Group of dairy cows in the muddy coral on dairy farm outside Salt Lake City, Utah.

microBIOMETER testing at Cornell University

Gurpreet Kaur, a PhD student with the Nutrient Management Spear Program (NMSP) at Cornell University, has been working with microBIOMETER® soil testing kits to evaluate the impact of dairy manure application and field history on soil health and yield in corn fields in New York.

This project is part of a larger “New York Value of Manure Study” funded by New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) and Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP).

With support from the Toward Sustainability Foundation and microBIOMETER®, soil health assessments were done for three trials in 2023. The team selected three fields, differing in manure history from no manure history to yearly applications, and took soil samples at three different timesteps during the growing season. Among other measurements, Kaur is valuating microbial biomass and fungal to bacterial ratios using the microBIOMETER® test kit. Preliminary results obtained to date show the impact of field manure history on microbial biomass. As part of the project, several Cornell University undergraduate students are learning how to conduct the microBIOMETER® test as well.