Soil Fertility



  1. Culman Lab publishes another article!

    Feb 22, 2018

    We are thrilled to share the publication of a paper authored by Jordon Wade, which included additional lab members Tunsisa Hurisso and Steve Culman as coauthors, in the Soil Science Society of America Journal. Their paper, Sources of Variability that Compromise Mineralizable Carbon as a Soil Health Indicator, is summarized below:  

    Accounting for soil biology is a central concept in soil health. However, measuring soil biology can be costly and difficult to translate into management recommendations. Mineralizable carbon (or respiration upon rewetting) has the potential to address both of these issues and has quickly gained in popularity with growers and extension agents alike. However, some have found the metric to be unreliable or inconsistent. This recent study examined several methodological issues with the metric and found that they can greatly impact the final results. For example, rewetting the soil via capillary action from below gave lower mineralizable C values than rewetting from above. Mineralizable C was also shown to be less reliable from lab-to-lab than other traditional soil metrics like pH or soil carbon. Additionally, variation between replicates run in a lab was largely soil-specific, suggesting that the metric is more reliable for some soils than others. This uncertainty associated with the metric should be communicated when using this tool as a soil health indicator.

  2. New Publication Alert!

    Jan 8, 2018

    Congratulations to Anthony Fulford whose paper with co-author Steve Culman has been published. Their work investigated yield response in corn and soybean to phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilization as well as comparing soil versus leaf tissue testing of P and K to accurately reflect corn and soybean response to fertilization. They tested three rates: control (0x), estimated nutrient removal rate (1x), and twice the estimated nutrient removal rate (2x) in corn-soybean rotation plots at three sites over 9 years. Results of their study can be read here.

  3. Steve Culman receives New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award

    Dec 6, 2017

    We are excited to announce that Dr. Steve Culman has been awarded a 2017 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. Innovator awards are provided to early career scientists to help launch their careers in food and agriculture. This award allows recipients the freedom to pursue innovative and transformational research ideas that might not be possible with a traditional research grant. Steve's work will focus on using active organic matter testing to help predict crop nutrient needs. You can learn more about his research project by clicking here.