You’re always pushing for better yields, and all the pieces finally fell together in 2016. Record or near-record yields across the country not only topped off grain bins but also depleted soil nutrients. As you plan for your 2017 crop, it’s important to replenish soil nutrients so yield isn’t held back from reaching its potential.
Study finds a single horizontal tillage pass significantly reduced water infiltration
Among the reasons healthy soil produces higher yielding crops is that healthy soil can take in and store more water. One way to create healthier soil is to refrain from tillage. That’s not exactly news.
But how much will you reduce the infiltration rate if you run a tillage tool through well-structured soil just one time? And how much will a cover crop improve infiltration if soil already has a healthy crumb-like structure?
How four farmers found the right cover crop to fix their soil’s problems
Without question, cover crops can improve soil health—and better soil health means more efficient use of resources and the potential for higher yields. But failing to select the right cover crop will waste money as surely as dense, crusted soil wastes rainfall.
Microscopic organisms can make or break your crop
In a single teaspoon of soil there are 1 billion microbes. Even though you can’t see microbes, they play a key role in your crop’s success or failure.
“It’s important to keep microbes happy—they can’t function alone and so much of what farmers do depends on them,” says Bob Perry, general manager, Perry Agricultural Laboratory, a soil testing lab in Bowling Green, Mo.
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