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Why Do Our Soils Crust?

May 04, 2023

Video: Why Do Our Soils Crust?

Many fields will experience soil compaction to some degree throughout the growing season. There are several different forms of soil compaction, all of which negatively affect crop growth and yield. Brad Mason, Pioneer Field Agronomist, highlights one of the types of soil compaction: surface crusting. Surface crusting is a form of soil compaction that reduces seed emergence and water infiltration rates. It is caused by the heavy impact of raindrops on surface soil particles, causing them to sift together. Rapid soil drying increases the potential of surface crusting. In serious cases, rotary hoes can be used to break up crusts and improve emergence and stand establishment.