Soil Fertility and Management

Information on soil fertility and management of cover crops, including soil quality and conditions such as rill erosion, compaction and crusting. Tips on levels of potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and limestone and nutrient management planning.

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Oats. Photo: E. Swackhamer
Cover Crop Considerations after Small Grain Harvest - Articles Articles

Cover Crop Considerations after Small Grain Harvest

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Planting a soil building cover crop after small grain harvest has many benefits, but needs to be tailored to your farm’s needs. More
Upcoming Events for June 27th
Upcoming Events for June 27th - News News

Upcoming Events for June 27th

06/27/2018

Field Day Announcement: Penn State Hemp Research Field Day, Southeast Research and Extension Center, August 7, 2018 More
Soil erosion is still taking its toll in Pennsylvania but can be addressed by using proper management
Eliminating Soil Erosion - Articles Articles

Eliminating Soil Erosion

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Soil erosion is still our number one sustainability issue. With the excessive rainfall we’ve had many fields are showing the scars of rills and gullies. And yet … We have the tools – so let’s put them to work. 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: 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
Photo Credit: Sjoerd Duiker, Penn State Extension.
Threat of ‘Incidental Transfer’ of Manure to Streams - Articles Articles
With soil profiles being fully recharged with water and future runoff, creates the threat of ‘incidental transfer’ of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon from surface applied manure to streams and sinkholes. More
A field must have greater than 25% crop residue cover or a cover crop to be eligible for winter manure spreading, along with other restrictions. Photo credit: Charlie White
The Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Manure Spreading - Articles Articles
If winter manure spreading is absolutely unavoidable, follow these requirements to do it legally. More
Manure Fertilizer, Photo Credit: Nicole Santangelo, PSU
Is Your Farm Ready for Inspection? - Articles Articles
By the end of 2018, 1 in 5 Pennsylvania farms within the Chesapeake Bay watershed will have been visited by the Chesapeake Bay Agricultural Inspections Program. More
Can I Apply Potash in Winter?
Can I Apply Potash in Winter? - Articles Articles

Can I Apply Potash in Winter?

Charles White, Nicole Santangelo

Ensuring properly timed potassium applications where they are needed when conditions permit. More
How quickly can you increase soil organic matter content?
Can I Increase Soil Organic Matter by 1% This Year? - Articles Articles

Can I Increase Soil Organic Matter by 1% This Year?

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Soil organic matter is a primary measure of soil health. It is important to monitor soil organic matter and try to increase it. But what is a realistic goal? More
Photo caption: Charlie White, PSU
Charlie White, Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Extension Specialist - News News
The torch is passed in the soil fertility and nutrient management Extension program. More
Soil compaction at grain harvest and while grazing
Soil compaction at grain harvest and while grazing - Articles Articles

Soil compaction at grain harvest and while grazing

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

Try to avoid soil compaction if you still have corn and soybeans to harvest, or if you graze animals. More
El arar puede beneficiar o perjudicar la calidad del suelo. Foto cortesiá de Penn State Extension.
Introducción a los Suelos: El Manejo de los Suelos - Articles Articles
El Manejo de los suelos More
Moldboard plowing, shown here, is a type of primary tillage. Photo courtesy of Penn State Extension
Introduction to Soils: Managing Soils - Articles Articles
This article provides information on how different soil management practices affect soil quality and crop production. More
Collecting a soil sample to measure soil quality. Photo courtesy of Penn State Extension.
Introduction to Soils: Soil Quality - Articles Articles
Soil quality is how well soil does what we want it to do. A healthy, high-quality soil is fertile, has good soil structure, and is biologically active. More
Recolección de una muestra para análisis de suelo. Foto cortesiá de Penn State Extension
Introducción a los Suelos: La Calidad de los Suelos - Articles Articles
La calidad del suelo es lo bien que el suelo hace lo que queremos que haga. Un suelo sano y de alta calidad es fértil, tiene buena estructura del suelo y es biológicamente activo. More
Achieving High Soil Carbon Levels Survey
Achieving High Soil Carbon Levels Survey - News News
Do you want to learn how to achieve high soil carbon levels while preventing nitrate leaching and phosphorus runoff? More
Photo credit: Doug Beegle
Fall Manure Management - News News

Fall Manure Management

09/20/2017

As the crops are being harvested and manure is ready to be spread, here are some considerations for fall manure applications. More
Nutrient Management to Improve Nitrogen Efficiency and Reduce Environmental Loss
Nutrient Management to Improve Nitrogen Efficiency and Reduce Environmental Loss - Articles Articles
This article describes the three main pathways of nitrogen loss--nitrate leaching, denitrification, and volatilization--and summarizes requirements and provides nitrogen management guidance. More
Soil Health in Field and Forage Crop Production
Soil Health in Field and Forage Crop Production - Articles Articles

Soil Health in Field and Forage Crop Production

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

This publication emphasizes the natural principles of the no-till system and discusses 14 management techniques for improving soil health. More
Pennsylvania Soil Quality Assessment Worksheet
Pennsylvania Soil Quality Assessment Worksheet - Articles Articles

Pennsylvania Soil Quality Assessment Worksheet

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

This publication is intended to help agricultural producers, gardeners, and others assess the quality of their soil. More
Managing Phosphorus for Crop Production
Managing Phosphorus for Crop Production - Articles Articles
Phosphorus is a macronutrient and component of nucleic acids, and plays a vital role in plant reproduction, of which grain production is an important result. More
Managing Potassium for Crop Production
Managing Potassium for Crop Production - Articles Articles
A corn crop takes up nearly as much potassium (K) as it does nitrogen (N), yet management of each nutrient is entirely different. More
A Nutrient Management Approach for Pennsylvania: Decision-Making
A Nutrient Management Approach for Pennsylvania: Decision-Making - Articles Articles
Effective nutrient management requires decisions to be made at several different levels of detail: strategic, tactical, and operational (Figure 1). More
A Nutrient Management Approach for Pennsylvania: Exploring Performance Criteria
A Nutrient Management Approach for Pennsylvania: Exploring Performance Criteria - Articles Articles
The focus of nutrient management is rapidly evolving from optimizing agronomic production and economic returns of crop production to balancing farm production with environmental protection. More
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