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.
All Soil Fertility Content
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.
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.
November 19, 2019
SDSU Extension will host the “Managing Soil: Maximizing Profit” workshop in Colton on Dec. 3.
Implementing diverse crop rotations and no-till practices are common suggestions to reduce erosion, control pests, and improve yields. These practices can also improve soil health through an increase in soil carbon levels.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a tall, native, prairie grass that is often seeded on marginal lands in South Dakota. It has gained growing popularity over the past decade not only as a source of biofuel and feed, but also as a method to improve soil properties.
Planting cover crops and returning crop residues (stover) to the soil both adds nutrients and improves overall soil quality. These practices are common with producers across South Dakota and have been recently studied by researchers to identify how they impact the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
An integrated crop-livestock system can provide an alternative management strategy that benefits producer’s income, soil health, and the environment—all while increasing production.
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.”