Soils 101 at the 2008 Integrated Crop Management (ICM) Conference

Paul Kassel, Field Agronomist, Northwest Area

Problem Statement:

Soil management is an important part of crop production. Current issues in precision agriculture, farm machinery and bio-technology traits have sometimes overshadowed the importance of the basic soil resource for crop production. The county soil survey report (SSR) contains information on soil characteristics, crop productivity and other information that can assist in crop planning and crop problem troubleshooting.

Programmatic Response: 

Soils 101 - a workshop for soils was developed for the 2008 ICM conference.  A worksheet was developed that asked workshop participants a number of crop production questions that related to different soil properties.  The worksheet was based on the 2002 Clay county SSR.  Participants in the workshop were asked to search the SSR for answers to questions on the worksheet.  Questions included information on Corn Suitability Rating (CSR), crop yields, soil drainage, clay content, extent of soil series, soil erosion phase, and other questions.

Outcome Statement:

An evaluation of the 2008 ICM conference indicated some short-term results that measure awareness and knowledge of this workshop.  Participants indicated that this is a workshop to be included in future ICM conferences.  Response to the ICM evaluation question on ‘one or two things you learned’,  included comments like, ‘soils class was helpful’, ‘CSRs for soils and impact on crop yields’, ‘new websites regarding soil surveys’, and ‘ soils session was good –would like more of these for different parts of the state’.  Twenty-four of the 33 evaluations rated the session as good or excellent.

Future ICM sessions on soils could be expanded to include different soil associations and more precision agriculture information. 

2009

100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

Page last updated: April 14, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu