Soil Science Review: Organic Matter

Soil organic matter is a fundamental component of soil. It is comprised of living microorganisms, recently decomposed plant material, and stable humus organic compounds. Soil organic matter influences numerous biological, chemical, and physical properties of soil. It influences soil structure, water holding capacity, nutrient cycling, biological activity, and chemical fate and transport (e.g. pesticides). Soil […]

Phosphorus and the 4Rs: The progress we have made

The year 2019 marked the 350th anniversary of discovering phosphorus, an element required for all life on Earth and an essential plant nutrient in crop production. Over the years, we have fallen in and out of love with phosphorus as a necessary crop input and an unwanted water pollutant. Through improved knowledge and technologies, we […]

Soil Science Review: Cation Exchange Capacity

Each year, AGVISE Laboratories delivers thousands of soil characterization reports with something printed on them called, “Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).” Unless you have some background in soil science or surface chemistry, the number might be a mystery to you. Cation exchange capacity is the amount of positive-charged cations (e.g. ammonium, calcium, hydrogen, magnesium, potassium, sodium) […]

Molybdenum: The Micro-est of Micronutrients

Molybdenum (Mo) is an essential plant nutrient, necessary for nitrate assimilation and biological nitrogen fixation. Legumes, relying on symbiotic nitrogen fixation, have greater Mo requirement than non-legumes. Nevertheless, the Mo requirement of plants is the lowest among all micronutrients, with critical deficiency concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 ppm in plant leaves. The very low […]

Fertilizing soybean

Soybean acres expanded greatly across the northern Great Plains and into Manitoba through the 1990s and 2000s. Today, soybean occupies a large portion of planted acres and makes a desirable rotation crop in canola, corn, and small grain production systems. As soybean has advanced northward and westward, soybean is often billed as a low maintenance […]

Copper for Small Grains

Among crops grown in the northern Great Plains, small grains (cereals) are the most susceptible to copper deficiency. Copper (Cu) is an essential micronutrient required in small concentrations for plant growth and reproduction. Copper deficiency symptoms in cereals include pale yellowing, wilted and twisted leaf tips, and malformed seed heads. Severe copper deficiency will stop […]

Caution: Ammonium Sulfate with Seed

Seed-placed fertilizer is a common practice to increase seedling vigor and optimize fertilizer placement and crop response. This is a popular strategy to apply phosphorus for canola, corn, and wheat. However, the seed-placed fertilizer rate cannot exceed seed safety limits, otherwise seedling germination and plant population may be reduced. Sulfur is very important in canola […]

AGVISE Laboratories: Trusted by University and Industry Researchers

While you may know AGVISE Laboratories for the soil and plant analysis services we provide you and your producers, AGVISE also has a long history of supporting university and industry research. For the past 30 years, many university-operated soil testing laboratories have closed in the region. This has left a gap in the on- and […]

5 Things You Should Know About Phosphorus

1. The two accepted soil phosphorus tests in the North Central Region are the Olsen and Bray-P1 methods The Olsen (bicarbonate) method is the standard soil P test in the North Central region. This method was developed to work on soils with low and high pH. The Olsen method works well in precision soil sampling, […]

5 Things You Should Know About Calcium

1. Calcium (Ca) is abundant in soils of the upper Midwest, northern Great Plains, and Canadian Prairies; calcium deficiency in agronomic crops is rare Calcium makes up about 3.6% of the Earth’s crust, and it is relatively abundant in agricultural soils across the region. In soils with pH greater than 6.0, Ca is the dominant […]

Soybean Iron Deficiency Chlorosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Management

  If soybean turns yellow during an early growth stage, you may have a case of soybean iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC). The distinctive yellow symptoms of soybean IDC often appear as soybean enters the first- to third-trifoliate leaf stage. Soybean IDC is characterized by distinct interveinal chlorosis (yellow leaf with green leaf veins) in the […]

Fallow Syndrome: Preventing Phosphorus Problems

Producers in the northern Great Plains and upper Midwest need to consider the risk of fallow syndrome in their crop nutrition plans. You are probably asking, what is “fallow syndrome” and why should I care? After all, summer fallow is not that common anymore! But the greater number of Prevented Planting acres in 2019 and […]

Field Variability Screaming in Your Ear? Precision Soil Sampling is the Answer

Your land is variable. Each fall, you watch the combine yield monitor go up and down across the field. You know where crop yield will be the best in wet years and dry years. So, why do you still use a whole-field composite soil test to manage fertilizer inputs and ignore the obvious field variability […]

Prevented Planting Acres in 2020: Maximizing Cover Crop Effectiveness

In 2020, there are again widespread acres of Prevented Planting (PP) in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Farmers are now making plans to plant cover crops on unplanted cropland in the next few weeks. It is important to establish cover crops on PP fields because growing plants help reduce the chance these fields will be […]

Plant Analysis Sampling Guide

Plant nutrient analysis is a useful management tool. The AGVISE Plant Analysis Sampling Guide discusses the importance of plant analysis in proper crop nutrition and how to collect plant samples. It is important to collect the correct plant part at the correct plant growth stage to ensure accurate interpretation of plant analysis results. To ensure […]