Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management
Managing soil fertility and nutrients for crop production involves many factors. Soil test-based recommendations provide information regarding whether supplemental nutrients may, or may not, be useful in growing plants on a particular soil. Fertilizer costs have increased substantially over the past 10 years, and there is more interest in using organic fertilizers. Lime in Mississippi is a significant investment. Furthermore, there is increased manager and societal interest in managing plant nutrients to minimize any negative effects within the agriculture-environment interface.
Mississippi State University has a long and distinguished history of soils, soil fertility, and nutrient management research and extension that is drawn upon for our recommendations. Much of that information for growing most agronomic crops in Mississippi is now collated here.
MSU Extension Service Publication 2647 Nutrient Management Guidelines for Agronomic Crops Grown in Mississippi, contains the following information:
- Introduction to Nutrient Management
- The Soils of Mississippi
- Plant Nutrients
- Introduction to Soil Testing
- Introduction to Inorganic Fertilizers
- Lime, Liming Materials, and Regulations in Mississippi
- Using Poultry Litter to Fertilize Agronomic Crops
- Best Management Practices for Nutrients in Agronomic Crop Production
- Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Based Recommendations for Hay and Pasture Crops.
- Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Based Recommendations for Annual Agronomic Crops
- Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management Glossary, adopted from the International Certified Crop Adviser Program.
More information is available, including:
Soil Sampling Information
- IS346 Soil Testing for the Farmer
- IS1294 Soil Testing for the Homeowner
- IS1614 Soil and Broiler Litter Testing Basics
Plant Nutrients and Liming
- IS372 Soil pH and Fertilizers (horticulture)
- IS1584 Interpreting Soil Tests (horticulture)
- IS767 Nitrogen in Mississippi Soils
- IS871 Phosphorus in Mississippi Soils
- IS894 Potassium in Mississippi Soils
- IS1038 Micronutrients in Crop Production
- IS1039 Secondary Plant Nutrients: Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur
- IS1587 Limestone Relative Neutralizing Value
- IS1620 Useful Nutrient Management Planning Data
- P1466 Fluid Fertilizers
- P2311 Soil pH and Trees
- B1129 Economics of Variable Rate Fertilization
- P2208 Using Dairy Lagoon Effluents as Fertilizer
- IS1635 Using Poultry Litter in Forage Production
- P2500 Inorganic Fertilizers for Crop Production
- P2562 Fertilizer Calculator for Pastures
Specific Crop Nutrient Management
The Plant Nutrition Radio Series - Audio files from the Farm and Family Radio Show
- Soil Resource in the State of Mississippi - February 15, 2011
- Soil Testing for Managing Nutrients in Plant Production - February 28, 2011
- Fertilizer Best Management Practices - March 11, 2011
- Using Lime to Manage Plant Nutrients - March 14, 2011
- Possibly Negative Secondary Nutrient, Sulfur - March 28, 2011
- What it Takes to Make a Plant - April 5, 2011
- The Big 3 Plant Nutrients - April 11, 2011
- Positive Secondary Nutrients, Calcium & Magnesium - April 18, 2011
- Micronutrients in Soil - April 25, 2011
Other Fertilizer Information
- Research-based Soil Testing and Recommendations for Cotton on Coastal Plain Soils
- Nitrogen Fertility
- Phosphorus Fertility
- Soil Testing
- Weir Construction Brochure
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Water Quality Information Center, National Agricultural Library
- Land Application of Animal Wastes, (this contains links to sample worksheets)
- Soil and Water Conservation Society is concerned with protecting all resources.
- Conservation Tillage Information Center NMP info
- Purdue Manure Application overall guidelines for using manure in crop production
- Purdue Poultry Manure Management Planning has worksheets, nutrient budgets, and crop nutrient uptake and removal data.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Producers who plant winter crops with no intention of harvesting them reap the benefits of soil conservation, weed control and nutrient retention.
On the flip side, however, the practice of almost constant production in a field creates issues with pest management. Farmers who “plant green” have to balance these challenges to best prepare the way for good crops each year.
New manager of operations Keri Jones recently joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service Soil Testing Laboratory, and she's ready to enhance the unit's efficiency."
"My primary goal is to provide accurate soil analysis in a timely manner," said Jones, an Extension associate who has worked in the MSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences since 2016. "I hope to improve the overall efficiency of the lab as well as update soil nutrient application recommendations."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- One major cost of producing a good crop is ensuring plants are fertilized well, an operational expense that may consume a significant part of farm budgets.
Bryon Parman, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said nutrient application and replenishment may consume more than 13 and 14 percent of total operating expenses for cotton and soybeans.
“For crops with high nutrient demand such as corn, this nutrient cost may comprise more than 40 percent of variable costs,” Parman said.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers should not take the state’s rich soil for granted, but the question of the best way to treat this valuable resource sparks debate.
“Soil can be thought of as a living organism that must be kept healthy to provide some of the crop requirements and make efficient use of inputs, especially fertilizer,” said Larry Oldham, soil specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Seeing planters in the field is an expected part of spring in rural areas, but a lot of effort goes into making sure they run at the right time.
Planting season in Mississippi begins with corn in late February to early March and often runs into July as the last of the soybeans are planted after wheat harvest. The long planting window allows producers the opportunity to get a crop in the ground even when the weather is not ideal at typical peak planting times.