In addition to providing soil conditions, Tractor Time Daily also provides average daily 4” soil temperature estimates. Soil temperature varies depending on its reflectance, cloud cover, canopy or crop residue cover, soil density, and water holding capacity. Soil temperatures vary greatly by soil depth, with the greatest daily variation being at the soil surface. Note that the soil takes time to reach the maximum soil temperature during the day and it takes more time as soil depth increases. At the 4" depth, maximum soil temperatures are not reached until about 4PM (16 hr after midnight). If you are taking soil temperatures at 4" with a thermometer at 6 to 7 o’clock in the morning, you will most likely be observing the lowest temperature at that depth that will occur for the day (assuming the day is mostly sunny).


Figure 1. 

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