Most farmers value soil health in theory, but few studies have worked to place an actual agronomic value on soil health. A study published earlier this spring found that a 10% improvement in certain soil health measurements increased relative yields by an average of 5% across N fertilizer rates. In other words, good soil health means getting more bang for every buck spent on fertilizer.
Study leader, former Ohio State PhD student Jordon Wade, based these findings on analysis of corn nitrogen (N) rate trials throughout the Midwest. His findings were consistent across a variety of soils and climatic conditions across the Corn Belt.
Improving N use efficiency is linked to soil biology and the cycling of organic matter, both of which are important components of soil health. In response to increased attention on soil health, both commercial and university research labs have begun offering soil health testing services.… Continue readingRead More »