The soil sample is the foundation of a good fertility program. With this you determine your up upcoming crops needs and ultimately the decisions made here directly affects your profitability. It is imperative that the samples are taken with precision and in a manor to get acquire accurate information. With this you will make the financial decisions that with drive your profitability levels. Also as recommendations are made it is important to use the data you have collected from your harvest. As your yield levels are directly related to the amount of fertility you have removed with each cropping season.
Grid sampling vs management zones. There is no right blanket answer here it depends on the field and how much data the has been collected to be used in the management zone process. One thing is for sure, the smaller the zone or grid the more accurate the information. With that you also have to consider the economics of it. Currently 2.5 acres per sample is where we see our best return on investment.
How often to sample? Just like when choosing zone size, timing is important as well. The more often, the more accurate the information. In most cases every three years is the best return on investment. There are exception to that statement: If you have added a lot of manure, ran very aggressive fertility build program, or removed an exceptional crop yield. You may need to sample sooner to see what has been affected.
With the use of GPS sample locations and an automated probe we are able to obtain the samples needed to drive sound decision making. At FCA we turn that in information into a prescription to get the right amount on the right acre. Allowing you the ability to control your cost while striving for better yields. This process is essential for the enhancement of your bottom line.