NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE, Huron, SD, April 15, 2014 "It's tough to be patient when spring finally comes and farmers have short windows for getting their crops in the soil," says Soil Quality Specialist Jeff Hemenway, Huron, SD.
Specialists with the Natural Resources Conservation Service
(NRCS) are advising farmers to scout fields and review conditions before doing any activity, like applying fertilizer or manure.
"When the surface gets dry, some people think it's ok to get into the field.
But, a quick sample with a soil probe will give you some real answers," says Hemenway
"Soils in good health will appear darker in color, crumbly, and porous, like chocolate cake," says Hemenway
"An unhealthy, poorly functioning soil appears lighter in color, may be compacted, or has poor soil structure, and which limits rooting potential and biological activity.
"If a producer is considering spring field work," Hemenway
says, "be aware of the negative things that happen with tillage and especially when soil conditions are too wet.
As the frost con-
NRCS Advises patience now to avoid soil problems
The Bison Courier • Thursday, April 24, 2014 • 11
tinues to come out, it can create soft spots that can be prone to compaction if attempting field passes to apply fertilizer, manure, or tillage.
Tilling in wet conditions can damage soil structure by reducing soil porosity and air and water movement in the soil profile.
explains that tilling in wet soil is not effective in fracturing compacted soils, in fact it creates more compaction further limiting water infiltration and creating a soil environment with extremely poor seedbed conditions.
A healthy, fully functioning soil can increase production, increase profits, and protect natural resources.
Poor soil conditions can lead to poor development of root systems, and other problems later in the season explains Hemenway
"Also, if a fall soil sample wasn't taken, getting a spring soil sample is essential to balance your soil's nutrient needs before planting," says Hemenway
Fred and Bev Schopp celebrated Easter on Saturday afternoon and evening with Laurie, Dan and Danci Hoff; Jeff
and Jan Rutz, Brent, Jordan, Britten, Carter and Faith; Ray and Julie Schopp, Andrew Katie, Kelly, Krista and Justin; Connie and Bob Hourigan; Wes and Katelin and Tristan Ginther; Jessie Ginther and Tanner Boeddeker;