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Considerations for 2013 soil management

By Staff | Dec 6, 2012

Rick Cruse, director of the Iowa Water Center at ISU, was a Thursday morning presenter on discussing 2013 considerations for tillage, fertilization and residue management.

Rick Cruse, director of the Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University, told an audience of 40 producers that they need to thoroughly understand what they do on the surface, affects the enviroinment of soil underground.

As a result, he said, their land management actions, or lack of them, dictate where roots will grow, which can make the difference of reaching maximum yields.

He said the combination of the right amounts of water, aeration of the soil, where nutrients are available, soil temperatures and soil structure all affect root development.

Although he did not denigrate producers who use some sort of tillage, he did say that “deep tillage” alters the soil structure and reduces organic matter leading “to a soil that is addicted to tillage.”

That’s because, he said, tillage is needed to keep loosening the soil to create a root-friendly zone below the surface.

Cruse makes a point about soil compaction that happens with continuous "deep tillage" systems.

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Rick Cruse meets with producers foillowing his Thursday meeting. He was talking about the world's soil capacity for feeding its inhabitants.