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Soil Fertility

All Soil Fertility Content

man holding a small pile of soil in his hands

An Introduction to Salt-Impacted Soils in South Dakota

Introduction of salt-impacted soils in South Dakota for landowners.

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.

Earthworms on the soil surface inside a white hard-plastic ring, after mustard-vinegar solution was drained down through the soil profile forcing earthworms out onto the surface in order to be counted.

How’s Life in the Soil? Ask (Count) the Earthworms.

Earthworms are ‘very special’ creatures on earth, and their contribution in soil nutrient cycling and fertility management has been acknowledged from the beginning of agriculture. So, the question needs to be asked, how can we help improve earthworm populations?

Two rows of corn at V5 leaf growth stage looking down from above. Between the corn rows there are 3 separate cotton strips placed on the soil surface just before burial in a 2-inch-deep trench. The cotton strips are numbered for their identification after recovery at three different dates.

Cotton Strip Soil Test: Rapid Assessment of Soil Microbial Activity and Diversity in the Field

Soil has always been considered as a living system due to its biological components: fungi, bacteria and plant roots. Under several ongoing research projects, we started researching how we can use ‘cotton strip assay’ to compare different cover crop mixes to optimize field soil activity and build up better soil health.

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.

man holding a small pile of soil in his hands

Fertilizer Recommendation Guide

SDSU Extension fertilizer recommendations are based on field research in South Dakota and neighboring states.

man holding a small pile of soil in his hands

Recommended Soil Sampling Methods and Instructions

Proper collection of soil samples is extremely important as the accuracy of the soil test depends on the quality of the soil sample provided to the lab.

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.

green tractor next to a machine shed with farm equipment inside it

Overproducing us Out of Business

There seems to be a misconception nowadays in much of the public that in order for agriculture to be sustainable in the future, there is a need to go organic. Organic agriculture can be sustainable, but so can traditional agriculture.

crop fields flooded by spring snow melt. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung

Managing Soil and Soil Fertility After Flooding

During floods, your fields will experience different amounts of erosion, sediment deposition, and crop residue accumulation. To avoid compaction of these soils it is crucial to let soils drain and dry out sufficiently before removing any large debris from fields or working the soil.