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Old March 5, 2012, 12:21 PM   #26
Tuzo
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Hi Discern

As a geologist I view soil hardening differently. Agree with your assessment about the link between loss of organic material and aeration. As I cited earlier, loss of organic binding material results in unstable soil conditions in certain areas.

In SE Louisiana marshes are burned annually to provide for better growth and habitat potential. Great duck hunting here.
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Old March 5, 2012, 03:11 PM   #27
shortwave
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A different kind of hunting

A little tip for 'mushroom' hunters.

Some of the most prosperous mushroom finds are in some areas the year or two after a burn.

Bout eight years ago, I decided I was going to make some kind of use of a 5acre field up on a ridge-top in the middle of the woods. Field was full of nothing but Sumac and poverty grass. Needless to say, extremely poor soil content with an acidic level that was incredibly high.

My intention were two-fold. I wanted to plant forage for wildlife while building the soil. I wanted to do this naturally without the use of sprays/weedkillers. That left burning.

Called our local Agricultural Extension officer. He came out and advised me that due to the makeup of the soil and where land was located(on an unprotected ridgetop), I should not burn. His concern were:

1. there just wasn't enough depth of decent topsoil

2. so much sand in what topsoil that was there

3. the already high acidic ph would only raise after burning due to the ash.

He told me I'd surely have trouble with erosion and said to do a chemical kill.

Wanting to do things my way and not wanting to believe him , I then called Ohio State University's extension officer. He came out and said the same thing.

I started questioning him about why some areas were better to burn and some not. In short, if there's a deep layer of rich topsoil located on fairly level ground. Burn. The deep,rich topsoil will support new,rapid plant growth.
On the other-hand, if the topsoil is shallow , not of decent makeup and on un-level ground, do not burn. With the ash and erosion, your already bad soil will only become worse.

I ended up spraying, plowing the field, raking sumac in piles and burning.
Fertilized field, planted Ladino clover to help build ph and to date have spread about 17tons of lime.

FWIW, for those of you that have never plowed out any sumac, when I got done with this 5 acre field, I thought I had plowed 100 acres.

Last edited by shortwave; March 7, 2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old March 7, 2012, 06:36 PM   #28
Wyoredman
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Quote:
the already high acidic ph would only raise after burning due to the ash
This makes no sense? Acidic soils have a pH BELOW 7.0, Basic soils have a ph HIGHER than 7.0.

http://www.grinnell.edu/files/downloads/Mitros_etal.pdf

Here is a study done by CHRIS MITROS, SIOBHAN MCINTYRE, BETH MOSCATO-GOODPASTER, Biology department, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa 50112, USA.

It has some very interesting results as to the effects of fire on soil pH.
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Last edited by Wyoredman; March 7, 2012 at 06:45 PM.
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Old March 7, 2012, 11:23 PM   #29
shortwave
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shortwave posted:
Quote:
the already high acidic ph would only raise after burning due to the ash
Wyoredman posted:
Quote:
This makes no sense? Acidic soils have a pH BELOW 7.0, Basic soils have a ph HIGHER than 7.0.
You are correct Wyoredman

My statement should have read:
the already high acidic level would only raise after burning due to the ash.

The study you posted is very good information but as I understand the concept of burning land, the posted study is not the same across the board for all land. As the Ag. Extension officer showed me a different parcel of woods on my property that would benefit from burning if I would ever choose to select/clear cut. The layer of topsoil was deep, rich and of much better quality from the years of rotted organic matter.
The study you posted if I read correctly was based on burning in Oak woodlands and would mirror that of what the Extension off. said of the above property

Whereas the field he suggested I not burn, was apparently farmed to death at one time. Soil not taken care of and had very little, poor quality topsoil. Also, the ash from the poverty grass and sumac I would be burning would create more acid.

Last edited by shortwave; March 8, 2012 at 12:06 AM.
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Old March 17, 2012, 07:38 PM   #30
hooligan1
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Kansas is burning their prairies as we speak, and the places that were burnt two weeks ago are lush, with two and three inch tubors coming up. The whole landscape will look immaculate, in about two more weeks, and the game is already chilling in those freshly burnt areas...
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Old March 17, 2012, 09:38 PM   #31
Gunplummer
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My Mother was from an old farm family that went way back. Where I grew up, spring burning of the fields was the norm. Her father told her that an added benefit was the burning took care of a lot of insect eggs before they hatched.
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Old March 18, 2012, 06:59 AM   #32
Art Eatman
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Lotsa burning in south Georgia, right now. But, not a lot of understory causing the temperatures to be high. Some native seeds won't germinate without the heat from such "sorta natural" fires. It's the buildup of understory from the Smokey The Bear mismanagement which causes devastation such as the Yellowstone and Montana fires of some years back.

The regrowth of native vegetation benefits all wildlife...
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