Soil sampling: Just do it.

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Federated Agronomists could stamp the slogan "just do it" on their farm caps, but they wouldn’t be advertising athletic gear – they’d be promoting their rally cry: Start with a soil sample.

It’s not just a saying, and it’s not just a nice recommendation. It’s a way to save money and get the most out of crop inputs. For the small price of a soil sample test, it’s possible to know what the soil has or doesn’t have to offer next year’s crop. It’s all about getting a good return on every investment in seed, fertilizer, and crop protection.

Duane Droogsma, Federated Agronomist at the Rush City location, highlighted the two types of soil sampling Federated offers:

  1. Grid sampling, using GPS locations at 2.5 ac. increments, takes eight cores per grid at a depth of 0-6 inches across a field.
  2. Grid sampling sets things up for variable rate (VT) application wherein fertilizer is applied as needed to the field, and not necessarily to the entire field.
  3. Composite soil sampling, across a whole field or 20- to 40-acre parcels, takes about one core per acre at 0-6 inches, which are then mixed together.

“We send the samples to Midwest Labs to do an analysis of the ground,” said Droogsma. That analysis provides the information agronomists need to make good recommendations. The Soil Analysis Report reveals what any given field needs, based on future crop and nutrient plans.

Federated Agronomists study the report and make recommendations in order of importance. “The most important factors are the pH and macronutrients (N-P-K-Sulfur),” he said. Once the big four are covered, you can “dwell on your micronutrients,” he added.

In the final analysis, it’s all about maximizing yield. And that is why Federated Agronomists sound like a broken record: Start with a soil sample. Your local Federated Agronomist can help. Call today.