Soil Testing and Nutrient Removal Trends

Alan Blaylock, Ph.D.

Alan Blaylock, Ph.D.


Senior Agronomist

Dr. Alan Blaylock brings extensive North American and international experience in nutrient management to the agronomy team. University studies and service as a university extension soils specialist prepared him for a long career in the fertilizer industry. Having managed both domestic and global research and education programs, Dr. Blaylock has a wealth of experience in applying science-based nutrient management principles and products to solving practical questions. Dr. Blaylock earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in agronomy and horticulture from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in soil science from Iowa State University. He has been in agriculture his entire life — from his childhood on an irrigated farm in eastern Oregon to teaching soil science at Iowa State University to his current role as an agronomist at Nutrien. These diverse experiences helped Dr. Blaylock develop the skills to excel in translating complex scientific principles into practical solutions. Although early in his university studies he explored computer science as a profession, deep family roots in agriculture brought him back to the people and values of his heritage. His career satisfaction comes from helping others improve the performance of nutrients and cropping systems.

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An inventory of soil-test levels across North America is published by The Fertilizer Institute (formerly IPNI) every five years, and a new inventory is due out this year from data collected in 2020. The inventory of soil-test levels, nutrient removals, and nutrient balance is useful to evaluate trends over time and alert managers and crop advisors to emerging issues. From the inventory, we see areas across North America with a majority of samples testing below optimum in phosphorus and potassium. This presentation by Nutrien Senior Agronomist Dr. Alan Blaylock will examine trends over the past couple decades and what those might indicate for nutrient management.

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