Mid-Atlantic Soil & Plant Analysis Work Group

February 16 - 17, 2000

Richmond, Virginia

Wednesday, February 16, 2000
8:30 a.m.

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, M. Ray Tucker, NCDA&CS Agronomic Division. After introductions, Mr. Phil Howard proceeded with an update of Southern States Activities. He talked about the importance of being able to electronically download soil test results from the lab for speed and accuracy.

Frank Coale from the University of Maryland gave a presentation regarding the Maryland Phosphorus Site Index. A fertilizer plan for N and P must be in place by December 31, 2001. A manure use plan for N must be in place by December 31, 2001 and an N and P plan by July 1, 2004.

Paul Chu from A & L Eastern Agricultural Laboratories presented the sample exchange results. There were discussions on acidity and liming and the scoop size. Talked about pinpointing the exchange to certain topics rather than the broad spectrum of results. Discussed adopting the new plant sufficiency guidelines when they are published. Discussed the possibility of sending out a waste material for heavy metal analysis.

Randy Weisz from NCSU Crop Science Department gave a presentation entitled Using Farmer Yield Maps to Develop a Fertility Program. Yield zone sampling was compared to grid sampling. Discussed how yield zones can be developed from yield maps and can be used to reduce grid-sampling costs.

Lunch was provided by Southern States.

Mark Flock from Brookside Farms Laboratory gave a comparison of Phosphorus Testing Methods. Color and ICP results were compared for Bray I, Mehlich III, and Olsen. (Olsen extracts would not go through the ICP.) Discussed the P Saturation Index.
PSI = (mmol P/0.5(mmol Fe + mmol Al))100.

Ronnie Heniniger from NCSU Crop Science presented Future Sampling Strategies for Precision Agriculture: Getting Accurate Information with Lower Costs. Stated precision farming returns a profit when there is a large soil type variability. Discussed methods of sampling and using other information such as soil maps and histories to reduce costs.

Paul Chu discussed QA/QC guidelines and distributed a handout. Discussed working toward developing standard guidelines for QA/QC.

Ray Tucker presented Nutrient Status of Fields Receiving Swine lagoon Waste. A 10-year review with average nutrient levels for 5 major swine production counties during 1989 - 1999 on corn and pasture/hay fields was discussed. In summary, P is increasing. K is static on corn, increasing on pasture. Zn and Cu are increasing. The pH is not significantly affected. A handout regarding the impact of flooding was distributed.

Dr. Jim Woodruff of US Borax discussed industry updates and activities. A new product, which is easier to handle, has been developed - Solubor DF. Four new warehouses have opened, and looking at sponsor applied research.

Bob Miller talked about the NAPT program.

The Social Hour was provided by Technology Exchange Corporation & Spectro Instruments, Inc. Dinner was provided by US Borax.

Thursday 17, 2000

Steve Donohue, Va-Tech, moderated a discussion regarding the current status of phosphorus regulations in the Mid-Atlantic States.
VA - Steve distributed a handout relating to poultry waste management.
Penn - No P regulation. Work is being done in the area. Regulations are N based.
Maryland - Refer to Frank Coale's talk.
Delaware - A law passed in June regulating nutrient management. The plan is N based unless on a high P soil. Handouts were distributed.
NC - A committee is developing guidelines. Looking at other states. No legislation is pending now.
SC - No P regulations now. Laws are being rewritten and should be completed in 18 months. Regulations are presently N based.
Ohio - Going to P index.

State/Lab Reports

NC - Richard Reich reported analyzing a record number of samples. Testing is being done with new waste and solution bottles. Ray Campbell has retired. Approved for recertification. Carl Crozier presented a talk regarding P and K response on cotton.

A & L - Paul reported now using automated e-mail to transfer reports. Working on providing color report and bar coding. Installed a refurbished 61E ICP.

Agri - Tim Hoerner reported the sample load is about the same as last year. Looking to make a change in digestion system.

Penn - Ann Wolf reported purchasing 2 microwave digestion systems and updating the computer system. Doug Beegle discussed putting caps on recommendations and a soil test calibration process on P.

Delaware - Karen Gartley reported analyzing 4,000 farmer samples and 23,000 research samples. The ICP software has been upgraded. Looking at Pb in soils. A research project is being written for screening samples for Pb. Using soil tests to assist in environmental assessment of high P soils.

VA - Steve Donohue reported losing a forage specialist. The state has mandated free soil testing for farmers - not homeowners. Steve Heckendorn reported analyzing 25,000 samples - expecting to double this year. Some computer changes have been made.

Brookside - Mark reported an increase in the plant, water, and fertilizer sample load. The environmental department has been brought under Mark's division.

Sure-Tech - Ed Hopkins reported a gradual increase in sample load. Working on web based reporting system. Handouts were distributed.

Maryland - Joe Buriel reported possibility of switching to Melich III. Problems with getting service from Spectro. Hired a chemist to run ICP. > 20,000 soil, 1,000 manure, and > 5,000 plant samples.

SC - Kathy Moore reported analyzing 33,000 soil, 3,235 plant, 2,033 feed, 399 water, 702 waste, and 586 other samples. New soil reporting programming on line by July. Reports will be accessed through the web. Incorporate automated data entry pH stations.
Added As to ICP.

The gavel was turned over to Dr. Doug Beegle. Plans for next year include using the NAPT database for next years exchange topics instead of the routine exchange. Ann will pull data together for interpretations of exchangeable acidity, pH and CEC. Steve Donohue will check the plant analysis book when published to see if it can be adopted by the group. Mark Flock will handle a manure exchange for heavy metals. Karen Gartley will lead a discussion regarding the computer reporting systems. Follow up on the P issues. Review the manure methods manual. Discuss QA/AC.

The next meeting is scheduled for February 21 - 22, 2001.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Minutes submitted by Kathy Moore