Soil sampling services are NOT created equally – and those differences can lead to inefficiencies/cost overruns in your operation. (Among other lost opportunities)
With that in mind, Grainews put out a piece called “Five Questions to ask your soil sampler” to provide you with more education & help you make an informed decision. That’s why we've decided to step up and give you our 5 answers – keep reading below:
Question 1 – What type of equipment do you use?
Answer – Westview Co-op primarily uses hand-operated probes, but we could source hydraulic probes if soil conditions call for it.
Question 2 – What sampling depths are offered?
Answer – We offer depths of up to 24 inches. Ideally we focus on the 6 – 12 inch layer because this is where most of the organic matter and nitrate/sulphur/phosphorous/micronutrients can be approximated best.
Question 3 – How are soil sampling locations selected?
Answer – We primarily use zone sampling, selected through infrared satellite imaging. In this environment of rising input costs we want to help you increase your on-farm accuracy & efficiency. With zone sampling we can assess the levels of biomass accumulation in your fields, and choose zones based on this gradient (combined with other data). In conjunction with our AgZone FIELD tools for precision farming, we can track these changes over time to improve your input usage and timing – all in the name of increasing your on-farm efficiency.
Question 4 – Are sampling locations recorded for future reference?
Answer – Yes, and as noted above we can track the changes over time in each of these zones to help you adjust your farming strategies and crop plans to get the most out of your inputs.
Question 5 – What lab are samples sent to?
Answer – We send ALL samples to Element Labs. The reason why we’ve chosen to work with Element is because they use the modified Kelowna extraction method with all samples – specifically designed to give you the most accurate soil analysis in spite of the bicarbonate levels in our soil region. Soil samples that AREN’T tested using the modified Kelowna extraction method tend to produce higher phosphate results than actual in the soil, simply because the sulphuric acid dissolves the bicarbonates during extraction. The modified Kelowna method ensures you have the most accurate phosphate levels & complete soil analysis possible for what plants will extract in Western Canadian soil.