NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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June 21, 2010 Agriculture Column


Well, I don’t know where to start.  This has been and is getting very depressing.  I was awoke by my wife at about 5 am Monday morning only to watch her and listen to it rain even more.  Rain amounts around the county range from over an inch to over 4 inches.  I checked out the NDawn station this morning only to find an inaccurate report so drove out to see what had happened.  The rain gauge cup was plugged and had overflowed.  It should be operational again so don’t give up on the station.  Just a reminder to everyone the phone number for the Crary NDawn is 701-398-3008.  Upon completion of the report please touch the pound sign.  This weather is making managing any green material plant life a struggle.  As the rains come so do the nutrients moving down through the soil profile.  Plant material will struggle to keep the green nature of photosynthesis in developing the plant to a healthy full maturity.  Water logged soils do not allow the plant to absorb full nutrient uptake as the soil particles become swelled with water the oxygen leaves the soil profile.  To explain this process you would need to take a handful of either saturated soil or soil that is very dry and expose the samples to either water or dry out to take the moisture out of the saturated sample.  You will soon discover, once dried, the dry soil has air space between the particles thus allowing it to absorb more water or allow the root zone the ability to absorb the present nutrients.  As you can see, the process is not very complicated if only we can get a little less rain.  This process of saturated soils also creates an atmosphere of drowned out areas.  This area can tolerate standing water for a short period of time but does need to be completely gone in 24-48 hours.  Standing plants can be pretty tolerant but like any other living life, a longer period of dunked in water will cause life loss.  I had water standing in my south yard this morning that has never stood water.  This, I think, is also telling me that the water table has risen tremendously creating this unnatural phenomenon.  I will also tell everyone that this column today is meant for everyone, whether you are ag producer or a landscaper.  Just remember to think about the standing water and how soon it can devastate your business.  It is time for the rain to stop and give us a break, wasn’t the sun this past weekend just the most awesome.     


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