitor soil health and changes related to cover crops. And, farmers also said they want their retailers to help them adjust their nutrient management plan to factor in the use of cover crops....More
You might say that soil is the original green machine. Working with the Earth’s soil microbes saves you a lot of money. At no cost, soil’s tiny, underground critters convert sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and crop residue into crop income....More
Steve Miller’s “double duty” drainage and sub-irrigation system lets him control the water table in his field year-round. “I thought, if you can suck water out of the field, you should be able to pump it back in!” says the Fairmount, N.D. farmer, who grows corn, soybeans, wheat and sugar beets with his daughters, Alicia Holubok and Amanda Fisher....More
Farmers may soon have a new set of tools along with professional guidance that tells them not only how much nitrogen they currently have in specific, small areas of their fields, but how long they can expect that nitrogen to last....More
A 120-foot-wide ribbon of deep-rooted switchgrass spools along the Yellow Medicine River, a meandering prairie stream that winds through Doug Albin’s Minnesota farm. For decades, this stream-side grass strip has filtered out pollutants in surface runoff from adjacent cropland....More
"This will be a great opportunity for farmers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops," said Dr. Rob Myers, North Central Region SARE....More
After more than 30 years of no-till, constructing 1,000 terraces and untold grass waterways and turn areas, Ray Gaesser decided to up his soil-protection game after an 8-inch overnight rainfall washed out a 20-acre field that spring....More
There are a lot of interesting facts about healthy soil. These graphics provide a glimpse of just some of those secrets including cover crops, organic matter and microorganisms. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has compiled these infographics as a part of its Unlock the Secrets of the Soil campaign. Find out more about soil secrets from NRCS.
With the potential for wet soils in some areas of the country this spring, compaction may be an issue during planting. Sidewall compaction in wet soils can be a problem, especially if the crop is “mudded-in” and a dry spell occurs after planting....More
Soil compaction is invisible, but its effects are clear to see: cloddy soil, delayed crop emergence, restricted root growth, stunted plants, low water infiltration, poor nutrient uptake and lost yield....More
The American Soybean Association (ASA) presented Gail Fuller, Emporia, Kan., with the 2013 National Conservation Legacy Award on March 1, 2013, at the ASA Awards Banquet, held during the Commodity Classic convention and trade show in Kissimmee, Fla. ...More
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is pleased to announce the regional winners of the 2013 Conservation Legacy Awards program: Midwest Region Winner: Gail Fuller from Emporia, Kan.; Northeast Region Winner: Roger Wenning from Greensburg, Ind.; South Region Winner: Jeremy Jack from Belzoni, Miss....More
It's all about a Think Different approach with the valuable resource that some farmers and investors are paying upwards of $15,000/acre. It's about the need to rebuild and improve the natural biological processes in your soil, so you and your landlord can gain greater efficiency and return on investment....More
As a part of the Unlock the Secrets of the Soil campaign, USDA NRCS has put together some soil health fact sheets. From no-till to cover crops, NRCS is giving you basics and other tips to help you get the most from your soil....More
The Natural Resources Conservation Service has launched a new campaign: Unlock the Secrets in the Soil. “As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. So much so that we believe improving the health of our nation’s soil is one of the most important endeavors of our time,” says NRCS....More