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Podcast: What should growers look for in soil health tests?


glass jars and soil samples in front of them

It’s not every day that you can sit in on a meeting with some of the top agricultural researchers in Minnesota. But that’s what farmers and agricultural professionals can do when they tune in to the latest episode of University of Minnesota Extension’s Nutrient Management Podcast.

In What should growers look for in soil health tests, Extension scientists discuss questions such as: What is the consensus definition of soil health? What should growers look for in soil health tests, and how should they go about testing their fields? What research is available in Minnesota tying soil health tests to crop performance and yield?

The guests include four Extension scientists working in soils and nutrient management:

  • Anna Cates, state soil health specialist, who recently joined Extension through support from Minnesota Office for Soil Health (MOSH), a collaboration of the Water Resources Center and the Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Fabian Fernandez, working primarily on nitrogen management for corn cropping systems and water quality
    Anna in soil pits with two class participants looking at soils
    Anna Cates, U of M Extension state soil health specialist, taught at a field day in Granite Falls, put on in collaboration with Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Dan Kaiser, state nutrient management specialist specializing in nutrient recommendations
  • Carl Rosen, nutrient management specialist working with specialty crops and conventional crops grown in rotation with specialty crops

Extension records at least one nutrient management podcast episode each month, with a focus on seasonal and regional recommendations and updates on research findings and best management practices. The goal is to help Minnesota farmers maximize profitability while minimizing agriculture’s impact on water and air quality. 

You can follow the podcast and other crop news on Extension’s Minnesota Crop News blog. To get new episodes straight to your phone, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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