Soil fertility
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Soil Fertility. Montana Small Grain Guide pages 35-42. Essential Elements. Nutrients from Air and Water: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen CHO Primary Nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium NPK Secondary Nutrients: Sulpher, Calcium, Magnesium SCaMg Micronutrients:

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Soil Fertility

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Soil fertility

Soil Fertility

Montana Small Grain Guide

pages 35-42


Essential elements

Essential Elements

  • Nutrients from Air and Water:

    Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen CHO

  • Primary Nutrients:

    Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium NPK

  • Secondary Nutrients:

    Sulpher, Calcium, Magnesium SCaMg

  • Micronutrients:

    zinc, iron, magnanese, copper, boron, molybdenum, chlorine


Essential nutrients

Essential Nutrients

  • C HOPKNS CaFe Mg B Mn CuZn ClMo

  • See Hopkins Café Managed By Mine Cousin Clomo


Soil fertility1

Soil Fertility

  • Harvesting crops removes nutrients from the soil

  • Chemical fertilizer, animal waste, sewage sludge


Nutrient deficiencies

Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Visual symptoms can give a clue to deficiencies

  • Tissue analysis: identify shortages

  • At this time it is usually too late to correct


Soil testing

Soil Testing

  • Availability of nutrients in soil

  • Soil sample collection

  • Lab analysis

  • Interpretation of test results

  • Recommendation


Soil sampling

Soil Sampling

  • Collect at least 20 subsamples to 6” depth for standard soil tests

  • Nitrogen: test 6-12”, 12-24”, 24-48”

  • Avoid areas not representative of field

  • Place subsamples in clean plastic bucket

  • Mix samples, select approx. one cup in plastic bag


Soil sampling1

Soil Sampling

  • Mail with name, field ID, depth of test, information sheet

  • Nitrate test: samples must be dried or frozen immediately after collection

    • prevent soil organisms from converting organic N to nitrate


Interpretation

Interpretation

  • Must consider:

    -crop nutrient requirements

    -expected yield

    -cropping history

    -tillage & residue mgmt techniques


Nitrogen

Nitrogen

  • Wheat & Barley take up Nitrogen in the ammonium (NH4) and nitrate (NO3)

  • Most nitrogen in soil is tied up in the organic matter

  • 1-3% becomes available to the crop each year by microorganisms

  • Mineralization: Organic matter breaks down to ammonium (NH4)


Nitrogen1

Nitrogen

  • Nitrification: ammonium is converted to (NO3)

  • Soil temps below 40 deg., nitrification is very slow

  • Nitrate is very mobile, moves readily with water (Leaching)

  • Ammonium is attracted to the clay minerals and organic matter


Nitrogen budget

Nitrogen Budget

  • Determine realistic yield goal

  • Determine crop Nitrogen requirement

    -yield goal x constant

    -wheat = 2.5

    -barley = 1.8

  • Subtract soil test N from total N requirement


Nitrogen budget1

Nitrogen Budget

  • Add 20# for each ton of residue incorporated just before planting

    -1 bu. Yield = 100# of straw

  • Subtract 30# if alfalfa was previous crop

  • Subtract 8# for each ton of manure

  • Remainder is N fertilizer requirement


Nitrogen budget example

Nitrogen Budget Example:

  • Goal is 30 bu/ac of Spring Wheat

  • Tests show soil has 30#/acre

  • Previous crop yield was 20 bu/ac

  • Add 10 tons of manure/ac

  • How much N should be added?

  • ((30 x 2.5)-30)+20-80=-15

  • Do not need to add N


Timing of fertilizer application

Timing of Fertilizer Application

  • Small grains take up most of their Nitrogen early in the growing season

  • Nitrogen applied after tillering usually won’t affect yield


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