reinventing soil testing
Hello to all,
I am currently reading an article by E. Skogley of Montana State
University titled Reinventing Soil Testing for the Future. This article
was published in SSSA special publication 40, 1994.
In this article Skogley begins by presenting that the current soil
"system" is not meeting the needs of farmers and ag industry. He
presents a graph showing total samples analyzed per year which shows a
dramatic rise from 1950 to about 65' then a precipitous fall until about
1975 then a rise to near maximum levels by 85 and then a drop off
again... in 1993 1 soil sample was analyzed per 40 ha of crop land...
I can think of a few explanations of this graph...
1) After a decade + of intensive fertilizer use, soils began testing in
the high range repeatedly and farmers decided to stop testing...
2) Fertilizer prices were high and farm income was low during the 70s
3) Soil testing was novel and highly promoted during the 50s and 60s...
Skogley goes on to present that the current extraction based soil testing
methodologies should be replaced by ion resin technology.
In a nutshell, mixed bed ion exchange resin capsules placed
incontact with moist soil for approximately 48 hours absorb
nutrients in a way that mechanistically is much more similar to
root uptake of nutrients and can be used to provide simpler, cheaper
and more accurate soil fertility recommendations than current
Skogley is currently involved with side-by-side tests of ion
exchange capsules and standard extraction methods. He is also involved
with marketing ionexchange capsules...
My questions for the list are:
1) Are farmers and other consumers of soil testing satisfied with the
current soil testing "system" ?
2) Do we need to reinvent soil testing ?
3) Are ionexchange resins the new wave of soil testing that will
completely replace extraction methodologies ?
I am working on the preliminary stages of a soil quality test based on
the concept of active carbon being the foundation of soil quality...
4) What other new soil test methodologies are soon to arrive on the scene
U of MD, Agronomy
- Re: reinventing soil testing
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Gregg A Young)