Close this search box.

Water Infiltration

Taking the four wheeler out to the fields in Southeast, Iowa to check out the crops.

Where there’s water, there’s life. That is a saying more for Africa but also appropriate for here in the States. Water is the key to helping plants grow by being part of photosynthesis and moving nutrients through the plant. Where does this water come from? From the ground. Nutrients are drawn up from the soil, where water helps move those nutrients through the plants to keep them rigid and upright.

So what is the whole deal about water infiltration? The more water your soils can hold, the healthier your plants are, essentially. Other benefits of having healthy soil infiltration include: decreased runoff, decreased leaching of nutrients, especially nitrates to waterways, eventually recharge of underground aquifers, and improve drought resistance in croplands.

How can farmers fully utilize these benefits? By implementing soil health principles such as no-till, crop rotations, and maintaining soil armor via cover crops. Cover crops do this via root growth which improves soil structure. Good examples of cover crops to use include high residue crops, small grains, and perennials, such as grasses and alfalfa. Such crops used in the rotation will provide max benefits. Higher diversity cover crop mixed to create more diverse root structures, which leave more residue, slowly building soil organic matter. Building soil organic matter is key to water infiltration and the soil’s water-holding capacity, as 1% organic matter holds approximately 26 000 gallons of water! For example, by implementing these principles the Horas in Washington County, Iowa, managed to build their organic matter by 1.4%, allowing for a water infiltration rate of 4’’ of water in 5 minutes. They did this all with an average SOM of around 4%.

Implementing these regen and soil health principles makes it possible to improve water infiltration, allowing more water to be held underground. This is key to helping get farmers through times of drought and keeping those plants nice and healthy when all else is not!

Campbell de Wet
Customer Success // Continuum Ag
(319) 201-6316

More Posts

Hey everyone, The long-awaited 40B rules and GREET update have finally arrived. Originally planned for release on March 1st, they

As the spring season approaches, farmers everywhere are gearing up for planting season. This is a crucial time to implement

Washington, Iowa – March 21, 2024 – Siouxland Energy Cooperative of Sioux Center, Iowa, and Continuum Ag of Washington, Iowa,