ISSUE 13   August 2, 2007

SOIL SAMPLING AFTER HAIL

Hail fell on large areas of eastern ND last week, totally some fields. Planning for next year is naturally the next step after dealing with the remaining shreds of residue. If the crop was small grain, most of the nitrogen (N) in that crop is in the grain, and mineralization of N following the hail will be small. Sampling after the middle of August would work out well. There will probably be a lot of volunteer grain sprouting and growing from late August through September up until freeze-up. Any volunteer grain growth will complicate the residual N readings from later soil testing, so earlier testing is suggested. After corn, soybean, dry bean, sunflower and other non-small grain crops, there will be significant biology taking place in those fields until the soil cools after October 1. Waiting until after soil cool-down would be suggested to take into account the N mineralizing in those fields from now until then. Totaled crop except for small grains will act like a green manure, with about 1/3 of the N in those crops being made available for the next crop. Late fall soil sampling will pick up some of that N. The remainder will act as a small previous crop credit for next year’s crop.

Dr. Dave Franzen
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
david.franzen@ndsu.edu


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