Soil sampling allows farmers to determine average nutrient status of their soils. Various samples are collected in any one field and then bulked together to create a single sample which represents the average soil of the field. This sample is analyzed in the laboratory allowing the generation of a single rate of fertilizers for the whole field. However, the single averaged sample and the single fertilizer rate, does not take into consideration that soil varies within fields.

But how can we measure these in-field soil variations to be able to manage fields by site characteristics?

Development of site specific nutrient management using GPS and variable rate fertilization demands that soil sampling be intensively organized in a systematic grid pattern. Grid sampling allows generating soil fertility maps and identifying yield limiting factors which are then used to generate recommendations for variable inputs. The nutrient maps generated from grid sampling can be overlaid with other field properties such as yield maps to identify trends between the two and improve the efficiency of farming year after year.

Cropnuts™ grid sampling service is organized as follows:

  • Our soil technician will come to your farm and take geo-referenced topsoil samples (usually using 1 ha grids);
  • The samples will be brought to our lab for chemical analysis;
  • Once the analysis is complete, our agronomist will generate nutrient maps (pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, etc) and variable rate fertilizer maps through geo-spatial analysis;
  • We will then send the variable rate fertilizer/lime prescription maps to the client in the requested format so that they can be uploaded onto the compatible spreaders;
  • The rates and the total hectares requiring each rate are included in the report that we will send, allowing the farmer to know the exact amount of fertilizer to buy.

Grid sampling enables us to measure and record soil variations within fields allowing us to create variable application rates of fertilizer for a more efficient and cost-effective use of fertilizers.

location of grid sample
Location of Grid Samples

nutrient values
Nutrient values at each sample site

pH Phosphorous Potassium

pH

Phosphorous