Crop rotation
SOM OPPORTUNITIES: The new NebGuide addresses opportunities for increasing soil organic matter and raising soil organic matter steady state, including the use of different crop rotations.

New NebGuide on increasing soil organic matter

Guide addresses management practices for maintaining and increasing soil organic matter for Nebraska croplands.

By Charles Wortmann

A newly published NebGuide from Nebraska Extension, “Soil Management for Increased Soil Organic Matter,” G2283, describes soil organic matter’s steady-state concept and its implications for opportunities and limitations to increasing soil organic matter.


Soil organic matter (%) for non-eroded loamy soil croplands of Nebraska from the NebGuide, “Soil Management for Increased Soil Organic Matter,” G2283. (Source: NRCS SSURGO)

The guide was written by University of Nebraska Extension soil specialists Charles Wortmann, Charles Shapiro, Tim Shaver, Richard Ferguson and Bijesh Maharjan; doctoral student Juan Pablo Garcia; soils specialist Humberto Blanco; postdoctoral researcher Sabrina Ruis; and research technologist Richard Little.

The guide addresses management practices for maintaining and increasing soil organic matter for Nebraska croplands. Reducing soil organic matter loss through erosion control, reduced tillage and strategic crop residual retention in the field are addressed.

Opportunities for increasing soil organic matter and raising the soil organic matter’s steady state are discussed, including adding small grains and perennials to crop rotations, double-cropping, increasing productivity, incorporating crop residue, and applying manure.

Wortmann is a Nebraska Extension soil and nutrient management specialist. This report comes from UNL CropWatch.

TAGS: Extension
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