Category Archives: soil

Improving Alfalfa Yield with Applications of Balanced Fertilizers

Among the potentials for enhancing production, profitability, and nutrition efficiencies of alfalfa crops is through effective use of fertilizers. For many soils in the low desert of Arizona, phosphorus (P) as a phosphate fertilizer is very commonly applied prior to planting alfalfa. Potassium (K) is assumed to be abundantly available in desert soils; therefore, not typically applied to crops. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is generally not applied for alfalfa production since alfalfa can obtain its own N from N-fixing nodules. Specific information about the interactions and effects of P and K on alfalfa yield and quality for Arizona has not been developed. This publication by Ayman Mostafa and Worku Burayu of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Field Crops Program investigated and demonstrated the importance of balanced fertilizer applications to maximize alfalfa yield.

Veris Soil Mapping System

Last week the AZAG newsletter featured a short publication on Sampling Soil for Root Knot Nematode in Cotton. One aspect of RKN incidence is that its distribution is associated with the higher percentage of sand in the sandy or sandy loam soils. Veris survey is a technique that can quantify the variability in the soil texture. The technique is based on measuring the electric conductivity in the soil that can give direct relationship to the soil texture. Data obtained from Veris survey can be used to develop a soil texture map of the field that shows color coded areas with higher percentage of sand. This map can precisely target sampling sandy areas where RKN is more likely to occur. It can also help direct nematicide applications to manage RKN in these sandy areas in the field. For more information on Veris soil mapping system and directed soil sampling click here for this short video.