Primer reviews soil management after Ida

Published 2:47 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

By Nathan Gregory
MSU Extension Service

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Far too often in Mississippi, soil management after major weather events must be considered, but landowners affected by Hurricane Ida now have a guide on how to approach this task.

“Soil Management After Hurricane Ida” is available online on the Mississippi Crop Situation blog at

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Larry Oldham, Mississippi State University Extension soils specialist and author of the guide, notes that the extent to which soil is affected by hurricane damage and rainfall depends on whether it was hit by the storm surge. Surge-flooded soils, as opposed to rainwater-flooded soils, have potential salt problems that will affect plant growth.

“Hurricane water originates either from storm surge from the adjacent ocean or from inland flooding from the copious rainfall,” Oldham said. “Surge water physically moves salt from the surface water onto the land. Conversely, rain clouds are formed from water evaporated from the surface. Salts do not evaporate and remain in the originating water.”

Given where Ida impacted Mississippi, salt issues in soils may arise near the shore and in areas with few or no agronomic crops. Oldham recommends that growers in these areas test the soil when it is sufficiently dry for soil sodium, other available nutrients and pH.

Read this and other updates from MSU Extension agricultural specialists at