This image was taken on June 28 after being planted on May 18. We consider this a bare soils map even though the soybeans are 3 inches tall because the soil still dominates the reading. All management practices in this field were done the same. There is about a 25-degree difference in soil temperature between the green and red. If all management practices are equal, why are there blocks of different temperatures?
Reason: the amount of residue on the field from the different hybrids of corn planted the previous year. The purple, cold area was a tall, leafy hybrid the year before while the red area was a short, highly decomposed hybrid.
We followed this image up with a plant health image in July which shows where the soil temperature was the warmest, the soybeans were the healthiest due to earlier emergence and getting off to a fast start. As a result these soybeans yielded 8 bushels to the acre better than the soybeans in the cooler areas. This is a testament to how historical imagery is important for future management practices.
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- Danforth Center Features Aker June 21, 2019