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History of SERA-6 & Soil Testing in the South
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  1. History of SERA-6&Soil Testing in the South Charles C. Mitchell Auburn University SERA-6, Starkville, MS, June 14, 2010

  2. Soil testing is. . . “. . . by practitioners of the art.” (Kurtz, 1978) “. . . any chemical, physical, or biological measurement on a soil. (Peck, 1977) “. . . the application of soil science research to the rapid chemical analyses to assess the available nutrient status of a soil.” (Peck, 1990; SSSA Glossary, 1996))

  3. Soil Testing History • 1839. P identified as an essential plant nutrient (Liebig, Germany) • 1843. Acidulated P process (Lawes & Gilbert, England) • 1856. K identified as an essential plant nutrient (Salm-Horstmar) • 1862. Morrill Act • 1887. Concept of ionization (Arrhenius) • 1888. Hatch Act

  4. Soil Testing History • 1894. Citric acid extraction for P (Dyer) • Late 1800s. Total soil P analysis by gravimetric or volumetric phosphomolybdate complex • 1909. pH scale proposed (Sorenson) • 1914. Smith-Lever act • 1919. AOAC suggested litmus paper to estimate soil reaction. • Late 1920s. H electrode available.

  5. Soil Testing History • 1929. “A Field Test for Available P” (Bray, IL) • 1929. “A Test for Water-soluble P” (Spurway, MI) • 1930. “Determination of readily available P” (Truog, WI) • 1930s. pH meter and glass electrode developed. • 1954. Public soil testing in all 48 states.

  6. Soil Testing in the South • 1928-29. South Carolina started testing soil pH on a limited scale using hydroquinone titrations. • 1938. W.R. Paden set up the first state-supported soil testing service in the South at Clemson, SC. • 1953. Adolph Mehlich (NC) published mimeo describing dilute, double-acid extraction for highly weathered soils.

  7. Soil Testing in the South • 1954. All states in the South had a public soil testing program. • 1954. First meeting of “Soil Test Work Group” of the Southern Regional Research Committee. • 1962. S-52 Committee • 1983. SRIEG-18 Committee • 1991. SERA-6 Committee

  8. Meeting Sites 1966 1979 1995 1969 1982 1998 1955 1968 1980 1996* 1992* 2008* 1960 1973 1989 2005 1976 1984* 1954 1965 1963 1974 1990 2006 1957 1971 1985 2001 1961 1977 1993 2007 1959 1972 1987 2002 1964 1978 1994 2010 1962 1975 1991 2009 1967 1981 1997 1958 1970 1983 1999 Virgin Islands 1986 Puerto Rico 2003 * Joint meeting

  9. Joint Meetings with North Central & Northeast Groups • 1984 Memphis • 1988 St. Louis • 1992 Nashville • 1996 Raleigh • 2000 Nebraska • 2004 Delaware • 2008 Nashville

  10. Soil Testing in the South • 1962. Adams-Evans (AL) lime requirement buffer published. • 1965. Soil test interpretation and recommendations automated using computers (Cope, et al., Alabama) • 1984. Mehlich-3 extracting procedure published (NCDA).

  11. Notable Contributions by SERA-6 Participants • 1953. R.D. Rouse (AL) published calibration data in “The Basis for Soil Testing in Alabama” • Adolph Mehlich (NCDA) contributed (1) dilute double-acid extractant (Mehlich-1), 1953, (2) Mehlich-2 extractant, (3) Mehlich-3 which replaced M-2, and (4) Mehlich buffer for lime requirement. • 1962. Fred Adams and Clyde Evans (AL) developed first lime requirement buffer for southern soils.

  12. Notable Contributions by SERA-6 Participants • 1970. J.D. Lancaster (MS) contributed acetic-malic-malonic acid extractant procedure (Mississippi/Lancaster) for fine-textured and calcareous soils (unpublished data). Conducted extensive soil test calibration research. • 1965. J.T. Cope, et al. (AL) initiated soil test computerization.

  13. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South ALABAMA R.D. Rouse John Williams J.T. Cope Clyde Evans (Fred Adams) ARKANSAS Wayne Sabbe Richard Maples (Woody Miley) Bill Baker

  14. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South FLORIDA Gerry Kidder Ed Hanlon J.B. Jones Malcolm Sumner Owen Plank Bob Isaac

  15. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South KENTUCKY Vernon Case Bill Thom LOUISIANA Joe Sedberry

  16. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South NORTH CAROLINA Adolph Mehlich Fred Cox Ray Tucker Ray Campbell Jack Baird Don Eddy George Kriz MISSISSIPPI J.D. Lancaster Ed Gholston

  17. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South SOUTH CAROLINA (W.R. Paden) H.P. Cooper Norwood Page Jim Woodruff OKLAHOMA Gordon Johnson Bob Westerman Ray Ward

  18. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South TEXAS TENNESSEE Gary Lessman John Jared (Don Howard) TEXAS William Bennett

  19. Past Participants Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Soil Testing in the South VIRGINIA Steve Donohue PUERTO RICO

  20. Soil Extractants Used in the South

  21. Lime Requirement Methods 2010 Adams-Evans (FL) Modified Adams-Evans (AL) Ca(OH)2 addition (GA, LA, PR) pH and texture (AR, TX) modified Woodruff (MS) Mehlich (NC, VA) Sikora (KY, OK) Moore-Sikora (SC, TN)

  22. P & K Methods 2010 Mehlich-1 AL, FL, GA, SC, TN, VA Mehlich-3 AR, KY, LA, NC, OK, TX Miss/Lancaster MS, AL Bray-Kurtz P1/Olsen PR

  23. R. D. Rouse

  24. History of SERA-6&Soil Testing in the South Charles C. Mitchell Auburn University SERA-6, Starkville, MS, June 14, 2010