Soil Testing: BCSR vs. SLAN Methods

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Kiril, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    So here we are....duke it out.

    Which is better and why, BCSR or SLAN method?

    Preferably your replies should be referenced to credible sources, and/or logically presented in a way that can be substantiated.

    Intelligent discussion only please.
     
  2. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Darn, can't find my boxing gloves!

    I would like to start out by suggesting that anyone with questions about the BCSR vs. SLAN theories spend an hour reading the material on these sites. They present both pro and con sides of the issues.

    http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/soilmgmt.html
    http://www.vabf.org/soilre1.php
    http://www.soilfirst.com/tnm_12_1997.htm
    http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/reprint/71/2/259.pdf
    http://www.soils.wisc.edu/extension/FAPM/2004proceedings/Kelling1.pdf
    http://turf.lib.msu.edu/2000s/2001/010109.pdf
    http://www.pda.org.uk/news/nf36.asp

    I am open to "thinking out of the box" and feel we all should strive for "sustainable" turf/agriculture methods that will be realistic and practical on a national scale.

    Some one please show me DATA that supports the BSCR theory.
     
  3. Well, It's proably a good idea to start this thread, but I believe the subject matter has been hashed out between the few who respond.

    I prefer the base saturation method, but I believe quality turfgrass ( crops) can be grow using both.

    I believe you must take care of the soil chemistry,get into the proper ranges, keeping in mind the good old microbial organism. They you must use sound agronomy principle in developing your fert program the the crop and intended use that you are maintaining

    Again, quality turfgrass can be grown using both those methods, I've admitted that, wonder why some more people can't admit that both methods can accomplish your desired goal

    I realize I violated the guidelines, I only based my remarks on my education, experience, and applying this to sound agronomy principles.

    If their is anying other I can add, so be it, but finish debating which is best

    tim
     
  4. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    Let us remember this is "Lawnsite" not "Farmsite".

    We are dealing with a crop not valued on yield but on sustainable growth, color, and durability.
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    I would argue otherwise. Landscapes are just farming on a smaller scale, regardless of how you define "yield".

    Just for the record I am in the SLAN camp and vigorously support and promote sustainable systems.
     
  6. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,072


    I totally agree!

    Whether it be horticulture, agriculture, gardening, farming or whatever you want to call it...it is all the same!

    Fert, soils, chemicals etc don't change when doing all of the above!
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

  8. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 508

    "Soil test laboratories that do not have much experience with turfgrass samples tend to overestimate phosphorus needs and underestimate potassium needs (Christians, 1992). Laboratories that routinely test turfgrass samples and that are supported by active turfgrass research programs adjust their calibrations and recommendations as new information becomes available."

    I'm sorry about the first post but i just thought that this was a bit much. First off, i don't do soil tests for the lab's rec's. I do them for the information they give. I interpret it and do my fert programs based on that. And the lawn care industry is based on results and longevity. Not crop yield. You should see what our labs rec's are. I would never follow them. Plus they don't take into account availability or mixes of ferts. Sometimes you have to do what's best for someone's yard and i believe that that doesn't coincide with what's best for this years corn crop yield. Even if the samples are the same. I don't know any farmers that buy fert by the 50lb bag to do their 300 acre property. It's not fiscally advantagous. So you buy bulk and you buy raw materials and add what's needed at the proper time. I know golf courses that did this and it worked fine. But they needed a sustainable, durable crop over years not to be harvested that year. That's the difference i was stating between farming and turfcare. Maybe i'm wrong. It wouldn't be the first time. Thanks for the links, kiril. Very informative.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    What I have done in the past is buy my nutrients in their basic forms and mix my own formulations. This way I'm not forced to use a formulation that is not appropriate for the site being fertilized.

    Granted it is not as easy as an all in one solution, but it is the most flexible.

    I'll also note....one more check in the pro's column for sustainable systems. :clapping:
     
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    The merits of soil testing are numerous - but a large assumption made on the laboratory is the actual site conditions the sample came from.
    I am most familiar with the base saturation method, yet like Tim, I feel sound agronomic practices through the correct maintenance of the edaphic environment as well as the climatic and other factors at the site all combine to dictate how to interpret and implement the soil analysis.
    I have had many, many discussions with soil labs when I was maintaining and building courses, from Powell in GA, Penn State, Texas A&M Lab to the eastern regional USGA staff agronomists and all these people agreed the soil analysis was just a starting point - not an the end all in and of itself.
     

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