Soil Management

Find more information in the Soil Management to Optimize Crop Production in Nebraska section of CropWatch.

fertilizer applicator in the field
Figure 1. Fertilizer is one of a farmer's largest inputs and also the one that often varies the most in price from year to year. (Photo by Bob Klein)

Fertilizer Price Changes from 1994-2017

April 25, 2017
Fertilizer, one of the major costs in crop production, changes more in price each year than many other input costs. This articles addresses how farmers can reduce their fertilizer costs by selecting the most economical source for the fertilizer they need.

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Value of manure

Finding Win-Wins for Manure: Maximizing Soil Quality Benefits

March 6, 2017
Manure offers crop production wins by providing valuable nutrients and helping build soil organic matter and an active soil microbial community. Soils with organic matter levels on the low end of their typical range can benefit the most from manure applications that do not exceed the crop’s nitrogen requirements. Organic matter also improves soil aggregates which in turn helps increase infiltration of precipitation and irrigation water, improves water-holding capacity of the soil, and reduces runoff and erosion. Soils with these characteristics experience greater drought tolerance.

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NebGuide cover

New NebGuide: Soil Management for Increased Soil Organic Matter

March 2, 2017
A new Nebraska Extension NebGuide discusses the steady state level of soil organic matter and how some management practices can reduce soil organic matter loss or increase soil organic matter.

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Phosphorus yield effect

You Can Postpone Phosphorus, Potassium, and Zinc Fertilizer Applications When….

February 28, 2017
Soil testing and applying only the soil nutrients needed to produce your yield goal can provide a significant savings in fertilizer costs. Nebraska research shows growers can save as much as $52.12/acre for postponing phosphorus, potassium and zinc applications.

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Pie charts showing two manure fertility scenarios
Figure 1. Value of the individual nutrients in surface-applied beef manure for the lower and higher value assumptions made in Table 1.

Finding Win-Win Opportunities for Manure

February 27, 2017
Land application of manure can create a win-win scenario for your farm by providing valuable crop nutrients while helping build soil organic matter. Learn more about the benefits of replacing commercial fertilizer with manure and how to get the most value when integrating an application into your soil nutrient plan.

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The Long View of Nitrogen Recommendations from Nebraska Extension

January 6, 2017

At the 2017 Crop Production Clinics, the Nebraska Extension Soils Team is presenting a historical overview of how nitrogen recommendations for corn have developed and changed since the 1950s. We are also discussing what may lay ahead for nitrogen management.

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Cattle grazing cereal rye cover crop near Tecumseh on April 9, 2016. (Photo by Mary Drewnoski)
Cattle grazing cereal rye cover crop near Tecumseh on April 9, 2016. (Photo by Mary Drewnoski)

Student Research: Does the Grazing of Cover Crops by Cattle Compact Soil?

November 2, 2016
Undergraduate Rebecca Clay shares the results of her study on whether grazing cover crops contributed to soil compaction at four sites in west central and eastern Nebraska. Clay, an undergraduate student in the Iowa State University Department of Agronomy, conducted the study as part of a UNL Research and Extension Experiential Learning Fellowship in summer 2016.

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While yields were high, protein content in Nebraska's wheat this year was below normal in many instances, likely due to environmental and management factors. (Photos by Cody Creech)
While yields were high, protein content in Nebraska's wheat this year was below normal in many instances, likely due to environmental and management factors. (Photos by Rodrigo Werle)

Nebraska 2016 Wheat – High Yields, Low Protein

September 1, 2016
Environmental conditions, management, and genetic differences played a role in why protein content in the 2016 wheat crop was lower than normal. Wheat protein develops as the plant converts nitrogen from the soil into amino acids. See what conditions led to low protein this season and how to address it for next year's crop.

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