Are the roots of your corn crop running into a cement pad six inches below the surface? It’s time to find out.
In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan demonstrates how growers can effectively use a soil penetrometer to locate a soil hardpan and help eliminate the compaction so plant roots can migrate to nutrients and moisture to produce higher yields.
In the video, Cowan explains that when more than 300 PSI has to be applied to the penetrometer to break through a layer of the soil profile, it’s going to be very difficult for plant roots to penetrate that area.
He notes “when it’s hot and dry everything is going to look compacted.” The penetrometer will deliver the best results when the entire root zone is moist. That’s usually 24 hours after a nice soaking rain, but growers should stay out of the mud, Cowan adds.
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