Soil Fertility and Management

Information on soil fertility and management of agronomic crops, including quality assessment and conditions such as crusting, compaction and rill erosion. Tips on levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, crop rotation and no-till yields.

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Blake Vince, no-till grain farmer from Ontario, showcases a latex cast of earthworm burrows, old root canals, and cracks and fissures from his soil with PSU Extension Educator Claire Coombs. Sjoerd Duiker.
Northeast Cover Crop Council Conference Showcases Cover Crop Innovations - News News
This Conference featured a wide variety of cover crop presentations and networking opportunities for farmers, industry, government and non-government organizations, extension and research. More
Wet soils this year have been highly susceptible to compaction and rut formation.
You've Got Ruts. Now What? - News News

You've Got Ruts. Now What?

10/31/2018

There’s still time this year to remedy harvest-induced soil compaction. More
Soil Sampling
Soil Sampling - Videos Videos

Soil Sampling

Rachel Milliron

5:02

In this video, learn how to take representative soil samples in agronomic fields. More
Soil Health and Cover Crops Workshop
Soil Health and Cover Crops Workshop - Workshops Workshops

Soil Health and Cover Crops Workshop

Multiple Options Available

Free
Pennsylvania farmers are invited to join us and hear from a variety of speakers and a farmer panel to learn how to incorporate cover crops into their farmland. More
Soil compaction threat during silage harvest is high this year. Image Credit: Mark Madden
Soil Compaction Threat is High - News News

Soil Compaction Threat is High

09/12/2018

After another prolonged period of rainfall, the soils across most of the commonwealth are again saturated. More
2018 Wheat Planting Considerations
2018 Wheat Planting Considerations - News News
Much of our wheat yield potential is a function of decisions that are made in the fall. Take time now to make plans for a successful wheat planting season this year. More
Funding is Available to Develop Soil Conservation and Nutrient Management Plans
Funding is Available to Develop Soil Conservation and Nutrient Management Plans - News News
Funding is now available to farmers to have soil conservation and nutrient management plans written. More
Corn earworm (CEW) and feeding on corn ear tip. Image credit: Rachel Milliron.
Identifying Corn Earworm - News News

Identifying Corn Earworm

09/05/2018

Finding corn ears with feeding on the ear tip? More
Alfalfa regrowth after the last summer cutting. Image Credit: Hanna Wells.
Potassium Management to Improve Alfalfa Winter Survival - Articles Articles
Proper potassium management in fall can improve winter survival of alfalfa. More
Cover Crop Seed Shortage This Fall
Cover Crop Seed Shortage This Fall - News News
If you are planning to buy cover crop seed, it is important that you do so quickly or there might not be any available. More
Soil: Nutrient Management, Plant Pathogens and Health
Soil: Nutrient Management, Plant Pathogens and Health - Workshops Workshops
Learn, refresh or expand your knowledge on manure and nutrient management, soil-borne plant pathogens, and soil health. More
Manure storages that capture runoff from barn roofs or other impervious surfaces are likely to fill up sooner than expected due to the extreme rainfall this summer. Image credit: Charlie White
Manure Management When Storages Fill Up Sooner than Expected - News News
With the extreme rainfall over the last month, some farms may need to start emptying manure storages sooner than normal. Here are some points to consider when doing so. More
Flooding around your home and on the farm could be leading to issues you need to address. Image Credit: Jennifer Fetter
After the Flood – Recovery Considerations for Rural Pennsylvanians - Articles Articles

After the Flood – Recovery Considerations for Rural Pennsylvanians

Jennifer R Fetter, Leon Ressler, Andy Yencha

Parts of Pennsylvania were drenched with heavy rains and flooded streams recently. In addition to drying out wet basements, there are few important things that rural Pennsylvanian’s might want to pay special attention to. More
Nitrogen deficiency in corn, characterized by yellowing along the midrib of the lower leaves, starting at the leaf tip and moving towards the stalk. (Image credit: Charlie White)
What is the Potential for Nitrogen Losses from Extreme Summer Rainfall - Articles Articles
The severity of nitrogen losses from extreme summer rainfalls, and how you react to them, depends on many factors. More
Ponding in soybean field. Credit: Claire Coombs
Where Does the Water Go? - Articles Articles

Where Does the Water Go?

Claire Coombs

With all the rain in May and June, and higher than normal soil moisture levels, one can start to wonder where all the water could be going? More
Potassium deficiency on this corn crop is exhibited by yellowing and necrosis of the leaf edges in the lower part of the canopy. Image credit: Jeff Graybill
Scouting for Nutrient Deficiencies - Articles Articles
Regular visual inspections, paired with tissue testing, soil sampling, and some help from eyes in the sky, can help diagnose nutrient deficiencies in a growing crop. More
Overgrazing pastures compromises pasture production and exposes the soil to erosion
Avoid Overgrazing Your Pastures - Articles Articles

Avoid Overgrazing Your Pastures

Justin Brackenrich, Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

The summer is upon us and cool season grasses are slowing down their growth. This is the time to pay attention so you don’t overgraze those pastures. More
Corn in wet areas of this field is suffering from a nitrogen deficiency due to early season nitrogen losses. Photo credit: Charlie White
Is Your Nitrogen Still There? - News News

Is Your Nitrogen Still There?

06/06/2018

With the cool and wet weather in many parts of the state, you might be wondering whether the nitrogen you applied to corn this spring has been lost. More
Photo Credit: Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State Extension.
Managing Soil Compaction Caused by Small Grain Silage Harvest - Articles Articles
Small grain silage harvest can cause soil compaction when the soil is wet. This can have negative effects on the following corn crop. More
Photo 1: Manure injection in early May in western Chester County, PA. Twenty-foot wide toolbar supports injectors that are spaced 24 inches apart. Photo credit: Leon Ressler, Penn State
Manure Injection in PA Gets a Boost with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant - News News
Newly awarded grant will be used to cover the cost difference between injecting and surface applying manure. More
Hairy vetch, rye, annual ryegrass, and clover cover crop being grazed. Photo Credit: Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State University
Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops - Articles Articles

Grazing Crop Residues and Cover Crops

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Grazing has been largely excluded from our croplands but is receiving new interest as an additional profit center for farmers as well as a way to improve soil. More
Photo Credit: Claire Coombs, Penn State Extension.
Preventing Sidewall Compaction - Articles Articles
With all this rain, patience can be tough but it is important to wait for good planting conditions to avoid sidewall compaction More
Urea granules treated with a urease inhibitor. Photo credit: Charlie White
Will Your Nitrogen Stabilizer be Effective? - Articles Articles
Nitrogen stabilizer products are valuable management tools to prevent losses of N fertilizer and increase N use efficiency by the crop. Knowing how these products work will you help you maximize their effectiveness. More
Farming for Success
Farming for Success - Workshops Workshops
Join us for an agronomic field day for farmers, industry representatives, and other agricultural professionals. More
Photo Credit: Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State Extension.
Repairing Erosion Damage and Protecting Your Fields - Articles Articles

Repairing Erosion Damage and Protecting Your Fields

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Reports have come in about concentrated flow leading to rills and gully formation over the winter. How can you repair that and avoid it from happening again? More
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