The Soil Scout Social - Agronomic benefits from soil temperature monitoring

Optimal crop growth

Agronomists have long known that soil temperature plays a key role in optimal crop growth. But with the technology now available to monitor soil temperatures, farmers can leverage the power of this data to maximise their crop yields and improve their agronomic practices.

The best professional-grade soil sensors measure soil moisture, temperature, and salinity, but still focus on utilising the data for agronomic decision making is very much aimed solely at the moisture.

Surely water availability is the most deciding growth factor, but once real-time temperature information across fields is at the tip of a grower’s fingers, there are many valuable ways to turn that insight into more informed, more accurate, and more profitable management practices.

Knowing the right soil temperature for spring seeding

Most spring-seeded crops will emerge quickly and with a high emergence percentage when sown into soil with temperatures warmer than 10°C (50°F). Temperate climate farmers, however, don’t always have the luxury of waiting for such soil temperatures, and a farmer entering soil temperature monitoring will additionally notice that the target is moving from day to day. Fortunately, the inevitably non-optimal conditions can be accounted for with a smart combination of timing and seed rate. After all, 'the correct temperature' is a combination of two different factors:

1. A quick emergence for a long growing season and weed control, and
2. A high emergence percentage for obtaining desired plant density

Stay with us weekly to explore the agronomic advantages of monitoring soil temperature together. You can also ask one of our soil monitoring experts a question to answer next week.. Click here to send an email with your question.

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James Baylis

Head of Creative Content at Soil Scout. With over 20 years experience in the design, media and photographic industries, James has a passion for promoting the Soil Scout solution through creative content and marketing.