|Submitted by Brandy Brabham|
WVU Extension Agent
With the high cost of fertilizers it is important to know what the fertility status is in a field and how much or really how little fertilizer is needed to achieve the expected yield from that field. West Virginia University Extension Service has a number of fact sheets, Excel work sheets, and videos that are useful in determining this information.
Late summer and fall are the best time to take soil samples and submit them to the laboratory for analysis. Doing so at this time of the year avoids the spring rush of soil samples and provides time for the manager to evaluate the test report results, develop management plans (such as where to apply manure or feed winter hay so livestock apply the manure), and order fertilizer possibly at lower winter time prices.
As an Extension Agent, I encourage producers to take soil samples this fall and send them to the WVU Soil Testing Lab for analysis.
Below are the titles and web links to the available WVU-ES fact sheets on soil sampling, soil test interpretation, and fertilization of forage crops. Stop by the office for information of Excel worksheets and videos for more information.
Interpreting the West Virginia Soil Test Report
Forage Fertilization Based on Yield and Management Goals
The Value of Agricultural Limestone