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Soil Testing Provides Valuable Nutrient Information For Farmers

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By Brandon Redmond

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Soil testing can help improve the efficiency of your field’s crops and in turn make you more money.

"To maximize the economic return to the farmer and to keep the soil at it's maximum health,” said Paul Stukenholtz with the Stukenholtz Laboratory.

That’s why experts say it is important to get your soil and your crops tested. The tests show you what type of nutrients your soil needs. That helps you decide what type of fertilizer to use.

"We do the recommendations for how much nutrient your crops needs and then the crop adviser for the fertilizer dealer finds the best way to fit those nutrient needs," said Paul Stukenholtz with the Stukenholtz Laboratory.

Most soil testing companies don’t actually sell fertilizer but they do give you the information you need to find the right products for your field.

"The recommendations are general for how much of a nutrient you need for this field. Different companies sell different products lines that interact slightly differently," said Paul Stukenholtz with the Stukenholtz Laboratory.

Soil testing is often done in both the spring and during the fall months.

"Soil testing season is mostly early in the spring before the crop is planted and then in the fall before we are getting ready for next year's crop. In the fall we do primarily variable rate fertilization sample testing where we do a grid sample across the field. One sample is taken about every one to two acres and then the nutritional needs of the field are graphed like a contour map,” said Paul Stukenholtz with the Stukenholtz Laboratory.

There are tests you can do right now to help keep your crops healthy.

"During the summer we do complete consulting for irrigation and pesticides, herbicides as well as for fertilizers,” said Paul Stukenholtz with the Stukenholtz Laboratory.