Soil Fertility and Management

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

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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
Fall Forage Management
Fall Forage Management - Articles Articles

Fall Forage Management

Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D.

When it comes to managing forages in the fall, there are many factors that should be considered. 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
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
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
Mercer County Twilight Tour
Mercer County Twilight Tour - Workshops Workshops
Join us for a twilight tour to help prepare our fields for harvest. More
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
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: 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: Patrick Drohan
Soil pH Affects Forage Production - Articles Articles

Soil pH Affects Forage Production

Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D., Charles White

Soil pH can be one of the greatest determinates of forage productivity and stand life. 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
New growth on alfalfa. Photo credit: Creative Commons CC0; Pixabay.com
Assessing Your Alfalfa Stand this Spring - Articles Articles
As alfalfa breaks dormancy this spring, take time to evaluate the condition of your stand. Is it good enough to keep? More
Pasture Workshop
Pasture Workshops - Workshops Workshops
Dr. Jessica Williamson, Penn State Extension Forage Specialist and local expert’s present unbiased research-based information on various topics from Pasture Planning to Improving Forage Quality. More
Enhancing Dairy Farm Productivity and Profitability with Double-Cropping
Enhancing Dairy Farm Productivity and Profitability with Double-Cropping - Workshops Workshops
Penn State research and extension personnel, farmers, and farm advisors will share some of what they have learned when winter annual forages are included in the dairy production system. More
Sheep grazing in pasture. Credit: Creative Commons CC0; Pixabay.com
Frost Seeding Time is Here - Articles Articles
Are your pastures looking a little thin? Now is the time to consider frost seeding as an option to thicken forage stands. More
Potential to Integrate Grazing into No-Till Systems
Potential to Integrate Grazing into No-Till Systems - Articles Articles

Potential to Integrate Grazing into No-Till Systems

Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Ph.D., CCA

This publication details rotating perennial pastures with annual crops, grazing cover crops, and grazing crop residue—all of which show promise to improve profit and soil health and increase diversity on crop farms. More
Photo credit: Dwane Miller
Outstanding Lineup Slated for the 2018 PA Forage Conferences - Articles Articles
Visit with industry professionals and farmers and enjoy the day listening and learning about educational topics pertaining to forage production! 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
Frost Seeding of Pastures
Frost Seeding of Pastures - Articles Articles
Are your pastures looking a little thin? Read about frost seeding as an option to thicken forage stands. 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
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