How Can Soil Sampling Benefit Your Operation?
What does it take to build healthy soils? What is my crop lacking that keeps me from getting the highest yield possible? These are questions I get asked nearly every day, especially this time of year.
My first answer is, let’s look at your soil samples and try to see what’s happening at that level. Is your soil organic matter low? We can help fix that! Is your soil lacking micronutrients such as sulfur or zinc? Chicken litter can help with that as well. The first step down the road to healthier soils and reaching your yield goals starts with an accurate soil sample. At Farm Nutrients, we prefer the grid method of soil sampling to a composite for a few reasons:
- Grid soil sampling can provide a very accurate picture of your field and what is happening in georeferenced areas that can correlate to specific application locations. A composite sample can only tell you what’s going on across a¬n entire field, and only in the spots that were sampled.
- When it comes to inputs such as ag lime, a grid soil sample can insure that you as a grower are putting your hard earned dollars where they need to go, rather than blanket spreading the entire field. You don’t want to put lime down where your pH is already high, this can cause more damage to the crop than benefit. Having an accurate georeferenced grid sample size of 2.5-4.4 acres or even smaller can help you put products that have these type of effects in the correct place. In 15 years of grid sampling and hundreds of field results viewed, I’ve only seen a handful of times that a blanket spread is the more economical way to apply your ag lime.
But what about phosphorus and potassium? While these results can be utilized for application of P & K, we at Farm Nutrients believe in fertilizing for a yield goal and planning for a whole acre solution. An application of chicken litter isn’t only about fertilizing either, litter can help with your overall soil health through beneficial bacteria that helps release plant residue into usable fertilizer. I bet almost everyone reading this has been approached with a biological solution to help release nutrients tied up in organic matter or residue. While these products are useful, we believe in going to the original source of beneficial biological activity, chicken litter! To emphasize this, we have also partnered up with a company called Pattern Ag to provide soil health sampling upon request. By utilizing their “Beta Program,” we can provide an accurate snapshot of pest and pathogen problems before they become problems and get a great look at the beneficial pathogens living in your soil that make it healthier. Call your Farm Nutrients Sales Agronomist about getting your soil sampled today and start your journey towards healthy soils and higher yields!
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