Growing better through soil testing

Nov. 24, 2009 | By kentuckyguard
[caption id="attachment_155" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Kentucky ADT members supervise Turkmen village members remove soil from a probe on a farm in Parwan province, Afghanistan, Sept. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. John Holmes, Jr., Kentucky ADT)"] By Spc. William E. Henry Task Force Cyclone, 38th Infantry Division Public Affairs
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Members of the Kentucky Agri-business Development Team went to a village in Parwan province Sept. 16 to take soil samples to learn how they can increase yields of crops for years to come. U.S. Army Maj. Jim Rush accompanied other ADT members on a mission to Turkmen village to help solve why some the crops in the village’s fields were not growing properly. Rush and others thought there may be a fungus affecting the growth in the plants, but said they can’t make that determination without further testing of the soil. [caption id="attachment_156" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="U.S. Army Maj. Jim Rush, Ky. ADT member, is assisted by a Turkmen village member during a soil sampling process on a farm in Parwan province, Afghanistan, Sept. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. John Holmes, Jr., Kentucky ADT)"] Rush said they were going to take the samples and send half to a new soil testing laboratory in Kabul and the other half to the University of Kentucky to be analyzed. “We can come back to make suggestions for the land owner to make applications of fertilizers, gypsum and lime to improve his soil for crop yield for next year,” Rush said. The results of the soil samples taken should come back in about a month. From there, they will make determinations on what steps to take to provide improvements. A representative of over 300 families in the village said he hopes to sell the produce at local markets to make more money and get better equipment to expand on what he is doing beyond just providing for his family. “This is going to be a big help for the farmers and for the reconstruction of Afghanistan,” said the village representative. “We will be able to produce more and get more yields out of this. That’s a big favor from the coalition forces.”

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