Soil Sampling Companies, Retailers Sort Through Myriad Technologies to Better Serve Growers

Soil Sampling Companies, Retailers Sort Through Myriad Technologies to Better Serve Growers

Soil preparation in the soils laboratory of Midwest Laboratories. (Photo Credit: Midwest Laboratories)

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The world of soil sampling continues to evolve.

Twenty years ago the answer, Michael Koenig says, was to send out a fleet of scouts, have them report back with their findings, and then return to the “hot spot” with the grower or an advisor to begin solving the problem.

Michael Koenig

Fast forward to the present, and, according to Koenig, President, ScoutPro, Urbandale, IA, the industry looks to myriad factors, such as Twitter, traps, imagery, and historical issues, to dictate its efforts in the field.

“We need efficiency because things continue to happen at a fast pace generally with agronomy,” he says. “We can plant faster, spray more acres in one pass, and our window to apply seems to become narrower (e.g., dicamba). Therefore, we are looking for the most cost-effective and efficient way to prioritize our days. In scouting, we’re striving to find the places we can do the most with our time.”

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Talking points abound within the industry, most of which revolve around ROI.

One pressing issue for growers and ag retailers is where to sample and scout and where to apply that intel, Tyler Lund, Director of Sales and Marketing, Veris Technologies, Salina, KS, says. “You may have taken a soil sample in the middle of a square grid, but is all the soil in that square the same as what is in the bag headed to the lab? Unfortunately, no,” Lund says. “Instead, we need to manage the soil represented by our samples. Not what is in a convenient checkerboard.”

Continue reading at CropLife.com.

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