Comparing Soil Nutrient Levels to Seasonal Weather Fluctuations

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1999: $1,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1999
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $2,135.00
Region: Northeast
State: New York


  • Agronomic: corn, soybeans, grass (misc. perennial), hay


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: cover crops, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis

    Proposal summary:

    Adequate soil nutrient levels are critical to healthy plant growth. As organic farmers, we have become aware of the importance of the regular monitoring of soil nutrients. However, we question the validity of using one annual or biennial soil test, drawn as various times throughout the year with no adjustment made for season, weather or stage of crop growth. This is not a topic we have seen dealt with in university or extension publications. We also feel that standard university soil test recommendations are often not easily interpenetrated for long-term organic fertility management. For this project, we propose to identify 6 fields at different points in the same rotation, each with a different crop in 1999. The soils in each field will be sampled monthly and the results will be compared both within a field over time and between fields.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.