In recent years we have correlated some of our customers’ yields to soil test levels. The most consistent direct correlation to yield of all soil test analytes is organic matter. In nearly every case, as organic matter increased both corn and soybeans yields increased as the graph below indicates
As everyone knows increasing organic matter in soils takes many years and is difficult to do. Many farmers are focused on how they can increase organic matter, but I don’t hear many talking about how they can reduce the loss of organic matter. The greatest loss of organic matter is through soil erosion. One of the values of gypsum is that it increases infiltration of water and percolation of water through better soil porosity. This means that as you get additional rains there will be more room for water to be stored so there will be less runoff. Also, since gypsum improves the aggregation of the soil, the water that does runoff contains less soil particles and less organic matter. Even no till soils can benefit from gypsum applications in improving water infiltration and decreasing the amount of runoff and erosion that we can often see in no till fields.
How may you improve your yields in lower organic matter soils? What about humic acid and fulvic acid?
In these lower yielding, lower organic matter soils, yields can be improved by increasing the humic and fulvic acid in these soils. These two acids which are produced at higher amounts in higher organic matter soils can be limited in lower organic matter soils. These organic acids can increase water and nutrient uptake by the plants plus improve microbial activity which can increase nutrient uptake as well and stimulate better root growth. Some of our clients have observed this on their more eroded hillsides and higher pH soils. They can be applied with herbicides or with your liquid fertilizer program.
Contact Gene or Bob at Soil Solutions to discuss the benefits that these products may have in your soils.