“Snirt”- The combination of snow mixed with dirt.
Most people see this piled high in the corner of parking lots. However, in the cold winter months, ‘snirt’ can also be prevalent in your farm fields.
In conventionally tilled fields, snow drifts and leaves behind bare soils in some areas and larger mounds of snow in others. This allows moisture to leave the soil in areas and over-accumulate in others. The higher piles of snow can delay crop growth. This can also cause problems in the spring with more wet patches in the spring. This blowing snow around the conventionally tilled soils collects dirt, turning it into “snirt”, and when those large snow piles melt, soil erosion is promoted.
In no-till fields, the taller residue, whether it be in the form of tall corn stalks, bean stubble, or fresh cover crop growth, keeps snow uniformly in place and insulates the soil from water evaporation. This aids in higher yields and reduces the amount of valuable soil being removed from your fields.