N deficient wheat on right side of image

N deficient wheat, Havre, 1996. Image by R. Engel

The Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management program at MSU focuses on the processes that affect soil fertility and nutrient losses so that nutrients can be managed more sustainably. Soil testing can detect low nutrient levels that lead to possible crop nutrient deficiencies. In addition, soil testing allows for timely adjustments in fertilizer applications, reducing input costs. Understanding the economics of fertilizing, yield goals, and crop quality, along with soil fertility management can assist the producer in meeting profit goals.

The current research focus is on cropland soil acidification, improving nitrogen management in dryland cropping systems, and nitrogen fixation potential in pulses for environmental and economic sustainability. Research conducted at MSU, the Agricultural Research Centers, and throughout the region, are synthesized into fact sheets, modules, and presentations geared toward extension agents, crop advisers, farmers, ranchers, and/or homeowners.

If you have any questions about soil nutrients, the Soil Fertility Extension program or materials contained in this web site, contact Dr. Clain Jones. If you think plant growth issues may be related to pesticide (e.g., herbicide residual in compost), please contact Noelle Orloff (994-6297) or Dr. Tim Seipel (994-4783) for assistance.

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Current Research

Cropland Soil Acidification

Cover Crop Cocktails

Nitrate Leaching 

N fixation. Dr Jones is investigating the effects of inoculant, starter fertilizer and variety on pea and lentil N fixation as part of a USDA Pulse Crop Health Initiative grant.