Soil testing can be done in either spring or fall on hay fields and pasture. Soil sampling on a regular basis (every 3 – 4 years) can save money and reduce environmental impacts of overapplying fertilizer or manure.
Soil testing can be done in either spring or fall on hayfields and pastures. Fall soil testing allows more time for any needed lime applications to have an effect before the main growing season begins, and it gives the producer some flexibility for planning nutrient applications. With high fertilizer prices, accurate soil tests are even more important to help save on input costs.
Collecting a representative soil sample from your area of interest is critical to ensure the best soil testing results. Most fields are highly variable even over short distances. This makes collecting a representative soil sample more of a challenge. This article has information on the best soil sampling practices.
Knowing the soil nutrients is a requirement to establish an adequate soil fertility program for forages. Fall is a good time to evaluate the soil fertility status for forage production because it allows more time for any needed lime applications to have an effect before the main growing season begins.