Humus Burning Out





I would like to know whether or not dry-plowing land, in preparation for

sowing oats for hay, injures the soil? I have heard that dry plowing

tends to wear out the soil, as the soil is exposed to the sun a long

time before harrowing. I have been dry-plowing my land to kill the,

weeds, but had a light crop of hay this year.



There is believed to be what is called "a burning out of humus," by long

exposure of the soil to the intense heat of our interior districts. It

is probable that the reduction of humus is due more to the lack of

effort to maintain the supply than to the actual destruction of it by

culture methods. Such a little time as might intervene between dry

plowing and sowing could not be charged with any appreciable destruction

of soil fertility. It is altogether more probable that your hay crop was

less from loss of moisture than from loss of other plant food; and it is

desirable to harrow a dry plowing, not so much to save the soil from the

action of the atmosphere, as to conserve the moisture, which, as you

know, will rise from below and will rapidly be evaporated from the

undisturbed bases of your furrows. Therefore, we should harrow a dry

plowing as soon as practicable, but with particular reference to the

moisture supply rather than to other forms of fertility.





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