Advanced Agrilytics

Five Things to Consider When Soil Sampling

  1. Do it. Simple, right? Soil sampling gives you a snapshot in time for the environments within your field. Soil sampling allows you to know where you should be going in soil management. If you’re not doing it already, start. 
  2. More than P,N,K. Yes, the P,N, K is an important tool in your management system. But, Organic matter is important, too – it’s more than a data point in selling, buying or renting land. Understanding organic matter helps to maximize plant response within your fields and you should be making management decisions based on it.  
  3. Herbicide Response. Every residual herbicide label has recommendations based on how the product responds to soil structure and organic matter. Knowing your soil and how the herbicide will respond gives you an edge in management and the info needed to have an effective herbicide program.  
  4. Timing. Forget the discussions on fall vs. spring. Choose one time of year and stick with it. Soil sampling is more consistent if you consider soil moisture at the time of sampling. Speaking of consistency – soil sample the same field every 3-5 years.  
  5. Keep the Results. Knowing where you started and how far you’ve come will give you insights into the impacts your management practices have on your soil fertility. Knowing where you’ve been and where you’re going will make you a better steward.