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Input on soil test recommendations

 
pollinator
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I am looking over my soil test results for a piece of land I am cultivating this year. It has been pasture in river bottom lands for probably the 130 years since it was drained. It is very rich pasture land and by observation the soil looks very nice, brown/slate in color, clay/loam with decently crumbly structure, seems fairly humus rich.
SOM is about 2.8%, pH came in at 5.83, a tad low in N,P, and K. Traces are generally in the ballpark.

The recommendation from the testing lab (TPS Lab) are as follows:
Lime - 2000 lbs per acre
Nitrogen - 139 lbs per acre
Phosphate - 60 lbs per acre
Potassium - 57 lbs per acre
Zinc - 3 lbs per acre
Manganese - 3 lbs per acre
Boron - 1 lb per acre

My suspicion is that after tilling in the existing grass stand the nitrogen and potassium numbers will come up a little, but I would greatly appreciate any thoughts from folks with experience here about particular ammendments that might supply a couple of these missing pieces together.
Thanks all
 
pollinator
Posts: 973
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
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Steven, what is the purpose of this land? I don't see it in your post. If you mean "cultivate" in the traditional sense, I will let someone more versed in row crops comment, I don't think in absolute numbers there are many on here. If you are installing something different it will clarify the answers your receive.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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More information please, as Tj said, the more you tell us of your plans for the property, the better answers you can receive.

Right now I would not recommend doing any tilling, the grasses will help hold any lime amendment you laydown to adjust the pH as well as any other amendments you add.
Plus grass has lots of roots so to till those under you are making the decision to kill the very thing that is keeping the land's attributes in place.

Redhawk
 
stephen lowe
pollinator
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I am talking about mixed row crop cultivation. Focus will be on oil seeds and some staple crops (corn, winter squash). It is land purchased by friends of mine to run their small veggie farm and it is larger than they will be able to make use of anytime soon. There is the obvious solution of animals but there isn't the money or the human energy to make that happen this year. The focus at the moment is establishing cash positive endeavors while observing the land and feeling out it's annual cycles. They plan to put up to 7 acres into rotational market crops, while another 4 or 5 will be put into longer season annuals (oil seed, grains, storage crops).

It won't be tilled anytime soon, we probably have at least 4 weeks until the field will be dry enough to get any kind of equipment onto it. And my crops won't likely go into the ground until may, maybe very late april. Definitely understand that the inherent value of this land is it's current pasture system and that it's most efficient use would be as pasture however the owners are veggie farmers and are committed to putting a significant portion of it to that use. It is about 20 acres total and everything that is not cultivated will either be leased to a local rancher to run some cows on or possibly used to house some horses.

Not exactly a permie dream situation but it is what it is and all parties involved are aware of the importance of soil conservation and building
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1020
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Thank you Stephen for the rundown on purposes for the land.
So I gather from your description that there will not be animals available to rotate through once the crop is harvested, yes?

In ways that makes it easier to set up a plan of attack to build a thriving microbiome and thus make the soil more able to provide the plants the nutrients they need to provide nutrient dense food stuffs (the crop).

Is machinery going to be the main method of harvest? or is this going to be more human/ machine interface. (like a lettuce harvest or strawberry harvest where the human does the picking and the machine delivers to the staging area or processing plant)

The harvest method almost always determines if there can be intercropping or if monocropping is mandated.

If the owner is going to run row crops they might want to consider keeping all the land available for rotation and that would allow them to lease a rotation for cows to come in trample and manure that rotation space at the proper time.

I will come back Monday and delve a little deeper into methods and interactions that could be used to make this a nice really organic set up.

Redhawk
 
Tj Jefferson
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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I will come back Monday and delve a little deeper into methods and interactions that could be used to make this a nice really organic set up.



I literally am excited to hear the plan. Stephen this is very interesting because lots of us talk about staples, but other than rootcrops and squash, there isn't much discussion. I am fascinated with pasture cropping, and I would like to know more about Dr Redhawk's input.
 
stephen lowe
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Harvest will be all by hand. I am definitely considering doing some underplanting. I have experimented in the past with putting winter squash under the oilseed sunflowers but it becomes more of a pain harvest becomes. I am planning to improve soil diversity by planting in strips so that although the sunflowers will be the dominant crop they will be interspersed with a variety of other crops.
 
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