A combination of tillage, no residue, and lack of crop canopy can lead to severe erosion and topsoil loss in the face of extreme weather patterns in the spring. The most effective strategy for producers to adapt to these extreme events is to improve soil health.
Fall cover crops provide multiple benefits to producers. These benefits include pathogen and pest protection, drought protection, weed control, reduced soil erosion, nutrient acquisition and retention, increased soil organic matter, and conservation of soil water by improvement of soil structure that increases infiltration and water holding capacity.
Everyone has heard the fairytale “Baa Baa Black Sheep Have You Any Wool?” but what about the double-coated California Red, the multi-colored Katahdin sheep with hair, or the East Friesian dairy ewe that produces over 1,100 pounds of milk a year? Sheep come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and all of them provide different functions and uses for producers. These can range from meat, wool, and milk production or a combination of characteristics.
Even in a year with normal rainfall, most people will have to water their gardens at least once in a while to get them through the dry periods.
La primavera en el Medio Oeste siempre trae el riesgo de inundaciones, sea por la nieve que se derrite o por lluvia en exceso.
Weather and flooding concerns can develop and change rapidly. There are some excellent resources for real-time information for weather forecasts and river flooding that can be accessed online.
During flooding, and when driving in the countryside we oftentimes encounter a creek or stream running on top of the road. Be aware that a course of water running over the road can turn into a very dangerous, even life-threatening situation if you attempt to cross it with your vehicle.
Soil from gardens that were recently flooded may not be safe for growing fruit and vegetables this summer. Depending on the location, flood waters may contain contaminants or disease-causing organisms.
Baled stored hay can get wet during spring as a result of melting snow or rainwater. These bales are also more susceptible to heating as they constitute and ideal substrate for microorganisms.