Re: Re-inventing soil testing

Max, Joel

	Part of the problem may be with the lack of usefulness of some of 
the earlier versions of these newer methods. The other issue is a very 
practical one. If a new soil test does not correlate well with an older 
one (if it did, it wouldn't be any better than the old one) - then a huge 
task awaits people in the soil fertility area in all states. They must 
calibrate the test for their soils and crops over a period of years. This 
is a very time consuming and expensive undertaking. Soil testing is an 
area that has been decidedly "unsexy" in the eyes of funding programs 
(with the exception of N work in the 1980s and early '90s). There must be 
overwhelming evidence of superiority of the new test plus a lot of PR 
work before there will be widespread evaluation and adoption of a new 
comprehensive test.


				Fred Magdoff 
			Northeast Region SARE Program
				Hills Building
			    University of Vermont
			    Burlington, VT 05405