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Book: Soil Science Step-by-Step Field Analysis
Published by: Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 159-182
    Soil Science Step-by-Step Field Analysis

    Sally Logsdon, Dave Clay, Demie Moore and Teferi Tsegaye (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-856-8


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Measuring Nutrient Removal, Calculating Nutrient Budgets

  1. T. Scott Murrell
  1. International Plant Nutrition Inst. 3500 Parkway Lane, Suite 550 Norcross, GA 30092 (smurrell@ipni.net)



Nutrient removal is the quantity of nutrient removed from a specified area. Commonly, farmers and advisers use published removal rates (on a yield unit basis) to estimate such quantities. However, measurements may be taken on the farm to improve evaluations and provide opportunities to further examine and evaluate nutrient management practices. The measurements that are essential to calculating nutrient removal are:

  • harvest area

  • weight of moist plant material

  • moisture content of harvested plant portions

  • nutrient concentration.

Guidance is provided for using these measurements to calculate dry matter yield and nutrient removal. In addition, nutrient budgets are discussed, along with their evaluation using soil test data. In the last section, two examples are provided. The first considers a farming operation that produces forage for internal use. The second guides the reader through measurements and calculations used on a grain farm.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

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