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SpringBrookFarm
Veteran Contributor

Grid Sampling

How many of you out there are doing grid sampling? Why did you decide to do it? What benefits have you seen? Will you continue in the future? Advice for doing it? 

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8 Replies
Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Grid Sampling

I haven't done any grid sampling as of yet, but I'm strongly considering it. I'm not completely setup for it yet equipment wise yet, but I'm getting closer. I'm not sure if I will go with grid sampling or zone sampling, guess I will see what my agronomist recommendations are. His service has an option for both and I think a lot of the final decision relies on soil types. He firm can also write prescriptions for what ever controllers we are using but all this comes at an additional charge. Haven't even talked prices yet, I would imagine it would be acre based as usual.

My reason for considering this, is placing fertilizer where it is needed most. I'm not sure if it will actually reduce my overall fertilizer bill, or possibly just placement in the needed location. Well see.
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ECIN
Senior Advisor

Re: Grid Sampling

SBF -- did some years ago -- worked great for limeing - but grid is just about a thing of the past here , Alot of zone samples here now , that where they test all the different soil types , .

 

The good black dirt here would take more fert than the high ground , last years tests saved me a ton of cash

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Grid Sampling

I am sampling the whole farm in 2.5 acre grids this year.  The agronomist suggested zone sampling based on soil type but I figured if the grids were close enough together I could map the results any way I chose.  I don't believe the soil type maps, made by hand a couple of hundred years ago Smiley Happy are any more accurate to determine a zone as a grid sample is.

 

The reason I'm doing it is because I'm looking down the road at the end of farming.  I want to know what my base levels are so that I make sure I make good agronomic and economic decisions based on what the soil needs.  It's not an excuse to mine the soil.  It's more an interest in making sure that what I put on is optimally used.

 

I'm not sure I'll ever soil sample again.  I may quit in the next couple of years - who knows?  Or, I may decide to have the land custom farmed in which case I'll be much wiser about what to expect for yield from any acre, I hope.

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SpringBrookFarm
Veteran Contributor

Re: Grid Sampling

Thanks for the responses guys, i was thinking about moving into at least zone sampling if not the full blown grid on some of my acres. What should i expect to pay? What other services are provided? What companies are you guys using?

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: Grid Sampling

I use a local Central Kansas firm by the name of Crop Quest. They offer a complete lineup of crop consulting services. I've used them basically for a total crop scouting recommendations. This consists of them pulling soil samples from each field every year and then they send them off to the lab of my choice. They sell no products, only offer the service of an agronomist. They give me fertilizer recs. as well as pesticide recs. They scout all my growing crops weekly during the growing season, and sometimes multi times per week depending on the growth stage and also depends on what crop. For an additional fee they will provide written prescriptions as well as zone and/or grid sampling. They don't require me to do any of their recs., but if I didn't act on them, why did I hire them. I can't remember exactly what they charge without looking it up, but I believe it is around $5 per acre. They also offer a 15% discount if I pay for the following season by December 31st.
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farmerguy89
Advisor

Re: Grid Sampling

It's alot of work and money. I think you need to own a lot of ground for a long time. I remember talking to a guy about this at conference:$12/ac. Some farms are uniformly 1 texture. These won't do any better: the ones with variable soils will benefit. I know at least 1 guy who operation consists of 85% of one soil
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buckfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Grid Sampling

I got the big idea to do some zone sampling. Just comparing ground that history tells me yields well to some that's no so good. The thing that surprised me is that there was not much difference. I started a post on here about it a few days ago. Seems like the only thing I can attribute to good yield is the proper amount of moisture.
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Iowaboy0303
Friend

Re: Grid Sampling

We live in SW Iowa and use a zone management company called MZB. Website is www.mzbtech.com. It uses yield goals, rtk elevation, and deep and shallow EC readings.
They are the only company that uses rtk elevation. They are based out of Watertown, SD. They have over 1.5 million acres enrolled from Canada, NE, MN, ND, SD, and IA. Great company that cares about the growers and their crops.
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