(Posted Fri. Apr 1st, 2016)
As many farmers return to the fields to prepare for spring planting, it marks the perfect time for soil sampling. Doing so can improve nutrient management for a successful corn crop, according to soil scientist Nick Goeser.
“Spring soil sampling is a great way to evaluate soil fertility levels in the preparation process,” said Goeser, director of soil health and sustainability for the National Corn Growers Association. “Many factors affect the nutrient content available to plants, including soil moisture, temperature, residues and organic matter content. Spring soil sampling helps account for many soil factors to provide an up-to-date baseline for tracking plant-available nutrient content ahead of planting.”
Better baseline nutrient information allows improved planning of nutrient application rates, timing, sources and placement throughout the year, Goeser said. Goeser also runs the Soil Health Partnership, an NCGA initiative with the support of other funders and partners.
“Not only does this make better sense from a crop productivity and economic standpoints, it also makes farmers better stewards of the land and can prevent unwanted nutrient losses to air and water,” Goeser said. “It’s a win-win.”
Ask your local agronomist for more information on spring sampling and preparing an advanced nutrient management plan. Improved nutrient tracking and planning means more nutrients end up in the crop – right where you want them.
For more on the Soil Health Partnership, visit SoilHealthPartnership.org.