Fall Soil Sampling

As we get close to harvest, one thing to start thinking about is next year’s fertility plan, which starts with knowing what you have in the soil. Many growers want to cut expenses when commodity prices are low, but you need to know what you have in the soil before trimming the fertility budget. Soil samples are a great way to determine what nutrients levels are in the soil and will allow for more informed decisions on allocating input dollars. Yes, soil samples do come with an upfront cost, but when margins on the farm are tight; it is one expense that shouldn’t be spared.

Fall is a great time to sample for multiple reasons:

1.) field conditions are often times better for sampling compared to spring

2.) It allows more time for nutrient applications vs. sampling in the spring then waiting for results to come in

3.) Doesn’t delay planting waiting on nutrient applications to be made and tillage to be done

Methods

There are multiple sampling methods which include composite (random) sampling, grid, zone and several others. There can be different scenarios where each of these can fit but it is important that sample points are marked with GPS coordinates so you can resample the same locations when you sample the field again.

If you have questions regarding soil sampling and fertility recommendations, contact us and we would be glad to set up a program that fits the goals and needs of your operation.

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