Manure that is surface applied after soil temperatures drop below 50 degrees F have less chance to volatilize nitrogen. Injection or same day incorporation is always the best advice for holding and retaining manure nitrogen; it also reduces the risks of manure running off to surface waters and obviously reduces odor. How do you know when soil temperatures are below 50 degrees F? That information can be found at Michigan State University’s Enviro-weather.

Just click on the yellow dot nearest you, then select “Soil Conditions” from the list of available information. Soil temperatures are updated daily, by default you can see the last two weeks and how the soil temperatures have been trending. You can also change the date range for the display and view soil temperatures anytime in the past. There are 64 weather stations located across Michigan, with more being added each year. Many of them on your neighbor’s farm and surely one close enough to you to be quite relevant.

Enviro-weather is a weather-based information system that helps users make pest, plant production, and natural resource management decisions in Michigan. In addition to the vast array of tools and applications, it has many more links to MSU crop and weather related conditions. This site will quickly become a location you visit on a daily basis.