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Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Sampling Season

It seems like fall has been the traditional time to pull soil samples.  Some people follow the logic that we want to know what is left for the next crop.  We want to know what the soil is like fertility wise, but a healthy soil should have enough nutrients to avoid a deficiency no matter what.  Since soil test levels vary through the year, we don't want to come up short at a critical time. 

We do about 2/3 of our sampling in the spring season, ideally from April 1 to June 15.  We sample after the wheat crop comes off in July.  Most of our spring customers put on lime and dry fertilizer in the fall so that they are ready for spring planting season.  If we spring sample, recommendations are delivered before harvest and fertilizer can be spread right behind to combine.  There is no waiting for results and recommendations.  Another advantage is that moisture conditions are good for sampling and fields are smooth for quick travel.  We try to sample fields at the same time each year where possible and it is kind of amazing how close we come to that.

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