20 years ago it was common practice to break a field into 20, 40, or even 80 acre pieces to soil sample. As technology has improved, so have our abilities to soil sample. With the help of GPS we are able to break a field down into 2.5 acre grids and take soil samples in each. This enables us to get a better picture of what the field really needs for nutrients. Instead of over applying Phosphorus on 20 acres and under applying Phosphorus on 60 acres, grid sampling will help you get your nutrient where you need them.
With our GIS program, we are able to custom fit grids to fit your field. If you have terraces that cut up your field, we can adjust our grids to fit. We are able to create and send variable rate maps to your local cooperative or fertilizer dealer so that they can accurately apply your nutrients. Each field will also come with a hard copy of the maps and soil sample data to keep for your own farm records.
Grid sampling is good, however it is not perfect. Soil does not change by grids, on a gradient, so imposing a grid layout on a field will not always give you the best picture of what your soil needs. So how do we improve our accuracy? As we are able to utilize some of the newest technology, creating Management Zones is starting to become a good option. We are working with multiple layers of data; Veris EC and pH, Altitude, and Yield to help break fields into Management Zones. It is still a work in progress, but as technology moves forward we will strive to adapt and bring you the best recommendations possible.