Crop and Soil Management
Soil Fertility Management
Soil testing is an excellent method for estimating the fertility status of a soil, and it provides valuable information for developing a sound fertility management program.
Liming is recommended for bringing soil pH up to optimal growing conditions, which is a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
Nitrogen management process and recommendations for agronomic crops.
Phosphorus and potassium recommendations for agronomic crops to build soils up to an optimum level and then maintain that level (based on nutrient removal from crop harvesting).
Analyzing plant tissue can indicate the success of a soil fertility program and uncover potential problems.
Recommendations for agronomic crops, only to be used as a guide when a soil test is not available.
When different nitrogen fertilizer materials are applied properly, they give the same results per unit of nitrogen applied.
Plants absorb most of their phosphorus from the soil solution and pH of the soil plays a major factor in the availability of the phosphorus.
The most common type of potassium fertilizer is muriate of potash or 0-0-60.
Nutrient management regulations involving livestock farms can be confusing at times, but the Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Program provides the necessary information for farmers.
How to calculate an estimation of manure production for the farm.
Manure is a good source of all crop nutrients, including the major and micronutrients, but nitrogen (N) generally is the manure nutrient with the greatest value and often the highest potential for pollution. Therefore, manure is best used for crops that have large N requirements.
The amount of N, P, and K available to crops from year of application manure is not the total amount based on your manure analysis.
These sample calculations include using typical (nontreated dairy, swine, other livestock and poultry) manure as well as Atypical or treated manure.
Storing Seed and Grain
Managing grain in storage to prevent insect damage is just as important, or more so, than managing the crop while it is growing in the field.
Estimating relative hybrid maturity by using days to maturity and growing degree days (GDD).
Corn recommendations for phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. Details provided on reducing nitrogen losses from volatilization, leaching and denitrification.
Corn production in Pennsylvania generally uses a thirty-inch row width. This results in an average of 10 percent higher yield than forty-in rows.
Knowledge of soybean growth stages is important to time pest scouting, apply certain pesticide sprays such as insecticides to control soybean aphid and foliar fungicides to control diseases, and document growth stage at the time of an injury event such as hail for insurance purposes.
Choosing the proper forage species for a pure stand or a mixture depends on how it adapts to various soil characteristics and how it is to be used.
Proper pasture management is important in providing adequate foraging throughout the grazing season.
Grazing management means controlling grazing animals on pasture. The two most important tools for influencing the level of animal output under grazing are: concentration of animals per acre (stocking rate) and system of grazing management.
The ratings in this table provide relative information for comparing soils and should not be used quantitatively.
Table show the average amounts of N, P2O5 and K20 in manure for various animal types.
Use this table to find the amount of lime you need to apply. Your soil test limestone recommendation is in the left column and the percent calcium carbonate equivalent of your liming material; the intersection is the amount you need.
Factors in determining the nitrogen availability in current year and past year manure application.
Chart showing the factors that affect the nitrogen availability of manure nitrogen.
By combining species that fill different niches, a multifunctional cover crop can be compiled that meets multiple purposes. Cover crops include grasses, legumes, and other broadleaf species (Table Characteristics of common cover crops). The most common grass species for late summer or fall establishment are rye, wheat, triticale, barley, oats, and annual ryegrass. Winter rye is the most common winter-hardy cover crop in Pennsylvania.
Recommended spring nitrogen application for winter wheat, winter barley, spring oats, and spring barley.
Use this table to find the amount of lime you need to apply based on your lime recommendations from your soil test results and liming material used.
Tables to find the planned manure application season based on the target crop utilization and determine the frequency of manure application based on the amount of residual N that is available from past manure applications
Table showing the average daily production of manure based on animal type and the nutritional analysis.