Fall Soil Sampling is Right Around the Corner
With the summer growing season coming to an end, fall harvest will soon be upon us. As the combines begin to roll, Helena will begin to think about next season’s crop needs. That begins with a quality soil sample. HyGround® soil management utilizes smart sampling options to give an accurate picture of soil fertility in each field and is the starting point of a variable rate fertilizer program.
Smart sampling can include a traditional grid sample or a zone sample derived from EC data or normalized yield data. Each option gives us an accurate look at nutrient variability. It’s important to realize that only a tiny portion of a field is actually analyzed, thus collecting a representative sample is critical for accurate results. HyGround can utilize any sampling option to take a detailed look into soil chemistry to make sure fields have the highest yield potential.
Variable rate has become the norm in fertilizer application. Input costs never seem to get any less expensive, and no one wants to over or under apply any fertilizer. Placing the right rate in the right place has never been more important.
We are frequently asked how often to sample and test. Fields should be sampled every 2 to 4 years for most crops, and fields should be in the same crop and same time of year to reduce variability of test results. Once a field is geo-referenced and soil sample points are established, they can be used to re-sample the field and check the fertility program. This will give a long term look at soil fertility.
Late summer is the time to begin planning for fall sampling. A quick review of fields can determine what needs to be sampled to begin fertilizer recommendation planning.
Have a safe fall season!
- Jeff Schreck, Midwest & West Central Division Precision Information Specialist