About usAbout Us
More about us and what we do.
ClassifiedsClassifieds
Equipment, property & more...
SubscribeSubscribe
Begin your subscription today.
ArticlesArticles
Farm safety, animal care & more...
AdvertiseAdvertise
Advertise with us, view our rates.

August 2020 Articles

Just Rambling August 2020 Issue:
Scripture To Live By: Psalm 37:1-4,9
Spiritual Corner: Humility Unmasked
Livestock and Forage Interactions
Guidance Regarding How to Handle Unsolicited Seed Materials
Heat Stress Impacts All Aspects of Cattle Reproduction
• Soil Health in Forage Systems
Plants, the essentials of life
Feral Swine Population
LDWF Update
AgCenter entomologist studies physiological pathways’ role in honeybee health,
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.—Duke Ellington
Choosing the right warm-season forage for deer
Use summer to plan your fall garden
Strain: USMCA major victory for agriculture
Invasive Species Impacting Crops
Additional Coronavirus Relief Critical to Farm Businesses
USDA Report on Beef Prices First Step Toward Fairer Markets
AgCenter presents virtual field day from Dean Lee
Beef Brunch Educational Series
Beginning farmer training program begins Oct. 1 in Baton Rouge
USDA STANDS UP NEW TEAM TO BETTER SERVE BEGINNING FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN LOUISI
LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Field Day
Blueberry Pound Cake

(24 articles found)

Archives by Months

August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
May 2011
March 2011
February 2011
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009

Soil Health in Forage Systems

Soil Health in Forage Systems E.K. Twidwell, M.W. Alison – LSU AgCenter In the past several years there has been a great deal of interest in the topic of soil health. While this term is somewhat difficult to define, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) defines soil health as “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans.” For many decades, soil health was determined by measuring the physical and chemical properties of soil. These measurements included such items as soil drainage, infiltration rate, fertility, and many others. However, one aspect of soil that has been neglected for many decades is the biologic factor. Soil can no longer be viewed as an inert growing medium, but rather as a living ecosystem comprised of billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. This shift in thinking reflects the desire of producers, agricultural researchers, and other agricultural professionals to protect the long-term sustainability of soil, water, and cropping systems. The NRCS has outlined four basic soil health principles. These include: 1) minimize soil disturbance; 2) keep soil covered; 3) maximize plant diversity; and 4) maximize the period of living root growth. Presently there are many different public and private entities throughout the United States working to develop different cropping systems to optimize these four principles and strengthen long-term environmental sustainability. One major issue that remains is how to quantify soil health. Scientists are currently working to develop a broadly applicable, relatively inexpensive, yet scientifically robust soil health test kit for producers to use. There are many research studies currently being conducted across the United States that are dealing with various aspects of soil health. Perennial grass pastures, which are typical across the southeast US, are rarely extensively disturbed and maintain soil cover and live roots even when dormant. With Louisiana forage systems, the emphasis has been on evaluating different cool-season grasses, legumes, and brassica species for their impact on the soil health of pastures. The emphasis has been on seeding these cool-season forages into existing perennial warm-season grass pastures and measuring the effect on soil chemical, physical and biological parameters. Soil biological activity is primarily controlled by the availability of soil organic matter or organic exudates from the plant roots. The inclusion of cool-season annual forages provides actively growing roots during a period when root growth is minimal from warmseason grasses. It has been shown that the cool-season forages can increase soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) and enhance microbial activity and aggregate stability. Death and degradation of the annual forage roots leaves macropores in the soil which along with improved aggregate stability can lead to improved water infiltration rates. The various functional groups (grasses, legumes, and brassicas) were included in studies because they present different potential benefits. Grasses offer greater forage production as well as extensive root growth potential while legumes could enhance N input into the system and brassicas could reduce soil compaction because of larger taproots. Results indicate brassicas are not well suited for planting in warm-season perennial grass sods in the fall as slow development in this situation and winterkill minimize the effect of brassicas.


 

Advertisers - August 2020
A & J Dirtwork
C & C Fencing, LLC
Carl Nolan Metal Roofing, LLC
Draggin'M Fertilizer
First Financial Bank
Louisiana Beef Industry Council
QC Supply
Read's Lumber and Supply
Taylor Auto Body
Thomas Nursery & Feed