CEC and % base saturation
Richard Haard, Jim Joyner, December 13, 2007
Greetings As an extension of my conversation with Jim I am forwarding this farm in-house conversation on % Base saturation. Noteworthy is a interesting trend of higher Mg % saturation where I treated with charcoal powder 4 growing seasons ago. The following information from this Clemson University Soil scientist is a good way to get a working understanding of CEC and base exchange and how we might use it to manage soil nutrition here.
WHAT IS THE USE FOR THE CATION EXCHANGE CAPACITY (CEC)AND THE PERCENT BASE SATURATION ON THE SOIL TEST REPORTS?
It is interesting also as an indicator of functional activity of charcoal in soil higher CEC did not show up in our block tests this year. The literature however indicates there is a weathering process and combination with soil organic matter < in the tropics> that brings on this activity. Also Cornell researcher Janet Thies showed continued rinsing and incubation improve CEC of charcoal in soils.