Horticulture Research

Soil and Nutrient Management


  • To serve as an advisor, co-advisor, or committee member for students receiving advanced degrees in programs with a crop and soil environmental sciences component. If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree, please contact me.
  • To educate farmers, Extension personnel, and other stakeholders on soil and nutrient management principles for agronomic production and environmental sustainability.  

Nutrient management:

  • To increase farmer fertilizer use efficiency by incorporating best management practices into the current production system via applied research, demonstrations, and Extension education.
  • To test innovative and alternative fertilizer sources for increased fertilizer use efficiency and decreased environmental losses from leaching and runoff.
  • To utilize organic-fertilizer sources, such as poultry litter and biosolids, in an agronomically efficient and environmentally sound manner.
  • To serve the general public regarding nutrient deficiencies in agronomic and vegetable crops, groundwater and runoff quality, and fertilizer management.

Soil management:

  • To reduce soil erosion and sedimentation in the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and tributaries by applied research, demonstration, and Extension education of cover crops and other conservation oriented best management practices.
  • To increase agronomic and vegetable yield and profit by applied research and education of fundamental soil problems in Virginia, such as compaction.
  • To increase soil quality and health by incorporation of soil additives, cover crops, and management practices.


  • Innovative nitrogen fertilizer application techniques in winter wheat production.
  • Nitrogen source, application method, and rates for snap bean production in Virginia.
  • Nitrogen source, application method, and rates for russet potato production in Virginia and impacts on tuber disease.
  • Nitrogen source, application method, and rates for sweet corn production and impacts on marketable ear characteristics.
  • Alternative fertilizer sources for corn production on sandy loam soils.
  • Planting density and nitrogen rate for late planted barley following soybeans.
  • Long term fertilizer problems and benefits of poultry litter for a corn, soybean, and wheat rotation in the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Long term fertility management using poultry litter in a monoculture cotton production system.
  • Implications of over-irrigation on tomato yield and groundwater quality.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer method and rates for plasticulture tomato production and their impacts on yield and groundwater quality.
  • Alternative fertilizer sources for tomato production in plasticulture production systems.



Mark S. Reiter
Associate Professor
(757) 414-0730 (Fax)

John E. Mason
Senior Research Specialist
Eastern Shore AREC
33446 Research Drive
Painter, VA 23420
Phone: (757) 414-0724 x 35
Fax: (757) 414-0730

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