The Soil Scout Social - The Interconnected Nature of Farming: How Tillage Can adjust Soil Temperature

What if you've determined the ideal soil temperature for planting but, despite waiting patiently, the soil just won't reach that target in the spring? If this is the case - as needing to act in non-optimal conditions often is - tillage may provide a quick solution.

Harrowing has a significant effect on topsoil temperature, and straw harrowing in no-till farming even more so. By darkening the surface, it increases the absorption of sun radiation, while also aerating the residue that may clog the surface. It's a technique that, when successful, can improve planting conditions from poor to adequate in a day.

It’s well-known that topsoil tillage may warm it up by 1-2 degrees Celsius by increasing sunlight absorbance and aerating the surface, but in order to make an informed decision whether the operation is necessary and observing the outcome is only possible through real-time soil temperature monitoring.

In practice, farming is an infinitely complex process, where "everything affects everything" and decisions must often be made based on inadequate information. Removing one uncertainty by nailing down the exact topsoil temperature, and becoming proactive with it, is one step further away from frustrating guesswork towards a determined and well-informed farm management.

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.