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BD Now! Re: Organic matter test

Here are some key references.  Ray Weil is a soil scientist at
Univ of Maryland with longterm efforts in in sustainable agriculture.


Weil, R., K.R. Islam, M.A. Stine, J.B. Gruver, and S.E. Sampson-Liebeg.
2003. Estimating active carbon for soil quality assessment: A simplified
method for laboratory and field use. American Journal of Alternative
Agriculture. Vol.18, No.1.  p. 3-17.


New organic matter test is a superior measure of soil quality, and can be
done on-farm.
By Don Lotter | April 1, 2004 | The NewFarm.org


A simple test for active organic matter as a measure of soil quality
Ohio State University | South Centers

_____ This is a concise fact sheet with a colorimetry chart
for the KMnO4 quick test


Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils
HTML Abstract
PDF Download
   March 2004, 42 page PDF, detailed report

_____ This is a detailed report with background, methods, references, and
colorimetry standards

"The first field method determines active carbon utilizing a deep purple solution of potassium permanganate, which is reduced to a lighter color when it reacts with soil organic carbon. This color change is quantitatively measured using
a colorimeter."

"The second field method visually estimates soil organic matter and involves a solution of Basic Ethylenedinitro Tetraacetic Acid. The color of this solution
is dependent upon the amount of soil organic matter in each sample."


USDA Soil Quality Test Kit


Soil organic matter fractions and their relevance to soil function
Michelle Wander, Univ of Illinois
In: Advances in Agroecology (2004). Edited by F. Magdoff and R. Weil.
CRC Press.  p. 67-102.

Steve Diver


I am trying to find an easy to perform and cheap test to establish organic
matter percentage in a soil. Can anybody help me?

I found on the web a reference to Ray Weil of at Maryland University - he
seems to have developed a cheap and easy test using potassium permanganate,
but I can't find detailed instructions.


Arjen Huese

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