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Soil Testing

Soil testing is used widely across the United States by homeowners and large-scale agricultural producers. Farmers rely on advice from soil test laboratories and extension specialists to help best manage their crops, in terms of fertilizer applications and other soil amendments to improve productivity and long-term sustainability of their land. Soil testing is an important tool to determine the amount and availability of nutrients in the soil.

Together with information on crop needs, this testing is converted into fertilizer recommendations. NIFA supports research and extension activities to develop, improve, and calibrate methods of soil analysis and testing. Often soil fertility improvement can be brought about by improving soil chemical properties—such as liming—to reduce soil acidity, which in turn improves availability of native soil nutrients.


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