Updated: January 20, 2023
Assessing the Extent of Soil Loss from Nursery Tree Root Ball Excavation (EB-442)
A soil quality management issue unique to tree nurseries is the removal of soil off site with sale of the ornamental trees and shrubs, which are harvested with a balled and burlapped (B & B) root ball. The amount of soil removed with B & B harvest and sale has been estimated as much as 5 cm per year. One piece of evidence that has been used to estimate soil loss during B & B tree harvest is the volume of the holes left behind. However, the soil balls wrapped for B & B removal are generally densely permeated with tree roots, leading some to assume that much or most of the ball removed consist of roots rather than soil. There is a dearth of published data on this soil removal or published methods that will allow for reliable calculation of soil being removed from individual enterprises.The main conclusion from this study is that a balled and burlapped (B & B) root ball consists almost entirely (99%) of soil and that the tree roots take up only a negligible portion of the mass and volume. Our results show that in fact the volume of the hole left behind is a reasonable estimate of the volume of soil removed. Authors: Ray Weil, Margaret Guthrie, Chuck Schuster, and Stanton Gill; Title: Assessing the Extent of Soil Loss from Nursery Tree Root Ball Excavation (EB-442)
Updated: May 11, 2022
Soil Sampling for Optimizing Agricultural Production in Maryland (FS-1184)
Soil samples provide information about the soil fertility status of a field, which is used to generate nutrient and lime recommendations and develop a farm's nutrient management plan. This factsheet outlines proper soil sampling techniques (how, when, why) to optimize crop production, minimize environmental degradation, and maximize farm profitability. Authors: Brian Kalmbach and Dr. Gurpal Toor; Title: Soil Sampling for Optimizing Agricultural Production in Maryland (FS-1184)
Updated: May 11, 2022
Soil Fertility Management-Converting Among Soil Test Analyses Frequently Used in Maryland (SFM-4)
SFM-4 outlines conversions of soil test results from various regional soil test laboratories to Maryland's 'Fertility Index Value' (FIV) scale, upon which soil fertility recommendations for agricultural production are based.
Updated: February 18, 2021
Pre-Sidedress Soil Nitrate Test (PSNT)
The Pre-sidedress Soil Nitrate Test (PSNT) is a widely used test for optimizing nitrogen fertilizer use for corn grain and corn silage. It is a soil test that measures the amount of nitrate nitrogen available in the soil at the time when the crop is most likely to start using it. This nitrogen is a by-product of the mineralization of manure and/or last year's forage legume crop, and its availability is influenced by soil temperature and moisture.
Updated: January 19, 2021
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs): Irrigation Water Treatment for High E. coli Levels
What should you do if your water test results show that levels of generic E. coli exceed the maximum recommended amount? Before investing in a system to clean and sanitize your irrigation water, do a visual survey of your water sources to investigate what is causing the elevated microbial counts. Below are several strategies to consider.
Updated: January 15, 2021
University of Maryland Phosphorus Management Tool: Technical Users Guide
Our objective was to develop a phosphorus site index (PSI) that uses readily available information to evaluate the relative risk of P transport from agricultural fields, including vegetable and row crop production and pasture based systems where P may be applied either as inorganic or organic fertilizer. Furthermore, the PSI should be applicable within all physiographic provinces present in Maryland. Phosphorus transport is controlled by site characteristics (e.g. hydrology and slope), climate, and P sources (e.g. manure, inorganic fertilizer, and soil P). The revised PSI, or the University of Maryland – Phosphorus Management Tool (UM-PMT), seeks to include new science relative to site and source factors and highlight management decisions so that the learning opportunities associated with performing a P index are more pronounced. The overall objective is to identify critical areas where there is a high P loss potential due to both a high transport potential and a large source of P, and also to encourage the use of management practices in those critical source areas that protect water quality.