by Dr. Jill Coleman Wasik
The lysimeter project is up and running again this year in four different fields around the region. Last summer two suction lysimeters were installed at depths of 2 ft and 4-8 ft to collect water being held in the soil profile.
After harvest in the fall we used a track-hoe to install wick lysimeters at a depth of 4-5 ft. These buried buckets allow us to collect water flowing down through the soil. Having information about the nitrate concentrations sitting in, and moving through, soils will eventually help us make more informed decisions about best management practices for nutrients and crops in these fields.
The first round of samples were pulled April 19, despite the ice that was still present in a couple of the lysimeters. Look for some of our initial results to start coming out towards the middle to end of summer.