Rick Haney is a renowned researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the creator of the Haney Soil Analysis, an innovative extraction procedure to assess overall soil health and plant mineral availability. Today, John sits down with Rick to hear his story and discuss a future of agriculture centered around agronomic realities and biological processes.
Throughout the episode, John and Rick cover a wide array of topics:
- The journey Rick took to discover an improved system for analyzing soil health, eventually leading to the development of his namesake soil assay.
- How Rick’s work and an emphasis on data can help growers save an average of $20 per acre in nitrogen applications.
- Over-fertilization and what soil respiration says about the fertility of a field.
- Rick’s battle with calibrations and the industry’s collective leaps in agronomic understanding since the 60’s.
- The work of Dr. Richard Mulvaney, namely the Illinois Soil Test, and how it compares to Haney’s soil nitrogen report.
- The shortcomings of mainstream agronomic research and the power of “listening to nature.”
- The importance of using water and biological activity as the gauge of soil mineral release rather than acids and extractants to judge soil mineral content.
- Why many growers are routinely able to reduce Nitrogen and Phosphorus inputs.
- The importance of looking at real yields rather than soil test data as the sign of a well-functioning fertility program.
- The power of embracing new developments in ag research and the future of in-field sensors.