Soil nutrient studies

Soil nutrient studies have been conducted for agronomic and environmental purposes, in three regions of British Columbia: Hullcar Valley (annually from 2016-2020), the Lower Fraser Valley (2012 and 2005), and the Okanagan-Similkameen Valley (2007).

2020 Soil Nitrate Study: Hullcar Valley


  • Monitoring the year-to-year trends of post-harvest soil nitrate is useful for improving the efficiency of nitrogen use
  • In the fall of 2020, soil sampling was completed on 39 fields lying above Aquifer 103 in the Hullcar Valley of the North Okanagan to a 90-cm depth to compare with 2019 results
  • The area-weighted average soil nitrate value for the entire sampling area in 2020 was similar to 2019 (72 and 78 kg NO3-N ha-1, respectively), as was the median soil nitrate value for the overall sampling area (73 and 70 kg NO3-N ha-1 for 2020 and 2019, respectively).
  • From 2019 to 2020, the area-weighted average soil nitrate value and median soil nitrate value decreased for fields cropped with silage corn and alfalfa/grass, which represent 91% (29 fields) of the total sampled land area.
  • Among the fields sampled, 56% of the nitrate in the sampled 90 cm of soil was found in the 0-30 cm layer on average, while 24% and 20% was found in the 30-60 and 60-90 cm layers, respectively.

Read the Final Report:

Past reports:

Raw data:

Previous Studies

2012 Fraser Valley Soil Nutrient Survey - Results by Crop Group: