Soil sampling is the first step in your nutrient management plan, but it takes more than just sampling your fields to build the plan for your farm.
“If you’ve had a piece of land for a long time, you’ve got a history every time you sample,” says John Watkins, vice president and sales manager of Van Horn, Inc. in Cerro Gordo, Illinois. ”You’re sampling in the exact same spot every time. So what we’re doing is we’re tracking those exact same areas and looking for trends.”
Nutrient management isn’t a one-season process. It takes time to make fertility adjustments to your soil. When reading your soil test results, it’s important to compare this year’s results with results from past soil tests. Keep track of how your nutrient levels and soil pH change over time to determine how effective your nutrient applications are for your crop and whether you have an opportunity to reduce costs by applying nutrients more accurately.
Not sure what you should be looking for in your soil test results? This video walks you through what information you need from your soil test results to maximize the fertility of your soil.