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Soil Sampling and PSNT

For about the last two weeks or so growers have been harvesting their wheat crop, which gives ACS the opportunity to start soil sampling. Each field that is sample usually has a couple samples to be pulled. A sample is pulled from each section of the field and these section can be broken up topographically, by soil type, or by the electro-conductivity mapping that was done previously to sampling. The procedure for soil sampling is pretty straight forward and the tools we use include soil probe, screw driver, sampling boxes or bags depending on work order, ATV to get around the field, and a GPS unit if necessary. Also on the soil probe there are markings at six, eight, and twelve inches because it is important to be fairly accurate with your depth. When pulling a regular soil sampling it is important to keep your depth between six and eight inches so having the markings on the probe really helps. When actually pulling the samples in each section

Soil sampling a wheat field in Western NY

it takes eight to ten probes to fill a small cardboard box that goes to Dairy One for soil analysis and when we are sending a sample to Spectrum it takes five to six probes to fill those bags properly. When pulling the samples I usually fallow a W or M pattern on the ATV and it is important to avoid wet spots and we also try not to sample in the headlands because they can both alter the sample. Earlier in the summer I also had the opportunity to pull some PSNTs for a couple farms. These are very similar to soils samples but it is important to pull the samples to a depth of twelve inches so that you can determine the full amount of nitrogen available in the soil. These PSNTs are usually pulled around the time when corn has reached the V5 stage just before farms begin to side dress. When pulling the samples you also want to make sure that you avoid taking the sample close to the corn because you could hit the strip of fertilizer they put down while planting.

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