Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Soil Testing in Delaware: Sixty Years of Samples, Results and Fertility Trends.

Karen Gartley, Univ of Delaware, Soil Testing Program, 531 S College Ave, Newark, DE 19716-1303

The University of Delaware Soil Testing Program was officially established in 1947 to provide analytical services to the state’s farmers. Over the past six decades the program has analyzed hundreds of thousands of samples, providing growers and homeowners with scientifically based interpretation and recommendations. In that time, the laboratory has grown and adapted to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse clientele, offering additional services as they developed and/or demand required. This paper will present a brief overview of the program’s history, provide a summary of soil test results from the past sixty years and discuss long-term trends in the fertility of Delaware soils as indicated by analytical results and management information collected by the program.