Forage Facts: Soil Health Important Factor in Forage Production

I had been asked to write a tiny piece about the positives and cons of water sources, its input costs and benefits and i also have struggled with this topic because irrigation, though beneficial in the right circumstances, is not always the response to the problems associated with examen production. I think of irrigation as an enlargement to an already good forage production program somewhat than a cure-all for survival-which it is not. California bearing ratio

Therefore, I feel that ground condition is the most ignored and the most limiting factor to a productive forage stand, because how your soil interacts with nutrients, water, air and microbial activity is the basis for an improved knowledge of root development and plant growth. 

The affectation producer must have a basic knowledge of ground profiles, soil types, garden soil composition, soil fertility and soil tilth.

Soil tilth is defined as the “harmony” involving the basic ground elements, which can be: mineral, air, water, and organic and natural subject. The correct balance of these elements boosts ground productivity by allowing the efficient interactions of all these soil systems. Basic and simple, air and water balance, in the soil profile, is key to good root growth; the precursor to optimal examen production.
Before getting included in irrigation; which is an enhancement to an already good program; I actually believe by “fixing” known deficiencies, we can improve our productivity and spend less money, effort and time doing it. This is what we did, years in the past, before getting into water sources.

One other very important aspect of forage development improvement; and sadly, much overlooked, is the self-inflicted limitations due to soil compaction. We can have garden soil with an optimum ph level, N; P, K and micro-nutrients, but if compaction exists, many detrimental cases arise.

Soil specialists are in agreement that the wellbeing of the ground are essential in this organic and chemical harmony, which further determines the amount of biomass our examen plants can produce. Compaction stresses our forage crops by removing air and water from the ground profile. The biological and chemical system that will depend on this interaction becomes restricted; root growth weakens and production suffers.

Compaction influences both wet and dried soil conditions, equally; as it reduces the normal water holding capacity making drought conditions worse and suppresses drainage to make rainy conditions more challenging. Correcting compaction makes a dramatic improvement in soil tilth. Simply by fracturing the soil both vertically and laterally; air infiltration increases, root development improves, water and nutritional holding capacities improve and microbial activity increases.

Following aerating our pastures and hay meadows, for 2 years, we could see a 40% increase in the biomass manufactured in the perennial warm season grasses. This made an enormous difference and we were able to increase our stocking rates and/or bale more hay.

Three Key Causes of Compaction

Vehicles and farm equipment tenderize soil particles and they bind together, which reduces the room needed for air and water movement within the soil profile. In wet conditions this is made worse, because garden soil particles move unrestricted.

Generally there has been much misunderstandings about livestock traffic; it applies that the grazing of livestock can break up the soil surface crusting, but deep ground compaction does develop over time, which is extremely detrimental to air and water movement.

Heavy rainwater disturbs the smallest contaminants (clayey soils) on the surface and forces them together, creating layers of crust increasing run-off.

The Solution: Aerated Soils

Seeing that soil compaction is an actual problem, the best solution is mechanical oygenation. We aerate our pastures every ninety days from March until October.