Should We Test Soils For Molybdenum, Cobalt, and Selenium?

From time to time I get questions from farmers asking how they can have their soil samples tested for molybdenum, cobalt, or selenium. Each of these elements, along with many others that aren’t test

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2 thoughts on “Should We Test Soils For Molybdenum, Cobalt, and Selenium?

  1. It is my understanding that selenium enriched fertilizer is only available in Oregon. I lost many lambs last lambing season, and some in years before when I did not know what the problem was. We need to have this available. Boluses are available in California for cows but not sheep.

  2. Great information Mark on using tissue tests for micronutrient analysis and confirming deficiency issues.

    Somewhere around 95% of plant material is Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, which plants capture from the soil and atmosphere.

    Roughly 5% is Nitrogen (N), Phophorous (P), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulfur (S)

    The “micro-nutrients” in sum comprise about 0.025% of the plant tissue. Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Nickel (Ni) and Zinc (Zn).

    Micro’s are essential, but in very minute amounts, and often are not a limiting factor. Soil tests are most useful for N-P-K maybe S. Most pasture fertility programs should focus initially on the macro nutrients.

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