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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cold weather soil sampling

Today I soil sampled what I think is my last regular customer of the year.  We have heard a lot this fall in the ag media about how the dry weather might affect potassium soil test levels.  At this time of year, we start to think about how cold temperature might affect potassium soil test levels.  Soil Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can cause reduced levels in the potassium soil test.  The reason we are worried about this is that results can be erratic because of environmental factors.  This is the reason experts say to test the same time of year each time you test.  This customer is usually one of the last of the year.  I have sampled him when it was so cold that I wore my Carhartt insulated coveralls.  I sampled him 11/27/2010, 11/16/2011 and today.  By sampling very close to the same time each year, we should be getting consistent results because we should be dealing with similar soil temperatures.  From looking at the results it looks as if there was some pretty serious potassium applied after the 2010 tests. 

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