Digging further into soil health

Friday, January 2, 2015

With winter months midway, farmers take steps toward preparation for the 2015 spring planting season. Soil composition is a key attribute to the success in crop farming, giving soil testing prominence in deciding where, when, and what to plant.

Soil testing is essential to farmers success as it gives insight to soil type, which is highly variant. Depending on the types of soil, there are ranges of organic matter, leaving soil heavy, light and sandy, or anywhere in between.

Routine soil testing is imperative for crucial growing areas, and allows adjustments to be made for compatibility with specific crops.

With fertilizer costs rising, using the hit and miss method is far too expensive, leaving soil testing as a more viable resource. Knowledge of soil composition is becoming more valuable as it leads to more accurate fertilizer use in a society that is highly concerned with environmental damage.

Missouri is home to three soil testing laboratories, located throughout the state. Each lab is accredited through the Missouri Soil Testing Association accreditation program (MSTA) which is run by the MU soil testing lab. According to their website, MSTA is an organization established to ensure that the results provided by participating public and private labs are statistically allowable.

Read more here: http://www.marshallnews.com/story/2152498.html