As spring quickly approaches, the Crystal Decisions team is working hard to make sure customers are prepared for the 2021 growing season, including scheduling and preparing for the pre-planting consultations with our Crystal Decisions customers. These consultations cover valuable information regarding the upcoming season, reviewing practices and decisions from the previous season and answering any questions a grower may have before planting.

As the team prepares for these meetings, a number of elements will be considered. One topic that will be an integral piece of the conversation is soil sampling. When Crystal Decisions was developed, the team knew soil sampling on a 2.5-acre grid would lay the foundation for the entire Crystal Decisions program. Because of this, our consultants typically begin the pre-plant discussions with those fields that need updated samples.

Benefits to Summer Soil Sampling

One question the team is frequently asked is if the grower should sample in fall or spring/summer. Based on countless research studies, our team’s recommendation is to sample in the summer due to a range of benefits for the consultant, the agronomist, and the grower. If samples are taken during the summer months, growers can rest assure that their fields can be spread shortly after harvest instead of waiting on soil tests.

If a grower were to sample in the fall, that grower would have to wait five to seven days for samples to be collected, analyzed, and reported at the lab, and for the agronomist or consultant to develop the fertilizer recommendations. Summer sampling allows the grower to be able to analyze the results and better manage his or her inputs.

If a grower needs a MPCA manure management plan, please reach out to Alee Larson to discuss updating or creating a plan. A grower can also discuss creating variable rate seeding prescriptions, soil samples, and any monitor software updates or questions before planting.

Contact your Crystal Decisions consultant today to set up your meeting! We are looking forward to a successful 2021 growing season.