Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.

Soil Health

Learn. Unlearn. Relearn.

Brad Zimmerman shares stories from his life that have been learning experiences for him and what he thought he knew, but turned out to be false or less correct.

By |March 28, 2023|

Sufficient Level of Available Nutrients (SLAN) versus Build Maintain Fertility Programs

It can be argued that SLAN and Build/Maintain can be similar in some ways, both making an application of fertilizer to keep soil test levels where they are and feed the crop to be grown. However, SLAN is geared more towards achieving a fertility level where maximum yield can be obtained in that year where Build/Maintain is trying to keep the soil test levels from dropping.

By |March 16, 2023|

What is Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)?

Using CEC to make fertility management decisions is a philosophy. There are many different philosophies that incorporate CEC into their recommendations. Many of these philosophies have some good science in them, some just enough to make them seem legit and some could be dangerous.

By |January 3, 2023|

NRCS: Your Soil Health Journey

A growing number of farmers and ranchers from across the country are using cover crops and soil health management systems to improve the health and productivity of their soil.

By |May 26, 2022|

Better Late Than Never

For most of us, planning the 2021 crop year started in earnest over a year ago. We planned the work, then we worked the plan. Unless you farm in the very northern region of Photo taken early December 2020. the state, most plans included completing harvest by the end of October. Yet here we are with a portion of our corn and soybeans still standing waiting for drier crops and fields. Some of us had included planting cover crops either for the first time, or as a continuing practice. I fall in the latter category. As we have become [...]

By |November 15, 2021|

Are Your Crops Networking?

In my blog from July 26, 2021, I discussed ‘The Hidden World Beneath Your Feet,’ a look at some of the microscopic inhabitants of the soil that influence soil health and crop productivity. In this article, we will take a closer look at mycorrhizal fungi to understand what they are and why they might be important to crop productivity. Are your crops networking? I am not suggesting that your soybean plants should attend a cocktail party or join a popular online networking app. Instead, I am referring to the presence of mycorrhizal fungi in the soil and the association [...]

By |October 1, 2021|
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