Saturday, April 23, 2011

Soil Temperature and Moisture and Seed Treatments

While today's (Monday) weather has been the sort of day we have been lacking recently, the USDA-NASS Wisconsin Crop Progress for April 25th indicates that in almost all of the reporting districts, subsoil moisture is either adequate to surplus! As we get itchy to be in the fields planting, a very relevant question to ask is if seed treatment fungicides will be effective in soybean in 2011. Our experience over the past few years has been that these products can be a cost-effective management tool. We have seen consistent responses in both inoculated and non-inoculated trials for some products. Several factors drive this response including soil temperature and soil moisture. Below are the soil temperature and soil moisture levels for Arlington and Chilton over the past 30 days. What should be rather obvious is that the soil temperature dropped steadily as the month progressed. Temperatures have only recently begun to increase but are still holding in the mid-40's. Soil moisture has been good at both locations and increased with either recent snows or rain. As such, right now conditions are at such where the use of a seed treatment may be warranted and effective, especially in reduced tillage to no-till environments.

Arlington soil temperature and soil moisture.

Chilton soil temperature and soil moisture.