Middle Tennessee State University soil scientist Samuel Haruna analyzes a soil sample from his research fields to see how cover crops impact soil temperature. Photo provided by Samuel Haruna.

You can pick the right seed, use the right equipment, apply the right inputs, and plant at the right depth, but without the right soil temperature, your crops are likely to struggle. One practice that can help fix that? Cover crops.

Why Soil Temperature Matters

While soil temperature has an impact on the soil…

Published Oct 1

An Oregon wetland resource manager examines a soil core sample. Proper soil sampling should accurately capture the variability of a field and provide useful data for input and management decisions. Photo by Jack Dykinga, USDA ARS.

With harvest either underway or on the horizon for most growers in the U.S., now is a good time to prepare for your soil sampling program.

Most universities and the NRCS recommend taking soil samples in the off-season, after the last crop harvest, and before the next…

Nitrogen loss pathways and management options to reduce risk of N loss. Image from University of Nebraska.

When it comes to fertility in crop production, nitrogen is one of the most critical nutrients involved. “Nitrogen plays an important part in many essential functions and compounds necessary for life,” says the University of Missouri Extension and can be found in various parts of plants.

Unfortunately, nitrogen fertilizer is…

This high-clearance sprayer makes variable-rate nitrogen applications to corn based on sensor readings. The sensors monitor plant stresses that are frequently related to nitrogen status. Photo by Peggy Greb, USDA ARS.

For growers who are trying to follow the “4Rs” of nutrient stewardship — applying the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place, as set forth by The Fertilizer Institute — variable-rate technology (VRT) can help them tackle two of the four…

It’s almost time to plant which means it’s time to make some varietal decisions…

It’s that time of year again where things seem to be waking up from the doldrums of Winter…the grass is greening up, pollen is falling everywhere and even an occasional snake shows up…not to mention snake-oil salesmen (kidding, kind of). …

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