An FYI from Mark Seeley, Professor and Extension Climatologist/Meteorologist
Dept of Soil, Water, and Climate
University of Minnesota
Words of the Week: Friable Tilth
Friable is an adjective derived from a Latin root word (friabilis)
and used to describe a material or aggregate of materials which
easily crumbles or breaks into small pieces when put under pressure.
Tilth is from the Anglo Saxon root word (tilian) and is a term used
by soil scientists and agronomists to describe the nature of a soil
seedbed after cultivation or tillage is done. It is very much a
qualitative term referring to the aggregate size (clods), friability,
uniformity, looseness, porosity and roughness of the soil surface.
This time of year it is very important to plant in a soil with good
tilth. Some of the fall tillage has weathered and left a partially
sealed surface or aggregates which are too large for a suitable
seedbed. Thus many producers will due some form of secondary tillage
just before planting, or they will use attachments which run in
tandem with the planter and disturb or open up the seedbed just
ahead of the planter so that they can till and plant in one pass
across a field. Getting planting done in a timely manner is first
priority this time of year.
If you're into Spoonerisms---Friable tilth==tryable filth???
Diane Dodge, St. Paul MN
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