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Soil Health
Trace Genomics and Ward Laboratories, Inc. Partnership
We have added industry-leading soil microbiome testing to our robust agricultural testing product offerings! Ward Laboratories, Inc. already offers soil health assays including: Soil Health Assessment Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) analysis Water holding capacity Enzymes Wet Aggregate Stability Similarly, through our partnership with Trace Genomics we offer soil microbiome analysis. This analysis allows our customers...
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Management of the physical properties of soil often translate to managing a plant’s access to water, either by increasing effective rooting area or increasing water holding capacity. Available water holding capacity (AWC) is the quantity of total plant available water a soil can provide to a growing crop. This is a soil health test offered...
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There are 5 principles of soil health as defined by the Natural Resources Conservation District. Armor the Soil (keep crop residue on the soil to prevent errosion)Minimal Soil Disturbance (No-Till)Plant Diversity (Grow more than just row crops, consider cover crop mixes)Keep a continual live root in the soil (again cover crops) But it is the...
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The Role of Bacteria Feeding soil microbes includes feeding fungi and bacteria present within the soil. Bacteria are single-celled organisms that are generally 4/100,000 of an inch wide and long. A teaspoon of healthy soil can contain between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria. Because of their abundance, bacteria play important roles in the way...
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I’d be willing to wager that if you are reading this blog, you’ve probably submitted either soil, water, feed, or another of the numerous things we test, to Ward Laboratories, INC.  Then, once you’ve received your results you’ve probably called in and been able to talk to either Dr. Nick, or Dr. Ray and had...
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What is “regen ag?” If the topic of “fungal to bacterial ratios” peaks your interest, it is likely you are interested in regenerative agriculture. We are entering the age of regenerative agriculture (commonly referred to as “regen ag”). This is a time where novel concepts and rationales are being introduced to farmers. Many producers are...
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In Early September, I wrote a blog post entitled The Downside of Baled Crop Residue. My previous post focused on cornstalks. After harvest, as I traveled across the state, I have observed we have more harvested crop residue to consider. Baling soybean and wheat residues are poor economic decisions and negatively impact soil health of...
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I recently had the opportunity to attend the Western Canada Conference on Soil Health and Grazing on behalf of Ward Laboratories, Inc.  If you missed out, the video recordings of the conference will be posted here.  The event was packed full of knowledgeable speakers and eager to learn producers.  Here are the key messages from...
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For many years I have seen producers bale their crop residue, specifically cornstalks and soybean stubble, after harvest. This practice has been driven somewhat by feedlot demand after the advent of distillers co-products from ethanol plants in the early 2000’s. Distillers co-products are high in protein and energy for livestock. Therefore,  there is a demand...
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