Why should every landowner have some knowledge of soil testing?
Soil Testing is often misunderstood by both crop producers and landowners. I will attempt to clarify some things about soil tests. I would like readers to understand that soil tests have their limitations, however, they are still one of our most valuable tools in assessing soil fertility status and even more, understanding differences in how soils may compare.
First, as the saying goes the soil test is only as good as the sample taken. Most soil samplers do a good job taking samples and recognize the importance of consistency in sample depth. Sampling areas are much smaller than what used to be sampled so sample variability is reduced. The time of year the soil sample is taken, the crop grown previous to soil sampling and how mellow the soil is can also be factors in sample variability from one sampling period to another