UW-Extension soil sampling program

Do you grow soybeans? Are you interested in soil health?

UW-Extension has a new soil sampling program for farmers with a variety of management practices from all over Wisconsin.

Introduction: Although there is a great deal of research on soil health, the concepts are still loosely defined, and there are not clear resources for farmers to determine their farm’s impact on soil. More research is needed to determine the most effective methods of measuring soil health, and whether those measurements relate to management decisions and crop yield. The proposed project uses four soil health measures that center on both soil carbon and nitrogen stocks: Permanganate Oxidizable Carbon ( POXC ), Mineralizable Carbon, Potentially Mineralizable Nitrogen (PMN), and Autoclave Citrate Extractable Protein (ACE Protein). These four measures are relatively inexpensive and can be conducted on dried, stored samples. Additionally, these measurements were chosen as estimators of soil health that are likely to relate to crop performance. See the table below for more details about these assays.

1. Connect management practices to these four common soil health measurements.
2. Explore the relationship between soil health measurements and soybean yield.

What we need from you:
• Collect soil samples from up to 4 of your 2021 soybean fields and ship them back to us (we pay for shipping).
• Fill out an extensive field history survey about management, including information on crop rotation, tillage, cover cropping, manure applications, residue management, and crop yields.
• Report 2021 yields.

What we will do for you:
• Send you a sampling kit with detailed instructions and materials to collect samples and ship them back to us.
• Protect the confidentiality of your yield data.
• Give you a detailed soil health report with your farm’s data.
• Prepare extension materials for all results from this study, helping farmers make informed decisions about soil health management on their farm.

We are recruiting growers with a variety of management practices, from all over Wisconsin! Reach out for more information, or to enroll in the study for 2021.

Contact Lindsay Chamberlain
Email: lachamberlai@wisc.edu
Phone: 585-815-3185

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