Though the main clinic start times are important to note, please arrive a bit early because we will have a few activities for you to do before the clinic.
Before you arrive, if you have a smartphone, please download the Ag PhD Fertilizer Removal App and the Ag PhD Soil Test App. These are not required to attend, but are useful tools that can be utilized at the workshop.
Ag PhD Soil Test App Info and Download
Ag PhD Fertilizer Removal App – iOS
Ag PhD Fertilizer Removal App – Google Play

– From Brian Hefty

See if you agree with this statement: If I am going to spend millions of dollars on something in my farm business, I should know a lot about it. That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Over the next 10 years, how many dollars will you invest in fertilizer? How much do you really know about fertilizer, and just as importantly, can you read a soil test?

Your response may be, “I just ask my fertilizer guy,” or “I have a crop consultant who tells me what fertilizer I should apply.” Look, I understand you may rely on people today for advice, and I would expect that to continue; but I come back to the fact that you will probably invest millions of dollars during your farming career in fertilizer. Don’t you think that if you knew a little more about fertilizer and your soils you would gain more yield or perhaps even save money, or if nothing else, at least know what questions to ask of the person who makes your fertility recommendations?

We will teach you how to read a soil test, so by the time you leave, you will know each and every detail on a soil test, how it applies to you, and what you can do to fix the issues you’ve got. We will walk you through several different soil tests, but we also want you to BRING YOUR OWN SOIL TESTS.

When you bring your own tests, here’s what we would like to see so we can help or so you can help yourself based on what you will learn that day:

Pull good samples. Pull 6 to 10 cores in each small area (1 to 5 acres) you are testing and mix those together. WE DO NOT WANT COMPOSITE SAMPLES OUT OF A FIELD. In other words, don’t mix cores together from 80 acres or something like that. If you don’t want to grid sample, at least pull from two isolated areas in your field…the best area and the worst area. You should never combine soil cores together that are different soil types or have dramatically different topography. We often find huge variances in the same field, and we would like to help you identify how to manage those areas differently.

Pull primarily 6” soil samples, but ideally we would like to see some deeper tests, too. Here’s what we do on our farm: If we are zone sampling, we may do 10 different zones in a field, all with 6” tests. We then pick 2 zones and also sample 6-12” AND 12-18” AND 18-24”. In other words, in 2 spots in the field we can then see how the fertility varies from the top 6 inches to the next 6 to the next and the next.

You can have your soil testing done anywhere you want, but please have some of your samples done with Midwest Labs in Omaha, Nebraska. We have worked with them for years and found them to be perhaps the best testing lab in the country. Plus, we will be going through samples that different farmers have pulled and submitted to Midwest Labs, so it will be easier for you to follow along on your own soil tests if the data has also come from Midwest Labs.

Make sure you get a complete S3C test. This means on your soil test results we want to see soil pH, buffer pH, base saturation, organic matter, cation exchange capacity, all three phosphorus tests (weak Bray, strong Bray, and Olsen), sulfur, and micronutrients.

In my opinion, learning how to read a soil test is one of the most important jobs you can do on the farm, if not THE most important, since you will likely invest millions of dollars in fertilizer in the next few years. Take one day to become a soils expert and join us for a free Ag PhD Soils Clinic this winter.

Locations and Registration

Click each location below for more information and directions.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 – Winnipeg, MB – Canad Inn Polo Park (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)

Click Here to Register for the Winnipeg, MB Soils Clinic!

Additional Materials