Soil Test Tweaks
Dan Davidson DTN Contributing Agronomist
Wed Aug 14, 2013 03:02 PM CDT

Fall is a good time to pull soil samples. Beyond getting the sample analyzed by a reputable laboratory, growers also need to consider what kind of test is being run -- particularly when it comes to potassium.

Traditionally, soil laboratories dry soil samples, grind them, scoop out a volumetric sample (instead of weighing) and use an extracting method to analyze for nutrients. That has been the tried-and-true method on which soil calibrations and fertilizer recommendations have been based for years.

However, as we learned last year, a soil analysis during a drought period will underestimate the amount of potassium available. ...

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