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Three little puddles into one big pond

posted Nov 28, 2020, 10:39 AM by Action for Agriculture

Prairie pothole consolidation has been occurring almost from the time the first farmers arrived. The concept is simple. Drain small nuisance wetlands into one large pothole to gain arable acres.

A major research component is to explore the agricultural potential of drained wetlands with an emphasis on improving nutrient uptake, thus reducing the nutrient load down-stream. This will include fertility management, residue management and novel cropping practices. The greater nutrient mineralization on the drained soil should allow Weiseth to grow crops with a reduced fertility prescription.

The residue management treatment will focus on shallow incorporation of trash into the soil to reduce contact between residue and snow runoff water. This should reduce the amount of soluble phosphorous flowing away in runoff.

The novel cropping treatment will look at the use of mixes of annual forages, including legumes. The reduced fertility requirement at seeding with legumes should reduce nutrient losses in the runoff water.

For more see the Western Producer