image used as white space
MSUcares header Link to home page
Logos of MSU, Extension Service, and MAFES Links to home page of website.


Nitrogen soil testing

Nitrogen in soil is ephemeral in nature. The microbial facilitated interchange between forms continues even after samples have been removed from the site. Thus it is difficult to get the 'snapshot in time and space' desired from a soil test because of the changes in the sample itself.

Moreover, Mississippi is a warm and humid state. Microbial activity continues in the soil year-round thus a sample (if handled correctly) may only give an idea of N levels at the time of sampling. The N status may be completely different in that soil only a few days later because of the nonstop mineralization-immobilization processes (see discussion in text).