Soil Health - 3
Dan Davidson DTN Contributing Agronomist
Fri Mar 6, 2015 12:07 PM CST

Traditional soil tests treat the soil as a nutrient bank and not as a living entity. These tests measure chemical and physical factors and don't account for soil microbes, which mineralize organic nitrogen and make it more available to the crop. As a result, farmers sometimes apply more fertilizer than they need.

Rick Haney, a USDA soil scientist at the Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory in Temple, Texas, considered this when he developed an enhanced soil test that looks at all the nutrients available in the soil from the plant's perspective. Haney's Soil Health Tool measures organic carbon and ...

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