Soil Sampling

In the past, soil sampling was often overlooked and fertilizer was frequently over-applied to ensure nutrient levels were adequate. It has been proven that soil sampling is the single most important guide to the profitable application of fertilizers and lime. When soil test results are combined with a producer's management techniques, you have a reliable basis for planning the fertility program on a given field. Soil testing had traditionally been used to determine how much fertilizer and lime needs to be applied. However, with an increase in economics and environmental concerns, soil tests are also a logical tool in determining areas where adequate or excessive fertilization has taken place. In addition, soil tests are used to measure the impact of past fertility practices, changes in a fields nutrient status, remain compliant for manure applications, or to estimate the value of the nutrients within a field.

Which Sampling Scheme is the best method?

 There has and always will be opinions on which sampling method is best for the most accurate and reliable results. Some feel that grid sampling gives a very good representation of the variable fertility, while others feel that sampling by management zones (soil type, EC maps, past yield) is a smarter approach. Depending on the individual operation, we feel there is a definite place for both methods.  What works best for one field may not be the best option for another. For example...

If the topography of a field is relatively non-variable and there are only a few large soil types within the field, or if the field has had non-uniform applications of manure or commercial fertilizer, sampling by the Grid Method is an excellent approach.  If there is no knowledge of the past history of the field, grid sampling is a good place to begin.

Since soil characteristics affect the productivity and nutrient holding capacity of the soil, if the field in question has variable topography and several different soil types, sampling by the Management Zone method is usually a better approach than the grid method; However, past management practices such as manure application, crop rotations, or fields that have been combined into one larger one may affect the results of zone/soil type sampling.  It is important to have knowledge of the field’s soil characteristics as well as the past history of the farm to achieve the most effective zone sampling program.

Grid Sampling

Whether you need sampling for MMPs or VRT application, we can create a program to meet your needs. Typically 2.5 acre and 4.4 acre grids are recommended for fertilizer applications, while 10 acre grids are sufficient for DNR requirements in an MMP. Each field's maps are put in a fertility book, along with printouts for each nutrient tested that explains some characteristics of that nutrient and how it reacts in the soil.  

Management Zone Sampling

Our Management Zone sampling creates zones from multiple layers of information, including past yield, soil types, topography, growers knowledge of the field, and other available data.  

Wintex1000 Soil Probe

The Wintex1000 is the optimum solution for collecting soil samples. Precision Technologies, a branch of Precision Management, is the USA importer and distributor for the Wintex1000.