Precision Agriculture: EIC Soil Sampling
Precision agriculture is used to describe the application of technology in order to optimize farming practices. This can include using GPS systems to map out fields, monitoring weather and soil conditions, and using data analytics to make decisions about planting, watering, and fertilizing crops. By using precision agriculture techniques, including (Early-In Crop) EIC soil sampling, farmers are able to achieve high yield while minimizing inputs such as water and fertilizer.
EIC Soil Sampling is underway across the SoilView service area. Whether they’ve switched to EIC sampling or are expanding their EIC acres, our customers are seeing value in Early-In Crop sampling and there are a number of reasons why.
The busy fall season can fill up very quickly. Days can pass after a field is harvested before it gets into the hands of the soil sampler, and as the fall progresses soil sampling and lab turnaround times increase due to workload volume. Weather events delay harvest, sampling, and spreading. Once soil test sample results are available agronomists and growers need to schedule time to connect to make fertility plans. When you consider that combined time, it can easily mean growers can wait three to four weeks after harvest is complete to get actionable data from their soil testing.
“My customers who have embraced EIC sampling have gone from completely reactive with their soil sampling program, to the complete opposite.”
SoilView Area ManagerMinnesota
To offset this challenge we turn to the advantages that EIC sampling offers. Fall is still an excellent time to soil sample, and not every field may be a good candidate to switch to EIC sampling. However, we have seen massive value come to those who are active in strategically sampling a portion of their fields during the EIC sampling season.
Proper Planning and Forecasting Instead of Reactive
Agronomists and growers have ample time to spend on crop planning with EIC summer soil sampling. It may seem simple, but growers really do take notice when more time is spent helping them plan rather than expending time and resources reacting. When sampling programs are more planned, our customers are able to tell us exactly what will be sampled next summer and even two summers from now. Now that is an invested crop adviser; already planning to set their growers up for success for the next two years.
Advantage of Consistent Soil Profiles
Growers and agronomists alike need a consistent soil profile, which can only be achieved if samples are taken before fields are tilled. Early sampling heads off tillage and soil disturbance issues, which can provide soil test results that reflect actual crop available nutrients. It can also save growers surcharge fees for spreading and sampling heavily tilled fields, an immediate value to growers who appreciate saving on that expense. The fact is tillage significantly impacts soil test results. Growers spend a significant amount of money on inputs, so it naturally follows that what gets sent to the lab needs to be the highest quality sample possible with the best results returned with enough time to make impactful recommendations ahead of time.
When sampling EIC, more uniform field conditions reflect more uniform test results. Moisture content in the soil is more uniform across an entire field, especially when the soil test results reflect actual crop available nutrients across the board. Fertilizer investment is always a significant factor in decision making, but with more time to make better recommendations with growers, it results in a more successful strategy for each field.
If you have questions about EIC Soil Sampling or would like to know who to connect with in your area, contact us today.
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