Published May 3, 2013

Soil Temperatures in NW IA cover crop and no-till fields

By Sarah Carlson

Wanted to report some soil temperatures readings from the field today.
Earl Hafner near Panora in central Iowa, measured soil temperatures in two fields both covered with 2 inches of snow: 1)with winter wheat cover crop and 2) without cover crop.
Soil temperatures in the cover crop field were: 42F and in the no cover crop were 36F.

Nathan Anderson in NW IA near Aurealia also tested fields midday today. Nathan took three readings at each site and averaged those temperatures. He used a Galva 310B Soil Type and measured to 4″ depth. Air temperature is 39.8F. ┬áTreatments were no-till bean stubble with and without rye cover crop and no-till corn stalks with and without rye cover crop. There is no snow on his fields today.

***No-till cornstalks: 39.5F ***No-till cornstalks with rye cover crop: 41F
***No-till bean stubble: 40.3F ***No-till bean stubble with rye cover crop: 40.3F

***Note pictures might not be in order of the temperatures above

He notes that he also tested the crown of the rye plant outside of these readings and it was on average at 41.6F.

If you’ve taken soil temperature readings this spring pass them along so we can post them. The cover crop might help melt the snow faster!