Nutrient Analyses

Nutrient Analyses

Farmers use manure, fertilizer, and other nutrients to maximize crop and forage yields; however, nutrients must be applied at the appropriate time and in the proper form, amount, and location to minimize human and environmental health risks (such as hazardous byproducts, contaminated runoff, and erosion). Accurate and timely analyses of soil, water, and plants help determine which nutrients are needed as well as the appropriate amounts and best application methods for optimal results. To perform these analyses, laboratories need safe, precise, and cost-effective testing procedures and tools. Coordination across regions and among local, state, and federal agencies is important to make sure that all laboratories have access to updated procedures, new technologies, and standardized reasoning methods for interpreting results. Otherwise, it is difficult to compare results and harder to use the results to develop comprehensive, effective nutrient management guidelines, which are essential for the economic and environmental sustainability of agricultural production and the quality of life in rural and urban areas.

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