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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


Plant Nutrients and Liming

Specific Crop Nutrient Management

 The Plant Nutrition Radio Series - Audio files from the Farm and Family Radio Show

Other Fertilizer Information

Other Information

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Publication Number: IS372
Publication Number: P1466
Publication Number: IS894
Publication Number: IS0871


Image shows a transparent, worm-like creature.
Filed Under: Soil Health, Plant Diseases and Nematode Diagnostic Services, Soil Testing August 31, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering another year of free testing for often overlooked nematode pests that frequently cause poor crop performance.

An overcast sky is reflected in water standing over and between the rows of a muddy field.
Filed Under: Corn, Soils, Disaster Recovery March 15, 2019

Recent rainfall in north Mississippi has flooded many areas and made much Delta farmland unworkable as the time approaches for planting and other traditional tasks.

The first photo shows ground that has been disked in the middle of dormant grasses. The second photo shows the same location with green plants growing beside grasses that are not as lush.
Filed Under: Soils, Wildlife October 19, 2018

Thinning timber, prescribed fire and planting wildlife food plots are the most common tools in wildlife management, but there is another, often overlooked practice: using light disking to disturb the soil.

Filed Under: Soils, Soil Health, Environment June 28, 2018

CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Growers who planted cover crops for the first time last year will share their experiences with other producers at a cover crop field day.


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Portrait of Dr. Larry Oldham
Extension Professor
Soil Health, Soil Fertility, Nutrient Management, Soil Conservation and Management, Certified Cr