Evaluating soil nutrients and pH by depth in situations of limited or no tillage in western Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/open_educational_resources/ws859f98m

Published October 2010. Reviewed November 2014. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog

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  • Many nutrients and lime are not mobile in the soil. When applied to the soil surface without tillage, these materials remain in the top 2 inches, especially in production systems that lack tillage. If a soil sample is taken at a standard 8-inch depth, the top 1 to 2 inches, which have higher nutrient concentrations, will be mixed with the lower 6 to 7 inches, which have lower nutrient concentrations. Surface-applied nutrients that are not mixed will likely not be measured. In addition, continued application of ammonium-N and subsequent nitrification acidifies the surface soil. Therefore, soil collected from several depths should be used to evaluate surface and below-surface conditions.
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