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Flooded Soils Still In Tough Shape

TAGS: Extension
Flooded Soils Still In Tough Shape
Standing water wiped out farm soil microbes. You'll have to take extra steps to restore the soil biology.

Areas of fields that were flooded in 2011 need some special management this spring, says Chris Augustin, North Dakota State University Extension soil health specialist, Minot, N.D.

The best thing you can do is to get something growing on soils that were under water last year.

"It will prevent erosion and help bring the soil biology back into the soil," he says.

Soybeans and sorghum will do okay on flooded soils. Corn will need about 60 pounds per acre of phosphorous banded between the rows because there won't be any fungi alive in the soil to help corn plants absorb phosphorous.

WORK REMAINS: Salt remains behind on this field after flood waters drained away. The area will need special management to restore its productivity.

Cover crop mixtures are great option. The presence of several different plant roots will help colonize the soil with different microbes.

Applying manure or compost at agronomic rates will speed up the process of restoring the soil biology because they contain microbes and organic matter.

Don't be in a rush to work soils that were under water, however. If the soil is still wet, it will be especially prone to compaction.

Source: NDSU Communications

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