Challenging Conventional Thinking in Soil Fertility
Advanced Agrilytics Highlights Gaps in Traditional Models
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 24, 2021) – Soil may not be the most exciting topic in production agriculture, but it is often the most critical. Knowing the environments within fields and managing to those environments can make or break a farm’s productivity. Advanced Agrilytics is challenging farmers to take another look at the basics of soil management to increase productivity.
“Soil types can react differently based on management practices,” says Kess Berg, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Advanced Agrilytics. “While most would agree that statement is obvious, agriculture overwhelmingly relies on blanket, state-specific recommendations to make fertility management decisions and that results in varying, inconsistent results.”
To maximize crop response, Berg notes that identifying specific environments and conditions within a field opens the door to getting better results. That starts with soil sampling and moves to spatial management decisions, a core competency for Advanced Agrilytics. For Berg, the environmental-specific information can translate into availability of macro nutrients and a better understanding of the nutrient diffusion rates, which can impact immobile nutrients.
“Soil sampling is a good first step in understanding what is happening in your fields, but you have to know what it is gives you – and more importantly, what it doesn’t,” says Berg. “Soil samples give you concentration, which isn’t the same thing as availability. A good agronomist will be able to turn that concentration into availability and set you on the right path.”
The team at Advanced Agrilytics considers soil sampling the foundation for management decisions. Farmers should consider several things regarding their soil sampling plan. First, soil sampling should be completed on a semi-regular basis, every three to four years. And, the samples should be taken consistently at the same time of year for the most accurate results.
“Whether you prefer to sample in fall or spring, be consistent s that you can compare over time.,” adds Berg. “Timing is critical for soil sampling, especially as it relates to soil moisture. If you have similar conditions to compare the results to, you’ll be able to tell a lot more about your fields and management impacts.”
Berg and the rest of the team at Advanced Agrilytics use soil sampling as a data point and measuring point well into the future. He recommends saving those soil sample results to understand how management decisions impact soil fertility over time.
With so many “silver bullets” being marketed today, Berg leaves this bit of advice. “Stick with the macro nutrients. If you know you have those all in the right place, then you can start to address micronutrients. But, if your macros aren’t in a good place, you’re wasting time and resources and not getting much bang for your buck.”
Advanced Agrilytics is currently taking on new customers in an eight-state geography. To find out more about the spatial critical management solutions they provide, visit advancedagrilytics.com
About Advanced Agrilytics
Advanced Agrilytics is an agronomic spatial solutions company that provides farmers with actionable, customized strategies to deliver sustainable outcomes based on environments within a field. The team’s hands-on approach combines field specific data with agronomic research to meet farmers at the cross-section of technology and a personal agronomist.