1. There is no time to wait with short application windows in the fall.
2. In the fall, the soils are typically dry and many nutrients could be held tightly in between clay particles. This can lead to an inaccurate determination of the trend of the field and unnecessary investment.
1. Test fields in the spring—either pre-plant or post-emerged—using a GPS grid. Soil should be at a more realistic moisture concentration in the spring than late fall and can provide greater insight.
- If a grower knows all summer what their fall or coming spring fertility needs are, they can negotiate price and procure their supply during the summer instead of waiting and being vulnerable to in-season supply issues and in-season price volatility.
- This system is very effective for lime application. Product can be hauled in all summer, with the applicator knowing the fields and rates. All they are waiting for is the word go, once harvest is complete.
2. Spring soil testing allows more time for lab work and reviewing results, which can improve accuracy of recommendations.
3. Variable rate recommendations can be pre-built for the desired fields during the summer and once harvest is complete, the recommendation can be compared to the maintenance removal from the yield monitor data. With current data streaming technologies, this system no longer has the logistical restriction it once did.