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Veteran Advisor

Soil Testing This Fall?

Here's a message I received, today, from a good agronomist friend. I think he is spot on about the cost efficiencies that farmers will have to be measuring, going forward. I'm wondering if there will be a lot of soil testing, once harvest is over? or, when do you normally do this? Here's his note to his area farmers in westcentral Illinois:



"Fall is coming fast and a lot of farmers are worried about adjusting input costs to meet lower commodity prices.  Farmers need to get back to basics in their crop production program by spending only where they need to. 




One of the biggest expense items is fertilizer, and the best way to monitor fertilizer expense is to get soil testing done by an independent consultant.  Consultants do not have a conflict of interest in the same way that fertilizer sales people do, especially when fertilizer products are sold by using a cheap soil test. 




You can get a cheap soil test anywhere, but cheap is not the same as inexpensive.  I have been around since 1976 providing inexpensive, up-front and honest soil tests.  I work as an independent consultant helping farmers make good purchase decisions on fertilizer. 




I really want to do your soil testing and help you make better input purchase decisions," David Mowers says.. 


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Senior Advisor

Re: Soil Testing This Fall?

I raise both spring planted and fall planted crops and I've conducted soil tests every year on every acre that is to be seeded about 6 weeks before planting time.  Winter wheat isn't as pressing as I usually band enough fertilizer with the drill to get me into late winter or early spring and top dress my remaining fertilizer when weather allows.  I generally tank mix herbicide with my top dress if I feel it is needed and this saves me at least 1 trip through the field.


If I've got adequate time left in the fall, I will pull soil samples at that time for crops that will be planted the following spring.  If we've got a late fall harvest or an early freeze this task usually waits until frost has left the ground in early spring.  I've done it both ways several times and show no beneficial advantage to spring pulled soil samples versus fall tested.

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Re: Soil Testing This Fall?

There should be soil testing in the fall... It's easier.

Going to be less fertilizer put on, not because I'm cheap but because I need less... I was doing every Other year... Now it's going to be every year
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