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Southern Regional

Diagnostic Testing and Standardized Nutrient Recommendation

Dr. Rao Mylavarapu had been elected as the Secretary (2004-2006), the Vice-Chair (2006-2008) and the Chair (2008-2010) of SERA-IEG-6 regional group and have the responsibility of leading the regional effort in Nutrient Management, development of diagnostic testing tools and reporting the technical details through regional publications on behalf of the group. Accurate and timely analysis of soils, plant tissue, water, and waste materials is critical, given the current emphasis on nutrient management and environmental quality.

These issues are of high priority at both the regional and national level, and have attracted the interest of land grant institutions, state and federal agencies, and various funding organizations. An effective nutrient analysis program serves not only commercial agriculture but also the general public by ensuring that fertilizers and soil amendments are used wisely. Due to changes in production practices there is a continuing need to improve existing analytical methods, and to develop new approaches and educational materials. It is crucial that IFAS participates in the regional efforts, shares knowledge and develops educational material and policies that benefit the state.

Regulatory agencies are requiring that nutrient loading into Florida's eco-sensitive regions such as Okeechobee basin, Everglades region, and Suwannee basin be reduced to minimum possible levels and Total Daily Maximum Loads (TMDLs) and Numeric Nutrient Criteria are being set. It is therefore extremely critical that pertinent research and analytical procedures determining nutrient concentrations are packaged correctly to help guide and implement regional and local environmental policies.