Texas: Testing Soil for Proper Nutrient Management

    This is the time of year to sample soils for proper application rates of fertilizers.  In 2013, we tested soils on 53 Calhoun County fields and found soil nitrogen levels ranged between 9 and 134 pounds of available nitrogen in the upper 18 inches of soil. The potential savings in fertilizer cost ranged from $4.24 – $60.30 per acre.  The only way to know the nitrogen level in your fields is to test the soil.

    Field research was conducted by Drs. Dennis Coker and Mark McFarland, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agronomists from 2008-2012 to determine the plant availability and effects on cotton, corn and grain sorghum yield of residual soil nitrate to a 24-inch depth of soil.

     

    2013 Nitrogen Levels (Calhoun County, Texas)

    Corn grain yields and bushel weights were not affected at 25 of the 26 sites when carryover nitrogen was credited to 24 inches, indicating efficient recovery of profile soil nitrogen. Cotton and Grain sorghum was also found to be effective at recovering residual soil nitrogen measured by soil testing to a depth below the traditional sampling depth of 6 inches.

    Mid-Coast Soil Sampling Program

    We are conducting a soil testing program this fall to assist farmers with their soil fertility decision making. We will sample fields to a depth of 24 inches and have nutrient analysis done at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory.

    The cost for participation in this program is as follows:

    • $50 per field for fields 100 acres or less in size. ($0.50 per acre over 100 acres)
    • Plus $14 per sample for routine analysis and residual nitrogen.

    Contact the Stephen Biles for additional information.

    • 361-552-3324 (Office)
    • 361-920-1138 (Mobile) or
    • biles-sp@tamu.edu



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