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It's Time to Test Your Soils

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

September 14, 2018

Fall is the best time to test your soils so that any amendments you add, especially if you need to change your pH, have time to take effect before the next growing season. Both lime (which raises pH) and sulfur (which lowers pH) need months to work. If you put this off until spring your soil may be too wet and the soil labs get backed up with all the other last minute samples, so try to get this important task done this fall.

 A standard vegetable test costs $12 at the Agro-One/Dairy-One lab in Ithaca. Put your Extension Educator's name on the form so we'll get a copy too, which expedites our ability to comment. The link to the form is:  http://dairyone.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Form-V.pdf  or we can send you a paper copy. Make sure you are using the V form, for vegetables.  This is a Modified Morgan Soil Test package and includes pH, Modified Mehlich Buffer pH (lime requirement), percent organic matter and extractable phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, aluminum, iron, zinc & manganese plus Cornell generated nutrient recommendations if a valid soil name is provided. The form has all the details on where to mail the sample, the cost, and payment methods. It's a good idea to keep a copy for your records until you receive your results.

You can use whatever lab you like, the main thing is to stay with the same lab time after time so you can compare your results as you make amendments. Different labs often use different extractants which can make comparing results between them impossible. But do choose a lab from your region since the geology and climate varies so much around the country. Labs in the southeastern US often use the Mehlich III test while New York soils are better suited to the Modified Morgan or Morgan test.

Please note: the test result is only as good as the sample you provide, so take the time to gather a representative, composite sample. Use a small plastic bucket or plastic grocery bag and a clean shovel or soil probe (free of rust) and take about a half cup of soil from 6-10 locations from the field to be tested. Do not include the surface soil which may have contaminants or plant matter but do include soil from 2-6 inches deep.  Mix these samples together in your bucket to make one composite sample.  Let the soil air dry before sending about 2 cups of it to the lab. The Agro-One lab prefers you send your samples in their cardboard sample boxes which they provide for free. You can use a paper lunch bag, but since the soil needs to dry out, they discourage submitting your soil in plastic bags.

This link has more details about soil sampling: http://dairyone.com/analytical-services/agronomy-services/soil-testing/

Beets, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, rutabaga and turnip have high born requirements, especially if the pH is 7.0 or above. For these crops consider having the extra $10 boron test done, and check off that option at the bottom of the soil test form.

For high tunnels we recommend adding in the soluble salts test for an extra $5 so you can keep track of this level over the years. Since tunnels don't receive soaking rains to dilute salts, they are prone to building up in the soil.

Interpreting soil test results can be daunting but any of us on the team would be glad to work through your results with you.

 



more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Blueberries

Blueberries

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

High Tech Precision Orchard Spraying

July 20, 2020

Join us the afternoon of July 20th to learn what's new in orchard precision spraying technology. We'll be joined by Dr. Jason Deveau, Dr. Heping Zhu, and Steve Booher.  After their presentations, we will open up the meeting for all three presenters to field questions and comments. 

view details

Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

2020 Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast- Episode 3- 5/20/20

May 20, 2020
The May 20th, 2020 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Spring Spinach Pests and Diseases (1:11)
Pythium Root Rot Symptoms and Management (6:53)
Business Safety Plans for Phase 1 Re-opening in NY (11:27)
Angular Leaf Spot of Strawberry (12:56)
A Conversation with Sue Scheufele, UMass Extension, on Managing Common Brassica Pests (19:05)

Here are links to additional resources mentioned in the episode:

Spring Spinach Pests:
From Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Plant and Pest Advisory 4/2/20
Spinach Anthracnose
https://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/anthracnose-spinach-2020-scaled.jpg

Spinach Downy Mildew and Leafminer
https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_869.pdf

Spinach White Rust
https://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Spinach-WR-2020-scaled.jpg

Pythium Root Rot:
https://plant-pest-advisory.rutgers.edu/damping-off-identifying-and-controlling-early-season-pathogens-2-2-3/

Business Safety Plans:
New York Forward Plans https://forward.ny.gov/industries-reopening-phase

CFAP Final Rule and program information https://www.farmers.gov/cfap

Angular Leaf Spot of Strawberry:
Source: Penn State Extension fact sheet

Brassica Pests:
**Although Sue discusses applying Entrust as a tray drench to seedlings prior to planting for research purposes, this is an off-label use. Entrust is currently labeled for application to soil in the field. Always consult the pesticide label prior to use. The label is the law.**

Brassica Pest Collaborative webinar recordings: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/resources/brassica-pest-collaborative
UMass research reports on management of brassica pests: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/resources-services/brassica-pest-collaborative/research-reports-on-management-of-brassica

Sue Scheufele’s contact information:
https://ag.umass.edu/people/susan-b-scheufele

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