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Stay Current on Soil sampling

Sep 30, 2020

Fall harvest has quickly come upon us and the dry weather is making the crops turn even faster. In the business of the season remember to check with your Agronomist on which fields you need soil sampling done this year. Every 4 years we recommend taking soil samples to get an idea where your soil fertility and pH is at so we can get lime and fertilizer in the areas where it is required. Our Manure Management team lead Kristy Knutson would like to remind us the importance of keeping up to date samples for your Manure Management Plan. DNR requires sample to be 4 years or newer for your Manure Management Plan. Kristy also says to keep track of your application records with date, application rates, and where the manure was applied.

 In this type of environment, growers cannot afford to put out fertilizer that is not resulting in a return on their investment. Soil sampling is the base of a lot of precision ag programs. CFE’s Innovate Program can take your base soil samples and identify more productive areas of the field. This will utilize yield data to build fertility rates for application in those specific areas that are providing a return on investment. For example: the chart below shows the difference of a flat rate input cost structure compared to a grower’s bottom line.
 
Corn price  $       3.25         AVG
Input Cost  $  500.00  $  500.00  $  500.00  $  500.00  $   500.00  $  500.00
Bushels 220 200 180 160 140      180.00
Corn price  $       3.25  $       3.25  $       3.25  $       3.25  $        3.25  $       3.25
Return  $  715.00  $  650.00  $  585.00  $  520.00  $   455.00  $  585.00
Income  $  215.00  $  150.00  $     85.00  $     20.00  $   (45.00)  $    85.00
Margin 30% 23% 15% 4% -10% 12%


When we manage our fields accordingly, we give our most productive soils the ability to produce more than if we treated the whole field the same. In addition, we can manage cost on the unproductive soils and manage the acres that have a negative return. Like the table below shows we can reduce negative margin acres and increase the most profitable acres.

 
  A zone A Zone B Zone C zone D zone AVG
Input Cost  $  525.00  $  500.00  $  450.00  $  400.00  $   375.00  $  445.00
Bushels 240 200 180 160 140      184.00
Corn price  $       3.25  $       3.25  $       3.25  $       3.25  $        3.25  $       3.25
Return  $  780.00  $  650.00  $  585.00  $  520.00  $   455.00  $  598.00
Income  $  280.00  $  150.00  $  135.00  $  120.00  $      80.00  $  153.00
Margin 36% 23% 23% 23% 18% 25%


Once the data is collected, we get a field setup with zones like the picture below. This will result in the placement of seed and fertilizer exactly where it needs to be placed.

Stacking-Nutrient.png

Soil sampling is the base for our Innovate Program and allows the soil samples to drive your inputs to where they need to be.

One last notable item, soil samples taken with CFE are held with high data integrity. We store the sample location points and when 4 years come around, we can go back to those same points. This gives our sample data a high level of repeatably when it comes to tracking pH, organic matter movements, and how Phosphorus and Potassium applications changed the soil fertility levels.

Talk to your CFE Agronomist about getting your fields soil sampled today and enjoy years of success to follow.
 


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