Soil sampling is right around the corner, will you be sampling this year? If you have been debating soil sampling or investing elsewhere, ask yourself three questions. How long has it been since past soil testing on your fields? If this is over four years ago, we recommend sampling to reset our fertilizer recommendations for the fields. Secondly, what will I do when my P and K levels fall to a point of yield reduction by mining of nutrients? Soil mining is a technique used by many growers on low price years; but, I advise to test before attempting to cut back on P and K. We know that both P and K have a buffering capacity of building, so once mined the amount of fertilizer to reset levels to optimum can become quite uneconomic. Lastly, ask yourself if your yields being removed from fields have matched the recommendation rate of fertilizer being applied to the field. If these two values have not matched, moreover if the yield removal is greater than the fertilizer applications, areas of mining may be occurring without your knowledge. I highly recommend sampling for this reason alone, before levels fall too low to support the crop planted.
Looking past the decision process of soil sampling is the utilization of sampling. Growers utilizing precision variable rate applications can help reduce low levels in fields, by placing heavy amounts of P and K in places that will take the fertilizer along with limiting the amount of fertilizer spread on areas of the field with a minimal response to excess fertilizer. Utilizing yield data for proper P and K VR recommendations can lead to an increase in yields in future years, and can help re build soils from yield removals of years past, all while reducing the chances of a mining situation. This means that a proper VR application will include proper planing with your agronomist and Yieldpoint Specialist together. The team at CHS Larsen is trained in providing the right guidance for your fields by analyzing your yields and comparing these to soil test results to build an application that is right for your operation. Call your Agronomist or YieldPoint Specialist today and ask about how soil sampling and variable rate applications can help you be more profitable.