Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Are your soil test levels off because of the drought?
I have seen several articles concerning the possibility of soil test levels being off because of the drought. How can you know? We have had a lot of results back and do not seem to have an issue with potassium (K) levels seeming to drop drastically. How do I know? We encourage annual soil testing. The old idea of testing every 4 years leaves too much to chance for too long. If you can compare last year's test with this year's then you have better chance to make good decisions. I agree that I have seen instances where soil moisture appears to have affected potassium levels. Last year our fall sampling season started off very dry. We had some very low levels of K in the early fall. It took relatively little rain to bring those test levels back up. This also illustrates why we want high potassium levels in the soil to start with. If the available levels drop in dry conditions we want the nutrients to be high enough to overcome that availability issue in dry weather during the growing season.