UniversityNews for August 7, 2012
A scientist with the Agricultural Research Service says the use electrical conductivity is emerging as an effective tool for assessing the value of management strategies intended to improve the health of the soil.
Electrical conductivity is a measure of the conducting properties of soil.
"The Wonders of Electrical Conductivity, the science, instrumentation and uses," will be discussed as part of a field clinic in soil and manure management slated for Friday at the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Livestock and the Environment.
Dr. Bryan Woodbury, a research scientist in agricultural engineering with the Agricultural Research Service, explains instrumentation based on those measurements have been used in various agricultural settings to measure the health of the soil.
Clip-Dr. Bryan Woodbury-Agricultural Research Service:
There are these things for run-off control generally associated with feedlots call vegetative treatment areas or vegetative buffers.
Basically what they are is, the run-off from these animal feeding operations are distributed to these fields to raise hay.
When they harvest the hay that's when they actually pull the nutrients out but getting the water distributed evenly on these fields is kind of difficult and hard to see but, with this instrumentation, we can actually go out there and take an image before the system is put into operation and then take one later on in the season or even the following year and digitize these images and subtract them.
What we see when we do that is, we actually eliminate the soil and what we're seeing is a change in the salts that are in the soil and that's what's really been quite a powerful tool for us.
When a producer's out there and sees that's he's starting to get salts built up in this vegetative buffer, he can make a change in where that water is being distributed and actually, with this instrumentation, be able to see a picture of the impact of that management.
For more information or to register for the field clinic call 204 793-8288.
The registration deadline is today.
For UniversityNews.Org, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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