phosphorus and algaeCame across this article, “Testing farm soil can help in algae fight“-August 31, 2015

The paragraph that struck me was the following,

Phosphorus, a key food for plants, also is a key food for algae. Scientists have recommended cutting the amount of phosphorus in the watershed that feeds western Lake Erie by 40 percent to reduce algae blooms.

Soil test results typically show phosphorus levels as well as other nutrient levels. Many growers keep tabs on these numbers to help them save on increased fertilizer and nutrient applications. Many states are requiring growers to comply with regulatory nutrient reporting. Iowa is one such example.

Soil testing can prevent issues, but it should also be stated that soil testing can help growers maximize the nutrients in their land to help enable plants to better yields. Soil testing provides answers for a variety of managerial decisions.

Also, don’t forget homeowners who apply fertilizer to their yards. How many homeowners test their soil for phosphorus levels. I am guessing very few.  Fertilizer can easily run off yards with the running of home sprinkler systems. (Just a Thought)

The best way to use soil testing data is to have a plan. The key here is to have a plan whether its addressing an issue environmentally or addressing a question regarding a particular crop.

With a plan in place and a program that looks at nutrient history, more progress can be made in a much quicker manner.

Picture Source: Pixabay

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