b"SOIL SAMPLINGSaving Soils with Soil Sampling Manage nutrients and maximize crop yields with soil sampling.SOIL SAMPLING AND analysis are crucial to determine the chemical and physical conditions of the soil, stearing farmers with the information necessary to make the correct decisions going forward for their crops.Sampling can take the guesswork out of building a plan with a producer and creates a strong starting point for the season, believes Anita Renwick, agronomist and owner of A1 Agronomy. When preparing for next season, there are important questions that arise. Thats where soil sampling comes in. How do we want to allocate our resources as far as the budget this year? What makes the most sense if we have a limited amount of dollars to spend? It just gives that piece of information to understand what's going on in the big picture, she explains.While nutrient management is essential to possess a full scope of the field, its a balancing act that requires educatedJohn Breker, soil scientist at AGVISEAnita Renwick, agronomist and owner planning. Laboratories of A1 AgronomyYou want to apply enough of a particular nutrient to maximize crop yield. For example, nitrogen. You want to make sure that you apply enough nitrogen to maximize thatbeen calibrated for the crops that you're growing? Do you have crop yield and prevent any nutrient deficiencies that mightlocal calibration data to convert that soil test result to a usable be a limiting factor, but at the same time, you don't want tofertilizer recommendation at the end of the day?apply excess nutrients because it's an extra cost that you didn'tIn addition to location, when a sample is taken can make all need to incur, explains John Breker, soil scientist at AGVISEthe difference in whether a sample will come out accurate or Laboratories. You also don't want to leave extra nitrogennot. The best time to take a sample is post-harvest, according to vulnerable in the environment to potential losses, whether itRenwick.be nitrate leaching, or denitrification, that could have undueWe like to time all of our soil sampling post-harvest later in environmental consequences. the season, she says. On average, it is wise to go ahead as In essences, soil testing is the tool used to figure out howsoon as the combine is out of the field. The later that you get much nutrient is already present in soil and how much isinto the fall, soil temperatures keep dropping. It's fair game to needed to maximize return on investment without causingjust go ahead.undue economic losses or environmental issues, Breker says. Samples collected right after the combine has come out, and A farms location is a massive component in what a growersbefore fall tillage, offers farmers the best full picture results for nutrient management plan will end up looking like. Soil areasplanting the upcoming year for two reasons, explains Breker.can contain excess salts, pH levels that are too high or low,One, it gives you a really good chance to see how much unfavourable nutrients levels and more as nutrient availabilitynitrogen was left over from that crop. It gives you a good varies in different areas of the world. reflection of how you did for nitrogen management following Depending on where you are, different regions have differentthat crop, he says. But the second part, and this is always the soil testing methods, and they are geared to tease out themost important part, is getting that data ready for planting for aspects of that particular nutrient availability, shares Breker.next year. The other part about getting samples collected sooner Whenever you're looking at a lab and trying to find the rightis you have the data on hand so you can make decisions with it. soil test methods, the important questions to ask are: Is thatYou never know what's going to happen with weather.method suitable for your local soils? Has that soil test method Ally Roden104seed.ab.ca"