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Soil testing offers information that can lead to more informed decision-making and ultimately greater productivity and profitability. Sample in early spring for summer crops and in the summer for fall and winter crops.
Whether you are buying, selling or just producing hay for personal use, testing is an invaluable tool. Forage testing is also a large part of another tool that seems to be becoming a thing of the past: the local hay show.
Soil color and structure, the presence of biological activity like earthworms and dung beetles, rooting resistance, and soil smell can help farmers and ranchers determine the health of their soils.
A percolation (perc) test is a soil test used to determine the adsorption of water into the soil. The perc test is also very important in agriculture because soil drainage can affect production of crops, including fruits and pecans.
Not all labs report the same information in a soil test, but most will report soil pH, any needed lime recommendations, and soil test phosphorus and potassium.