Murray State University

Poster Title

Soil Properties and Potassium Availability in Pullen Farm Murray, Kentucky

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Agronomy

2nd Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

2nd Student Major

Agronomy

Institution 22-23

Murray State University

Department

Hutson School of Agriculture

Abstract

One of the most important factors regarding soil and plant health is nutrient availability and fertility. Of these two factors that were mentioned available potassium is a key component. With that being said we decided that it would be beneficial to see how potassium can be traced within the soil in various locations after fertilizer is applied. There were two parts to this experiment. Part one was taking soil core samples in order to obtain various soil properties such as soil organic matter, soil water holding capacity and bulk density and observe if these properties have any effect on the amount of available potassium present in the soil under various land management practices. These sites included an established waterway, a grass patch, and both a corn and soybean field, all of which were located at the Pullen Farm one of our university research farms here in Kentucky. Part two of this experiment dealt with available potassium within the soil based on soil tests that were sent off to be further analyzed in another soil laboratory. This allowed us to examine and compare the available amounts of potassium in each location after the potassium fertilizer had been applied in the beginning of the growing season. In order to compare the results, we referred to the fertilizer application maps and rates to determine where the fertilizer was first applied and trace where it finally rested over the growing season, as potassium is the most easily movable nutrient within the soil. The results of this study will be beneficial to producers and agronomists across the United States and the world, it will help them to determine whether or not fertilizer inputs are efficient in maintaining optimal nutrient levels and fertility.

Key Words: Bulk, Density, Soil Organic Matter, Water Holding Capacity, Fertility, Available Potassium

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Soil Properties and Potassium Availability in Pullen Farm Murray, Kentucky

One of the most important factors regarding soil and plant health is nutrient availability and fertility. Of these two factors that were mentioned available potassium is a key component. With that being said we decided that it would be beneficial to see how potassium can be traced within the soil in various locations after fertilizer is applied. There were two parts to this experiment. Part one was taking soil core samples in order to obtain various soil properties such as soil organic matter, soil water holding capacity and bulk density and observe if these properties have any effect on the amount of available potassium present in the soil under various land management practices. These sites included an established waterway, a grass patch, and both a corn and soybean field, all of which were located at the Pullen Farm one of our university research farms here in Kentucky. Part two of this experiment dealt with available potassium within the soil based on soil tests that were sent off to be further analyzed in another soil laboratory. This allowed us to examine and compare the available amounts of potassium in each location after the potassium fertilizer had been applied in the beginning of the growing season. In order to compare the results, we referred to the fertilizer application maps and rates to determine where the fertilizer was first applied and trace where it finally rested over the growing season, as potassium is the most easily movable nutrient within the soil. The results of this study will be beneficial to producers and agronomists across the United States and the world, it will help them to determine whether or not fertilizer inputs are efficient in maintaining optimal nutrient levels and fertility.

Key Words: Bulk, Density, Soil Organic Matter, Water Holding Capacity, Fertility, Available Potassium