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Soil Fertility

All Soil Fertility Content

A stunted planting of corn with purple coloring on its leaves.

Fallow Syndrome: What is it and how do I deal with it?

Fallow syndrome received its name from the dry plains states, where fields routinely benefited from the additional moisture available after a year where the ground was fallowed. Corn sometimes had symptoms of phosphorus deficiency when grown on this previously fallowed ground, thus it received its current name, “fallow syndrome.”

Three South Dakota fields that claimed prevent plant. The first field is planted with a cover crop. The second field has no cover crops, but tillage was completed to control weeds. The third has no cover crops and weeds are growing throughout.

Prevent Plant: Its Effect on Fall and Spring Fertilizing Plans

Driving around South Dakota, you can see the many acres that farmers were not able to plant. Now that fall soil-sampling season is well on its way, many people have questions regarding how different situations of prevented planting will affect soil sampling and fertilizer application needs.

A group of black heifer calves in a feedlot.

Using Feedlot Manure as a Crop Nutrient Source

Factsheet that reviews the steps to obtain a manure application rate based on crop need, soil and manure testing.

Spring wheat growing in a no-till field. Courtesy: USDA NRCS South Dakota, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chloride Fertilizers May Be Beneficial in Spring Wheat Production

Chloride, the ionic form of chlorine, although not considered an essential nutrient, has long been observed to be highly beneficial to field crops. Chloride is known to play an essential role in plant development and osmoregulation.

man holding a small pile of soil in his hands

Transitioning to Soil Health Systems in Eastern South Dakota Intended for beginners: Where do I start?

Fact sheet for beginners on where to start transitioning to soil health systems in eastern South Dakota.

SDSU Extension Develops Perennial Plant Mixtures for Alkali Areas

April 24, 2020

The Every Acre Counts program through SDSU Extension has developed perennial plant mixture suggestions suited for various types of marginal land situations, including saline, sodic and wet soil areas. 

A field of no-till soybeans and corn.

Crop Residue, Cover Crops Impact on Soil Health Parameters

Interest in no-till and cover crops has been on the rise among South Dakota crop producers. In 2019, half of South Dakota crop ground was under no-till management and about 900,000 acres were planted to cover crops.

A man inspecting a field with salty soil.

Perennial Solutions for Alkali Areas

Reclaiming marginal lands, especially those considered saline or sodic can be very challenging and may take many years to accomplish. The key to turning around salt or alkali areas in your fields, begins with getting a living root established in the affected area.

Two side-by-side fields. The left field is planted with perennial grass. The right field is bare with salty soil exposed.

Managing Weeds While Transforming Marginal Land Into Perennial Forages Production

There are currently millions acres across South Dakota impacted by saline and sodic conditions. Research has shown that salt-tolerant perennial grasses are a possible way to bring land back into production.

A green tractor, pulling a red, high-clearance planter through a field of emerging corn.

Interseeding Cover Crops Effect on Corn and Soybean Production: 2019

Incorporating cover crops into our cropping systems and moving from conventional tillage to no-till can improve soil organic matter, soil structure, and water and nutrient holding capacity of our soils.