Skip to main content
EventsManureManure & DigestateNews

Turn Off the Faucet: Managing Soil Moisture Content in the Face of Climate Change

By April 4, 2020May 21st, 2024No Comments

The Changing Nature of Rainfall

Climate change has drastically altered weather patterns, leading to more intense and frequent rainfall events. Over the past decade, extreme rain events have become increasingly common. In Wisconsin alone, there have been at least three 100-year storms and five 50-year storms. Nationally, the three highest volume rain events in the United States have occurred within the last three years. This significant shift in precipitation patterns has profound implications for soil moisture content and agriculture.

The Impact on Soil Moisture Content

Soil moisture content is a critical factor for farming, influencing everything from crop growth to soil health. However, the increased frequency of heavy rainfalls has disrupted traditional farming practices. Fields are often too wet to apply manure, plant, or harvest crops. Last fall, many crops remained in the fields well into December due to excessive moisture, delaying harvests and impacting yields.

Soil Saturation and Crop Health

When soil becomes saturated, it cannot absorb additional water, leading to runoff and potential flooding. This excess water can drown plant roots, depriving them of oxygen and causing root rot. Additionally, waterlogged soil is more prone to compaction, which can further hinder root growth and reduce soil aeration. Over time, these conditions can lead to reduced crop yields and poorer soil health.

Nutrient Leaching

Excessive rainfall can also lead to nutrient leaching, where essential nutrients are washed away from the soil before plants can absorb them. This not only reduces the fertility of the soil but also increases the need for fertilizers, adding to the cost and environmental impact of farming. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are particularly susceptible to leaching, and their loss can significantly affect crop productivity.

The Challenge for Farmers

The agricultural sector, particularly livestock farmers, is bearing the brunt of these changes. Manure handling has become a significant concern, as storage facilities are stressed and the windows for manure application are narrowing. Excess water from heavy rains not only complicates manure management but also increases the risk of leachate runoff, which can contaminate local water sources and harm the environment.

Manure Management Issues

Heavy rains and saturated soils make it difficult to apply manure at optimal times. Farmers often face narrow windows for manure application, and when these windows coincide with wet conditions, it becomes almost impossible to manage manure effectively. This can lead to overflowing storage facilities and increased risk of environmental contamination.

Environmental Concerns

Leachate runoff from manure storage can carry harmful nutrients and pathogens into nearby water bodies, causing eutrophication and harming aquatic life. The increased volume of runoff from heavy rains exacerbates this issue, making it even more critical to find effective solutions for manure management and soil moisture control.

Solutions to Manage Water Volume and Soil Moisture

At Digested Organics, we understand the challenges that farmers face due to changing weather patterns and increased rainfall. We offer innovative solutions to help reduce the water volume that farmers must manage, thereby improving soil moisture content and overall farm efficiency.

Eliminating Leachate Water

Our advanced technologies are designed to significantly reduce or even eliminate leachate water. By preventing leachate formation, we help protect the environment from harmful runoff while also reducing the volume of water that farmers need to manage. Our systems can capture and treat leachate, converting it into clean water that can be safely discharged or reused on the farm.

Reducing Manure Volume

We also offer solutions that can reduce manure volume by more than 50%. These technologies not only help in managing soil moisture content but also make manure handling more efficient and less burdensome for farmers. By reducing the volume of manure, farmers can apply it more effectively during shorter application windows, ensuring that it benefits the soil without overwhelming it with excess moisture. Our systems can separate solids from liquids in manure, concentrating nutrients and reducing the overall volume that needs to be stored and applied.

Tailored Solutions for Every Farm

We recognize that every farming operation is unique, with specific needs and challenges. That’s why we strive to tailor our solutions to meet each farmer’s individual requirements. Whether you’re dealing with excessive soil moisture content, manure management issues, or both, we have the expertise and technology to help you manage these challenges effectively. Our team works closely with farmers to design and implement customized systems that address their specific conditions and goals.

The Benefits of Proper Soil Moisture Management

Improved Crop Yields

By effectively managing soil moisture content, farmers can ensure that crops receive the right amount of water, leading to healthier plants and improved yields. Proper moisture levels help plants absorb nutrients more efficiently, reducing the need for additional fertilizers and enhancing overall soil fertility.

Enhanced Soil Health

Maintaining optimal soil moisture levels also contributes to better soil health. Well-drained soil is less prone to compaction and erosion, supporting strong root growth and promoting beneficial soil microorganisms. These conditions create a more resilient and productive farming system.

Environmental Protection

Reducing leachate and managing manure effectively helps protect local water sources from contamination. By preventing runoff and nutrient leaching, farmers can minimize their environmental impact and contribute to the sustainability of their communities.

Taking Action

If you’re struggling with managing soil moisture content and manure handling on your farm, we’re here to help. Our team of experts is ready to discuss your specific needs and provide customized solutions to improve your farm’s efficiency and sustainability.

Contact Us Today 

At Digested Organics, we are committed to providing innovative and effective solutions for managing soil moisture content and reducing the environmental impact of farming. Together, we can tackle the challenges posed by climate change and ensure a more sustainable future for agriculture. Contact Digested Organics today and let’s get the conversation started.