Soil Sampling

Radicle Agronomics with Eli Sloneker

Join Kelsey Litchfield and Kelly Robertson as they chat with Eli Sloneker from Precision Planting about Radicle Agronomics, a system aiming to change soil nutrient management in farming. Eli provides an overview of Radicle Agronomics and its availability, while Kelly asks some technical questions about GeoPress's role in expediting soil sampling.

By |March 21, 2024|

An Overview of SCN HG Types

Soy Envoy Leo Rocha explains the concept of HG type testing, which measures the ability of SCN populations to reproduce on specific indicator soybean lines. To determine SCN resistance levels on your farm, read more about Rocha's recommendations.

By |July 31, 2023|

Viewing Your Yield Data Through Different Lenses

As harvest begins to wrap up and our minds shift towards next year, for many of us that brings opportunity, optimism, and perhaps a bit of concern. With rising input costs, we as growers are going to be forced to make some tough decisions between economics and agronomics. As an agronomic consultant and grower myself, when those decisions come up for our operation, I look to my yield data to help guide me. Sometimes it takes looking at our yield data through different lenses though to help make those decisions. (For reference, I am using AgLeader SMS Advanced as [...]

By |November 11, 2021|

How to Make Soil Testing Work Smarter for Your Farm

Soil samples provide landowners a gauge or a trend of the potential nutrient availability for the coming crop. Typically, this information signals areas of a field that exceed or fall short of the field’s current average fertility programs. High zones of fertility could suggest that a crop is not removing what it was given. Likewise, a zone of low fertility could suggest that a crop is removing 100% or more of the nutrients it was given. This is where a good grid soil test map acts as an inverse yield map over time. You may be wondering, though, how [...]

By |February 25, 2020|

Potassium and Soybean Production

Having spent my time as a CCA Soy Envoy writing about micronutrients, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus, it seems appropriate to close out the year focusing on potassium. Of the plant nutrients, potassium is part of the big 3—nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK). When I run soil tests in my area potassium is the most likely to be low, although some soils I work with can be high and stay high. Potassium helps plants withstand drought damage. It is also credited with general plant health and preventing lodging. Potassium helps the plant produce starch and transform sugars. This nutrient is [...]

By |October 31, 2019|

Soil Sampling Considerations

When should I test soils? For years, fall soil sampling was the standard practice. However, it became a challenge to collect samples, get a lab report, develop a recommendation and apply nutrient needs prior to tillage or winter. In some situations, if the summer and fall were extremely dry, fall sampling could provide somewhat of an inaccurate measurement of true plant-available nutrients. As a result, a more modern method is to collect samples during the spring or early summer, which allows for greater time to develop an actionable plan. Should I GPS-track sample locations? In any science-based system, it’s [...]

By |October 21, 2019|

Are You Neutral?

If asked, most people can tell you their Social Security number and maybe their spouse’s birthday, but how many producers could accurately tell you the average pH of their farm? Hopefully, the response is, “It’s 6.5.”, and not “Less than 6.” or “I don’t know.” When it comes to crop inputs, soil pH tends to take a back seat compared to the “cooler” inputs such as nitrogen and seed variety. A soil’s pH can have an impact on nutrient availability, nutrient toxicity, herbicide interaction and soil organism activity (i.e., nitrogen fixation for legume crops). Table 1: Soil pH acidity [...]

By |October 18, 2019|

Managing Micronutrients in Soybeans

There are 18 essential nutrients in plants: Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the most likely to be added as fertilizer. Water, carbon and oxygen come from air and water. Calcium, magnesium and sulfur are needed in large amounts as well, and in Illinois we generally take what we get from nature.  Sulfur now commonly needs to be added along with the big 3. We add calcium and magnesium when we lime, although in Southern Illinois we generally come up short on magnesium in our liming materials. And micronutrients are also essential, but needed in smaller amounts. Boron, iron, manganese, [...]

By |June 26, 2019|

Spring Soil Sampling

Soil sampling has traditionally been done in the fall, after crops are harvested. The objective is to know how much fertility the soil already has to produce next year’s crop. But in my business, more than half my sampling is done in the spring. We usually begin sampling when fields are planted or ready to plant and continue until crops are no more than 12-inchs tall to minimize damage to the crop. I have found ATV damage to be minimal at this stage. The photo below shows corn has recovered a day after sampling. One of the reasons for [...]

By |May 26, 2019|
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