Nathan Slaton, Ph.D., professor of soil testing for the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, conducts nutrient management research on soybean in Arkansas. His research program currently focuses on developing soil-test based recommendations for phosphorus and potassium fertilization and examining soybean sensitivity to chloride toxicity.
“Knowledge of your irrigation water quality and variety selection is very important in regards to minimizing the potential damage and yield loss from excess chlorides.”
Primarily, the soil testing program examines soybean response to phosphorus and potassium fertilization in effort to develop recommendations that accurately predict soils that require fertilizer addition to maximize yield. Research trials usually involve a number of fertilizer rates to determine how soybean yields will respond on soils that have a range of different phosphorus and potassium availabilities. The program also involves field work with chlorides to examine how the chloride includer and excluder varieties affect soybean yield performance.