Know your soil type Soil texture is defined as the percentage of sand, silt, or clay particles. Understanding the differences between these three overarching aggregates and how water behaves with these particles is the first step to understanding how soil-applied herbicides work. Among other applications, knowledge of soil texture can be important when diagnosing in-field issues such as drought stress, compaction and crop diseases. Soil texture can be determined in several ways, from manually performing an analysis (e.g. using the ‘soil ribbon’ method), referring to Canada Land Inventory maps or taking soil cores for particle size analysis by a reputable soil lab. How water moves and interacts with different soil textures Three different forces dictate how water moves through porous materials like soils:
- Capillary action (movement between pores)
- Soil solution (also called osmotic force, or movement across membranes).
Considering a pre-seed herbicide application? Ask yourself these four questions first:
- What is the soil texture of the field you are working in?
- Are you using the appropriate rate for the soil type?
- When assessing herbicide performance, it is helpful to know how much and how frequently has the field received moisture?