• Agriculture Technology

4 Steps to Make the Most of Zone Soil Sampling

Screencapture image from R7 Tool of management zones
How did this year’s dynamic weather affect your soil’s health? One way to find out is by doing a soil test this fall. The results can help you set a baseline for managing nutrients next season. Here are a few tips to make the most of your soil sampling efforts.

Build a plan.

To develop a sampling plan, start by deciding what your yield goals are based on what you know about each field. Make sure you’re taking enough samples to account for field variability. The more data you have, the more informed your decision-making will be. Also, be sure the lab you use is accredited and find out what is included in the analysis report. Solum is an agricultural testing lab that uses state-of-the-art equipment and field moist analysis to give you the most accurate soil sampling results so you can take action to improve yield potential.

Account for field variability.

Ag technology, including the R7® Tool can help you identify management zones for sampling. You can pick from satellite images (including yield maps and field variability maps) that best represent your fields, and the R7 Tool will generate a satellite-derived management zone (SaMZ™) map to help you see variations in production potential.

Make decisions.

After you’ve taken soil samples in the defined zones, use the results to establish fertility plans. Knowing which zones have the highest productivity potential can help you focus your fertilization applications to areas where you’re more likely to get the highest return on your investment. Based on results from soil and tissue sampling, you can build variable rate fertilizer prescriptions to stretch your dollars further.

Make in-season adjustments.

Soil sampling is a valuable tool, especially when it’s used to implement in-season practices. Comparing soil samples with plant tissue samples can indicate how efficiently plants are taking up nutrients. This helps you identify agronomic challenges your crop may be facing and can help focus in-season nutrient amendments.
For more information on building a solid fall soil sampling strategy, contact your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2018 and was updated in October 2019.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission. 

Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices, and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. 
© 2019 WinField United. R7® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

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