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Analytical Services - Soil

Soil Sampling

Why Should I Sample?

Soil sampling/analysis provides some of the most crucial information needed to make an accurate recommendation of fertility and to assess the need for, and means to, soil reclamation/modification.

How Often Should I Sample?

A minimum of one soil sample per year is necessary to monitor nutrient uptake and availability, as well as to assess changes in soil chemistry due to imposed agronomic practices. To better interpret the crop demand and the impact of one’s fertility program, we recommend both a pre-season and post-harvest soil analysis to identify plant nutrient demand from the soil and adequacy of the fertility program being used.

Managing Soil Variability

Sources of Variability

Differences in crop growth and yield are attributable to many factors. Soils develop over geologic time, and are influenced not only by the parent material from which they are derived, but also by climate, biota, and topography.

Physical characteristics of soils such as soil texture, color, and strength are not easily modified. Farming practices may have limited effect on soil permeability and structure. Soil chemical properties such as cation exchange capacity are not readily altered.

However, management decisions such as cropping patterns, fertilization history, and irrigation practices can influence residual nutrient levels, pH, and salinity. Certainly, each of the above factors may contribute to the variability in crop growth that we observe in the field.

Variable Rate Application

Today’s technology allows us to vary the rate of crop inputs during an application job. Once the variability of a soil parameter is identified and mapped, our agronomists prepare a recommendation. The recommendation is converted to a controller file. The controller file contains the rate information for specific locations or zones within the field. Paired with a GPS device, the controller determines the current location of the application rig, identifies the rate to be applied, and sends a signal to the pump, belt, or auger to distribute the right amount of product.

Characterizing Soil Variability

Soil sampling and laboratory analysis are an excellent way to identify variability in soil nutrient levels, soil pH, and salinity. Sampling more intensively increases the data used to develop the recommended rates of crop inputs. With our grid sampling service, sample locations are recorded using GPS technology, and soil samples are usually collected every 2 ½ acres. We offer a variety of analytical packages to meet your needs. Once the data is returned from the laboratory, mapping software is utilized to display field variability for each of the measured soil test parameters. To simplify the interpretation of this field variability, a second map is displayed which shows the agronomic interpretation of this data.

Sample Reports

Soil Test Codes

Test IDDescriptionRetail
2151NO3-N,Olsen P,K$25.00
2154NO3-N,Olsen P,K,Zn,Mn,Fe,Cu,SP,pH,ECe,ESP,Free Lime,sCa,sMg,sNa,B$44.00
2155NO3-N,Olsen P,K,Zn,Mn,Fe,Cu,SP,pH,ECe,ESP,Free Lime,sCa,sMg,sNa,B,SO4-S,Cl$60.00
2350Solvita CO2 Respiration$20.00
2555NO3-N,Olsen P,K,Zn,Mn,Fe,Cu,SP,pH,ECe,ESP,Free Lime,xCa,xMg,xNa,B,%BS,CEC,SO4-S,Cl$62.00
2656* NO3-N,Olsen P,K,Zn,Mn,Fe,Cu,SP,pH,ECe,ESP,Free Lime,xCa,xMg,xNa,B,%BS,CEC,SO4-S,Cl,w/Solubles$65.00
2657NO3-N,Olsen P,K,Zn,Mn,Fe,Cu,SP,pH,ECe,ESP,Free Lime,xCa,xMg,xNa,B,%BS,CEC,SO4-S,Cl,w/Solubles, OM$70.00
28511:1pH,Bray P,K,Ca,Mg,SMP Buffer pH$28.00
28521:1pH,Bray P,K,Ca,Mg,SMP Buffer pH,B$33.00
28531:1pH,Bray P,K,Ca,Mg,SMP Buffer pH,B,Zn$36.75
28541:1pH,Bray P,K,Ca,Mg,SMP Buffer pH,B,SO4-S$36.75
28551:1pH,Bray P,K,Ca,Mg,SMP Buffer pH,B,Cu,Fe,Mn,Zn,SO4-S,Soluble Salts,%BS,CEC$50.50
28561:1pH,Bray P,K,Ca,Mg,SMP Buffer pH,B,Cu,Fe,Mn,Zn,SO4-S,Soluble Salts,%BS,CEC,NO3-N, OM$65.50
* PAL Recommended Test Code