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Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Sponsoring Unit(s): 
Project Description: 

Vigorously growing plants require adequate, but not excessive, essential nutrients. Nutrients must be provided in the right form, at the right time, and at the right place. Management of all nutrients sources (i.e., soil, commercial fertilizer, compost, and animal and green manure) within the constraints of the production system is fundamental to both economic viability and environmental quality. Poor management of plant nutrients can lead to economic losses and environmental degradation of soil, air, and water quality.

The overall objective of the Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management project is to develop and promote practical, innovative, and affordable solutions to existing and emergent issues related to soil fertility and nutrient management in the Commonwealth and beyond. This is accomplished through applied laboratory and field research used to support ongoing extension and outreach activities. The primary outreach vehicle for the project is the University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory.

The University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Laboratory offers accurate and affordable analytical testing of soil, plant tissue, compost, and soilless greenhouse media. The lab promotes sustainable management practices by providing research-based interpretation of analytical results and fertilizer and lime recommendations. These services help clients manage soil and soil amendments more profitably while protecting environmental quality. Lab clientele include backyard gardeners, green industry professionals, and commercial growers, as well as engineers, crop consultants, and research scientists.

Project or Initiative Report: 
Agriculture topics: 
Soil and Nutrient Management
Commercial Horticulture topics: 
Best Management Practices