Earlier this week Fred Vocasek, senior lab agronomist, sent out some information regarding soil nitrate concerns over the summer.
Here’s the entire document: Soil nitrate and the summer of 12.
Here’s part of that document:
The severe drought conditions and hot weather of summer 2012 may have an unexpected benefit – more soil nitrate. Finding soil nitrate levels of 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre (lb N/ac) or more are not uncommon following a warm, mild winter and hot summer weather as we have experienced in the last one to two years. There are three main reasons that soil nitrates would accumulate: 1) reduced crop uptake,2) less leaching, and 3) more organic matter mineralization.
1. Reduced crop uptake
Crops typically take up most of their nitrogen requirements during the vegetative growth stage. The uptake rate drops off quickly when the plant reaches the reproductive stages. If drought conditions hurt yield potential before pollination or bloom, some fraction of the soil nitrate is taken up and the rest stays behind to accumulate in the soil.
Nitrate accumulations are common for dryland or non-irrigated crops, but nitrate can also accumulate under irrigated crops with normal or above-normal yields. This can occur because of accelerated nitrogen mineralization caused by the hot weather. The amount of nitrogen mineralized can exceed the crop nitrogen removal, so the excess nitrate accumulates in the soil.
Earlier today we found a post on Facebook linking to a series of photos from The Boston Globe.
The 41 photos are from harvest from around the world, from the U.S. to Ghana to South Korea. You can check out the photos here. (They really are beautiful.)
From the Boston Globe:
Worldwide, festivals and rituals mark the passage from growing season to harvest, with indigenous and popular practices making fall in the Northern Hemisphere a festive time. This year sees a reduced harvest in much of the world as extreme weather decimated many regions. Half of the United States is in prolonged drought, as well as much of Europe. In India, the monsoon is 20 percent off the annual average. Food prices are expected to rise by 2013 as demand taxes supplies, and later the price rises will transfer to the meat industry as costs of feed for livestock are passed on. Gathered here are images of farms industrial and traditional, crops critical and obscure, and harvest festivals among drought and bounty.