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Soil Sampling

From the start soil sampling seems relatively simple.  Collect one pound of soil, send it to a soil lab to analysis.  Actually; it takes a meticulous person year after year to be able to achieve repeatable nutrient results.  ForeFront Ag Solutions believes there are 4 critical steps to achieve consistent soil results.

- Timing: ForeFront Ag Solutions prefers to soil sample in the spring.  It allows for a proactive plan instead of a reactionary hurry and get it done.  This also allows for deficiency observations during scouting and tissue sampling procedures.  Spring sampling gives you several months to price fertilizer sources and to plan any logistics prior to combines hitting the fields.  From time the combine leave the field to fall tillage starts can now be days not weeks.  Certain years that is a big deal.  This is a good time management tool.

- Soil Conditions: Fall 2014 versus Fall 2015.  2014 was a muddy fall and 2015 was bone dry.  ForeFront Ag Solutions could have sampled the same fields and same spots using GPS, and the results would have varied. This adds to a level of confusion, on which is correct.  Soil conditions typically have a higher level of consistency April through June than September through November.  Better data better decisions.

- Quality of Cores: What makes it into the bag?  This is extremely important as fertilizer stratify in soil layers.  Thus, a 6 inch soil core and a 2 inch soil core would have very different lab results.  ForeFront Ag Solutions has combated this possible short coming in two different ways.  The installation of depth gauges on each soil probe enables consistent soil depth.  The use of split tube probes allows for soil core inspection.  This is one last visual check in maintaining the highest standards in soil sampling. 

- Personnel: ForeFront Ag Solutions provides consistent trained personnel.  This person is the last step in quality control for your farm.  They look at core quality prior to it being added to sample.

As a grower these steps have incredible value to you.  When soil sampling is done improperly it cost you either excess fertilizer, or lack of fertilizer which reduces yields.  Either scenario is worth THOUSANDS of dollars off your bottom line.  

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