Soils Tell Baseline Information for Variable Rate

November 14, 2010 10:17 PM

Corn College TV episode 4 focuses on two topics—soils and planting.

Ken Ferrie walks through the importance of water-holding capacity in soil and how that fits into the System Approach.  

“Soil type can vary greatly across your fields, which leads to variable management of your soils,” Ferrie explains.

Ferrie says it’s important to understand the water-holding capacity of your soil.

“Poorly structured soil may have good water holding capacity, but if you get too much rain too quickly it runs off,” he says. “Within 10 acres you can have a huge difference in soil types and their capacity, even across relatively flat ground.”

When considering variable-rate technology, water-holding capacity can be a good place to start. With different water holding capacity across soil profiles, as soil profiles change that leads to the ability to change populations.

“Use soil maps, use your own experience,” he advises. “The topography can tell you. As the tractor seat tips back, turn populations down, and then on way down turn it up.”

“And se soil tests. When you look at soil textures, the water holding capacity comes from organic matter. And pore size affects usable amount of water soil can hold.”

Learn more in Episode 4 of Corn College TV.  

episode4 soils

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Spell Check

11/16/2010 03:01 AM

  Could you clarify the sentence about adjusting the populations depending on the tractor seat orientation. I assume both are positioned on sidehills. thanks


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