Soil Test Right Behind The Combine
Jun 29, 2020
by Dennis Rogoza, Sales Agronomist
We would like to encourage our customers to book their fall soil testing early, so that we can get on fields right after combining. Sampling at this time gives the best quality sample and the best data.
It was previously believed that additional N would be converted to nitrate in the fall, as grain straw decomposed. We now know that because of the high carbon content of small grain straw, it takes a long time for straw N to convert to nitrate. In reality, soil nitrate levels after small grain harvest are quite stable through the fall. Sampling right after harvest will provide accurate soil N data to develop recommendations for next year’s crop.
Some other advantages for earlier sampling include:
- A more consistent sample core can be obtained before fall tillage. This will result in a more accurate analysis for P, K, Zn and % organic matter.
- Getting results back early to develop fall N fertilizer rates.
- Assessment of soluble salts and carbonates to guide field selection for soybeans.
- Ensuring fields get done and not missed due to weather issues in the fall.
Please call your local Shur-Gro Agronomist now, to book your fall soil tests “right behind the combine”.