Water infiltration rates

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Water infiltration rates

May 12, 2019 | 21:35 1 Is there anybody that has measured water infiltration rates on their soils - either once or over a period of years? I'm just reading Gabe Brown's book at the moment and he quotes some remarkable figures for this. In 1991 his soils allowed 1/2" an hour to infiltrate - by 2009 the same farmland was capable of infiltrating over 10" an hour. If this is possible, even to a lot lesser degree than he claims to have achieved wouldn't it be a huge benefit to all of us whether we are in an area that suffers from either too much or too little? Reply With Quote
GDR
May 12, 2019 | 21:41 2
Quote Originally Posted by grassfarmer View Post
Is there anybody that has measured water infiltration rates on their soils - either once or over a period of years? I'm just reading Gabe Brown's book at the moment and he quotes some remarkable figures for this. In 1991 his soils allowed 1/2" an hour to infiltrate - by 2009 the same farmland was capable of infiltrating over 10" an hour. If this is possible, even to a lot lesser degree than he claims to have achieved wouldn't it be a huge benefit to all of us whether we are in an area that suffers from either too much or too little?
Find that claim hard to believe, anything crop / ag related he is doing is working with the top foot of ground not with the clay, bedrock,acquirer underneath. Once the topsoil is saturated it's only the underneath material that would limit water movement. Reply With Quote
May 12, 2019 | 22:17 3 How much does it take to saturate the soil though? His figures indicate that for every 1% increase in organic matter the soil can hold 17-25,000 gallons more. 27,000 gallons equals an inch over an acre. His soils were historically (at settlement) reckoned to be 7% organic matter but that was down to only 2% when he took over in 1991 and they have since been building the levels back up.
Some of the species he uses like daikon radish can root to 6 feet I believe, so they would be punching holes to let water get down deeper if you got inundated. Reply With Quote
makar's Avatar May 12, 2019 | 23:30 4 Dont know gabe but sure dont farm here. Reply With Quote
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  • makar's Avatar May 12, 2019 | 23:43 5 To hold ten inches of water how deep does it go , ten feet? I have subsoiled 16 inches in a dry fall and a three inch spring rain made plastercine. Turned blue gumbo into gangrene. Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 06:15 6 Ha too early in the morning for numbers. (Better not try setting the fert rate)

    I posted some inaccurate calculations and deleted them

    As far as another inch of water over an acre with a 1 percent increase in OM, keep in mind that a moist fine textured clay soil holds about 2 inches of water per foot. Half that for sandy loam

    I would guess that good levels of OM in a sandy loam soil would soak up a lot of rain.
    In a tight clay soil it has to come slow or it's going to run away. Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 06:52 7
    Quote Originally Posted by farming101 View Post
    I would guess that good levels of OM in a sandy loam soil would soak up a lot of rain.
    In a tight clay soil it has to come slow or it's going to run away.
    This is my thinking as well. There is a reason why engineers allow tailings ponds and municipal waste depots to have heavy clay basins - direct infiltration is minimal, absorbtion is a gradient effect. Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 10:12 8 What are the annual rain fall amounts in those areas where people measure water infiltration levels?

    This correlates to soil organic matter, soil organic material, etc.

    Generally we product the same wheat yield as our American neighbours with half the precipitation

    No question OM is very very important to crop production, for many reasons. Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 10:38 9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rareearth View Post
    What are the annual rain fall amounts in those areas where people measure water infiltration levels?

    This correlates to soil organic matter, soil organic material, etc.

    Generally we product the same wheat yield as our American neighbours with half the precipitation

    No question OM is very very important to crop production, for many reasons.
    Think our climate up north here is such that evapotranspiration is nothing compared to the warmer south. Soil doesn’t dry out as easy and cool nights give everything a break. Not to mention 8 months of the year everything is froze solid and biological activity is dormant. Reply With Quote
    farmaholic's Avatar May 13, 2019 | 11:14 10 Ask the guys on Regina clay about water infiltration. When that stuff is full it's full. After that point it's evaporation that's needed to get rid of standing water(other than drainage). Our light stuff can take in water. Between continuous cropping, direct seeding and having ridges(between seed furrows) that have straw mixed into them that act like sponges and a general increase in organic matter along with not having every thing harrow/packed hard and smooth....water infiltration is way better here than with the old methods of farming. Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 12:30 11
    Quote Originally Posted by Rareearth View Post
    What are the annual rain fall amounts in those areas where people measure water infiltration levels?
    Gabe says 16" average annual precipitation at Bismark, 11" of which comes as summer rains.

    Makar were you the guy who said the topsoil or OM had all burnt in your area? Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 13:08 12
    Quote Originally Posted by farmaholic View Post
    Ask the guys on Regina clay about water infiltration. When that stuff is full it's full. After that point it's evaporation that's needed to get rid of standing water(other than drainage). Our light stuff can take in water. Between continuous cropping, direct seeding and having ridges(between seed furrows) that have straw mixed into them that act like sponges and a general increase in organic matter along with not having every thing harrow/packed hard and smooth....water infiltration is way better here than with the old methods of farming.
    Werent them harrowpackers ever a land wrecker ?
    Glad those days are gone !! Reply With Quote
    makar's Avatar May 13, 2019 | 13:14 13 Yes thats me with burnt dirt, lots of us here love our harrow packers, ground dries out to fast and firms up seed to soil contact. Reply With Quote
    May 13, 2019 | 17:34 14 Harrow packed canola and a hard rain equals a trip to town for more seed. When we purchased our air seeder with on row packers the first thing we did was take the packers off the harrow packer. Our soil is high enough clay and a touch solonetz. We’ve been full zero till for 7 years and it gets better every year. Typically a dryish pocket where I farm so conserving moisture and keeping up om is paramount. Reply With Quote
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  • makar's Avatar May 13, 2019 | 19:17 15 Amazing how land changes, mine in a matter of feet, many experts came here to farm, i am still here the rest didnt leave rich, i am not neither but still here. Reply With Quote
    makar's Avatar May 13, 2019 | 19:26 16 Harrow packed canola and a hard rain equals a trip to town for more seed. That is normal here no matter what, non packed wont grow in the dust, the packer firms it. Everyone tells me i am stupid but i cant germ anything in dust or mud, a seedhawk seeding in to ground that wont germ wont make me rich. Reply With Quote